5 TAKEAWAYS FROM THE MAVS’ 127-123 WIN OVER KINGS
LUKA WAS BREATHTAKING: You’re not the only one running out of superlatives when it comes to describing Luka Doncic. You’ve got to get in line for that one. In another indescribable performance, Doncic put together a masterpiece of a game Wednesday as he collected his 12th triple-double of the season by pouring in 25 points, snatching 15 rebounds and dispensing a career-high 17 assists. Hall of Famer Jason Kidd is the only other member of the Mavs with a 25-15-15 game. And according to @bball_ref, that type of amazing stat line has occurred only 11 other times in NBA history and just five times in the last 55 years. Yep, it’s a head-turner, which is why the Mavs are probably one of the favorite teams for fans outside of Dallas to watch on NBA League Pass.
DRAFT DO-OVER: Just by the constant conversations overheard by fans — and media types who cover the Kings — they really wish Sacramento had drafted Luka Doncic. After Phoenix used the No. 1 overall pick in 2018 to draft Deandre Ayton, the Kings used the No. 2 overall pick to select Marvin Bagley III. The Mavs then were the aggressors as they quickly traded the fifth overall pick and a protected 2019 first-round pick to the Atlanta Hawks for the third overall pick, which was used to draft Doncic. That has led to a lot of “woulda, coulda, shoulda” moments, and moans and groans from fans in Sacramento. After Wednesday’s game, Doncic said he doesn’t think about the Kings passing him up in the draft. But, rest assured, Kings fans think about their team passing him up for Bagley.
CURRY WAS ALL DIALED IN: When Seth Curry lines ‘em up and gets on one of those shooting sprees, pity the defense that’s trying to contain him. Wednesday was one of those nights when Curry was dialed in and no one could slow him down. The seven-year veteran collected 21 points and was 7-of-11 from the field and 5-of-8 from beyond the 3-point arc in just 26 minutes. In other words, Curry was in a zone. It’s the fifth time this season Curry has scored 20 or more points in a game, and the Mavs are 4-1 in that scenario. The Mavs also are 4-0 when Curry connects on five or more 3-pointers in a game. Curry, who played for the Kings during the 2015-’16 season, scored 13 of his points in the second quarter when he was 5-of-7 from the field and 3-of-4 from downtown.
POWELL DRIVER: Who flipped the switch and woke up Dwight Powell? After scoring 10 or more points just eight times in the first 28 games, Powell has scored 10 of more points in 10 of the Mavs’ last 13 games. That includes bulling his way around the basket for 17 points and nine rebounds against the Kings. It’s as if Powell has magically found something that’s clicked for him lately and he’s taken off and ran with it. Overall against the Kings, Powell was 8-of-10 from the field while being his usual self in bypassing 3-pointers for more attacks on the rim. This comes one night after Powell was a perfect 9-of-9 from the field and scored 21 points in the Mavs’ 124-97 victory over the Golden State Warriors. And that came after he was 8-of-11 from the floor during a 109-91 triumph over Philadelphia.
CONTRIBUTORS EVERYWHERE: Those Mavs players who got a chance to play on Wednesday certainly did their share in making a mighty contribution to the win over the Kings. Let’s start with the starters, as all five of them scored at least 14 points and grabbed at least four rebounds. Luka Doncic (25 points, 15 rebounds), Tim Hardaway Jr. (18 points, six boards), Dwight Powell (17 points, nine caroms), Dorian Finney-Smith (15 points, eight rebounds) and Maxi Kleber (14 points, four boards) all produced big. Also, the four Mavs’ bench players who played outscored their Kings’ counterparts, 38-23. They were led by the 21 points from the Mavs’ silky-smooth shooter, Seth Curry. Delon Wright also scored eight point in 14 minutes, and Justin Jackson added seven points.