1. STEP-BACK 3-POINT CONVENTION: Luka Doncic quickly reminded everyone that the vaunted step-back 3-point shot which Houston Rockets guard James Harden is famously known for is a move he’s also been famously known for in Europe for years. Thus, when the two connoisseurs of the step-back 3-pointer met Monday, you already knew what was going to happen. And it didn’t take long for the Step-Back 3-Point Convention to convene as Doncic’s first made basket of the night was – you guessed it — a step-back 3-pointer ironically while he was being closely guarded by – you guessed it – James Harden.
  2. MUCH ACTION BY JACKSON: Justin Jackson didn’t play but 11 minutes Monday, but he sure made the most of his opportunity. The second-year forward scored nine points on 3-of-5 shots while impressing coach Rick Carlisle. It was Jackson’s third game – and best game — with the Mavs since coming over from Sacramento in last week’s trade that sent Harrison Barnes to the Kings. And it came with some of his family members and friends in the stands as Jackson played his high school basketball in the Homeschool Christian Youth Association in Houston. Jackson scored all nine of his points during a 10-minute stretch in the fourth quarter.
  3. ANOTHER CLOSE TRIPLE-DOUBLE CALL: With fans on the road buzzing whenever Luka Doncic has the ball and starts showing off his spectacular ball-handling skills, the rookie from Slovenia again came close to registering another triple-double. Doncic finished Monday night with 21 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. It’s the fourth time this season Doncic has came within one or two rebounds or assists away from collecting a triple-double. And it was his third double-double in the last five games. By the way, Doncic has three triple-doubles this year and is the only teenager in NBA history with multiple triple-doubles on his resume.
  4. POWELL STRIKES AGAIN: Dwight Powell continues to prove that he can be a viable backup center in the NBA. The fifth-year veteran scored 12 points and grabbed four rebounds in 28 minutes against the Rockets. It’s the fourth straight contest Powell has scored at least 10 points in a game. He’s had such a streak just three other times during his career, and has never gone five consecutive games by scoring 10 or more points. Powell finished the night 4-of-5 from the field against the Rockets. In his last four games, Powell has averaged 12 points and eight rebounds, while shooting 14-of-24 from the field and 4-of-8 from 3-point territory.
  5. BRUNSON PERFECT FROM THE FIELD: This was one of those nights where every time Jalen Brunson threw the basketball towards the rim, the basketball went through the rim. The rookie from Villanova was 4-of-4 from the field, 3-of-3 from behind the 3-point arc, and 2-of-2 from the charity stripe and finished with 13 points and five rebounds. In games where he’s attempted at least four field goals, this was just the second time all season that Brunson had a perfect shooting performance. When the Mavs walloped the Utah Jazz, 118-68, on Nov. 14, Brunson scored nine points and was 4-of-4 from the field and 1-of-1 from the free throw line.

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