Luka Doncic showed no signs of slowing down as he recorded his eighth triple-double of the season and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Houston Rockets 129-114 on Thursday for their fifth straight win.
Doncic finished with 35 points, 12 rebounds and 13 assists to lead a Mavericks offense that shot 51.6 percent overall while holding a 25-5 advantage in fast-break points.
His performance against the Rockets became the first player in NBA history with 95 points, 20 rebounds and 20 assists in a 2-game span and followed a historic 60-21-10 streak against the Knicks two nights earlier.
Luka Doncic showed no sign of slowing down in the Mavericks’ win over the Rockets
His performance Thursday night followed a historic 60-21-10 streak against the Knicks two nights earlier.
Doncic had 14 points, three rebounds and three assists in the opening period but it wasn’t until the second quarter that Dallas began to pull away, starting with a corner 3-pointer from Tim Hardaway Jr. (18 points) that gave the Mavericks their first double-digit lead at 48-37 with 5:56 left in the first half.
Doncic put the finishing touches on that frame, drawing an offensive foul from Rockets center Alperen Sengun with 1.1 seconds left to thwart a transition chance. Doncic followed that up at the buzzer with a 35-foot 3-pointer that gave Dallas a 65-51 lead at the break.
Wood (5-for-8), Doncic (4-for-9), Hardaway (3-for-8) and Spencer Dinwiddie (3-for-5) made multiple 3-pointers for the Mavericks, who put of four starters in double figures. Dwight Powell added 19 points on 8-for-8 shooting with six rebounds in just 21 minutes off the Dallas bench.
Doncic hit the buzzer with a 35-foot 3-pointer that gave Dallas a 65-51 lead at the break.
Not only were the Rockets inept in transition, they also shot 12 for 34 from behind the arc and missed 11 free throws. Rookie forward Jabari Smith Jr. equalized. Doncic had 14 first-quarter points but finished with just 16 while missing five of his last six shot attempts. Sengun posted 11 points and six rebounds but logged just 17 minutes when he was whistled for five fouls.
Jalen Green led the Rockets with 23 points while Kevin Porter Jr. added 17 points and seven assists. They both shot 4-for-7 on 3s, with their teammates finishing 4-for-20 from behind the arc.
The Rockets have dropped seven of eight games.
LA CLIPPERS 110-116 BOSTON CELTICS
Three weeks after suffering their worst loss of the season in Los Angeles, the Celtics turned back the Clippers in Boston 116-110 on Thursday night, getting 29 points apiece from Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.
‘We really want to play better than we have played in the past,’ Brown said. ‘Those are the guys that beat us so hard in LA So we want to change the narrative tonight on our home floor and go out and win.’
Tatum grabbed 11 rebounds, Marcus Smart had 17 points and nine assists, and Grant Williams added 11 points and 10 boards for Boston, which won its fourth straight game.
Jayson Tatum scores 29 points and grabs 11 rebounds as Celtics get revenge in LA
Derrick White scored 15 points and had two blocked shots, one of them on Paul George’s layup attempt with 33 seconds left and Boston leading by three.
Brown made two free throws down the stretch and Tatum made one to ice it.
Kawhi Leonard scored 26 for the Clippers, George had 24 points and Ivica Zubac had 13 points and 11 rebounds. Los Angeles has won four of its last five games, sweeping back-to-backs against Detroit and Toronto last week.
MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES 119-106 TORONTO RAPTORS
Ja Morant had a career-high 17 assists and scored 19 points and the Memphis Grizzlies won for the first time in three games, beating the struggling Toronto Raptors 119-106 on Thursday night.
Dillon Brooks scored 25 points, Desmond Bane had 16 before fouling out and Steven Adams had 14 points and 17 rebounds. Memphis tallied a season-high 37 assists and won its third straight north of the border after losing its previous seven trips to Canada.
‘It’s super impressive,’ said Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins about Morant’s 17 assists. Tons of credit to Ja. It just sets the tone for us. His unselfishness, we always talk about that.’
Ja Morant had a career-high 17 assists and scored 19 points as the Grizzlies beat the Raptors
Pascal Siakam had 25 points and 10 rebounds for Toronto before fouling out, extending his career-best streak of 25 or more to six.
Gary Trent Jr. scored 20 points and OG Anunoby had 16 for Toronto’s home losing streak to five. The Raptors have lost eight of 10 overall.
‘That was pretty unacceptable given the effort we gave,’ said Raptors coach Nick Nurse. ‘We’ve got to get focused and connected and get serious about playing harder.’
NEW YORK KNICKS 116-122 SAN ANTONIO SPURS
The San Antonio Spurs overcame a season-high 41 points from Julius Randle to beat New York 122-115 on Thursday night, handing the Knicks their fifth straight loss.
Guard Romeo Langford added a career-high 23 points for the Spurs, who were without injured starter Devin Vassell. Tre Jones added 13 points and Jeremy Sochan had 12.
Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley had a career-high 36 points while starting in place of injured point guard Jalen Brunson, while Keldon Johnson registered 30 points for the Spurs.
Julius Randle’s season-high 41 points weren’t enough for the Knicks to snap their losing streak
New York led briefly after blowing a nine-point lead with 33 seconds left in regulation in Tuesday’s overtime loss to Luka Doncic and Dallas.
Randle’s 3-pointer midway through the first quarter gave the Knicks their biggest lead of the game at 23-18. The Spurs regained the lead 2 1/2 minutes later and would never trail again.
After Doug McDermott made a 3-pointer, Johnson hit back-to-back 3s to give the Spurs their biggest lead at 90-73 with 3 1/2 minutes left.
San Antonio finished 11 for 28 on 3-pointers and outscored New York 62-42 in the paint.
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS 126-135 INDIANA PACERS
The Indiana Pacers got off to a fast start defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers 135-126 on Thursday night.
Buddy Hield made a 3-pointer three seconds into the game and added 25, while Tyrese Haliburton scored 29 points.
Haliburton was 6 for 8 from 3-point range and Hield, who leads the NBA in 3-pointers, was 5 for 6. The Pacers finished 19 of 31 from beyond the arc.
Buddy Hield claimed the record for fastest 3-pointer during play-by-play on Thursday
‘You can’t ask for much better shooting than that,’ said Pacers forward Aaron Nesmith, who had 22 points. ‘They shoot the ball that way, it’s going to be tough to beat us any night.’
Indiana trailed by seven early in the fourth quarter before rallying. Hield fed Nesmith for a go-ahead dunk to give the Pacers a 120-119 lead with 4:26 left.
‘This is the most fun I’ve had playing basketball in a long time,’ said Nesmith, a third-year pro who was signed from Boston in the offseason.
Haliburton converted a three-point play on the next possession and the Pacers never relinquished the lead.
OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER 113-121 CHARLOTTE HORNETS
LaMelo Ball had 27 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists and the Charlotte Hornets beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 121-113 on Thursday night for just their third win in their last 14 games.
PJ Washington added 25 points on 10-of-13 shooting and Charlotte got a promising effort from rookie center Mark Williams who had career highs of 17 points and 13 rebounds to go along with two blocks.
Mason Plumlee added 14 points and nine rebounds for the Hornets. They outscored the Thunder 18-10 in the final 4:14 to break open a tie game.