5 TAKEAWAYS FROM THE 118-110 WIN OVER BULLS ON MONDAY
LUKA MAGIC: Opponents keep trying to invent new ways to slow down Luka Doncic. So far, they haven’t come up with a workable plan. Despite getting another physical test, Doncic overpowered the Bulls for 38 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. It was his second straight triple-double, his franchise record 11th of the season and the 19th of his career, which is less than one-and-a-half years old. Doncic was 14-of-24 from the field and 5-of-10 from 3-point range. And he was particularly lethal in the third quarter when he tallied 21 points on 9-of-14 shots and 3-of-3 buckets from 3-point land. Earlier this season Doncic scored 22 points in the first quarter of a game against the Golden State Warriors.
HARDAWAY RETURNS: Tim Hardaway Jr. was back in the lineup Monday, and he quickly reminded everyone what they missed. Right from the jump, Hardaway was in rare form as he poured in 14 of the first 26 points the Mavs scored against the Bulls by converting all five of his field goals. Hardaway missed the previous three games with a left hamstring strain. The Mavs went 1-2 during his absence. Against the Bulls, Hardaway finished with 15 points, four rebounds and two assists in 22 minutes, and was 5-of-8 from the field and 3-of-4 from behind the 3-point stripe.
POWELL HAD ONE OF HIS BEST GAMES: Dwight Powell turned in one of his best performances of the season on Monday as he finished with 16 points and seven rebounds. It was the third-highest scoring game of the season for Powell, who had 24 points during a Dec. 4 victory over Minnesota and 17 points Dec. 22 at Toronto. Powell was a perfect 6-of-6 from the field and 4-of-4 from the free throw line in 30 minutes. It’s not the first time Powell has been perfect from the field. In the Dec. 4 win at Minnesota, he was 9-of-9 from the floor.
PERFECT WITH JACKSON: Justin Jackson wasn’t on the court very long Monday night, but he sure made the most of his playing time. The former 2017 first-round draft pick from North Carolina played 15 minutes against the Bulls, but scored 11 points and was 4-of-11 from the field. It ties for the fourth-highest scoring game of the season for Jackson, who had combined to score just 14 points in the Mavs’ previous two games against the Brooklyn Nets and Charlotte Hornets. Jackson may want to start lobbying for more playing time, because the Mavs are a perfect 7-0 when he scores 10 or more points in a game.
LUKA IN GOOD COMPANY — AGAIN: As he keeps putting up eye-popping numbers, Luka Doncic’s name keeps showing up alongside some of the NBA’s all-time greats. With his 38-point, 11-rebound, 10-assist performance on Monday, Doncic joins Russell Westbrook, Elgin Baylor, Oscar Robertson and Wilt Chamberlain as the only players to ever pick up at least 30 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in four consecutive games. Westbrook performed this incredible feat in five straight games, Doncic has done it in four straight games, while Chamberlain, Robertson and Baylor also were able to turn in this magnificent performance in four straight games.