Dallas, TX — Rookie sensation, Luka Doncic, continued his reign of terror on the league, finishing with a near triple-double and leading the Dallas Mavericks (27-34) past the Indiana Pacers (40-22). The win also snapped the team’s five game skid.
The opening quarter was filled with high action as Doncic scored nine of his game-high 26 points. He would also get a lot of help from his teammates, especially Tim Hardaway Jr., who pitched in six early points. Yet, Indiana wasn’t going to allow themselves to go down easily.
Coming into the contest as one of the league’s premiere defensive teams, the Pacers would rely on their defense capitalizing on four turnovers by the Mavericks. Despite multiple miscues, along with Darren Collision’s seven first quarter points, Indiana was trailing by a point, 28-27, entering the second period.
In the middle of the first half, the Mavericks paid tribute to former player Wesley Matthews, who was traded to Indiana earlier this month. American Airlines Center gave Matthews a standing ovation, thanking him for his contributions to the team during his tenure. Matthews would finish the game with 20 points on 6-for-13 shooting and tried to play the role of defensive stopper for the Pacers against Doncic, but struggled to contain him.
Though Doncic would finish with 26 points to go along with 10 rebounds and seven assists, Matthews would make sure that his presence was felt when guarding the rookie.. The two had a spirited back and forth affair during the game and head coach Rick Carlisle stated he enjoyed the fight both showed.
“Anything involving Wes is going to be a stimulating situation, and that is one of the reasons we loved him. That is why we signed him four years ago,” said Carlsile. “He played a great game as well, which was completely expected. Those two guys are great competitors and they also like to have fun in the heat of great competition. It wasn’t surprising to see some exchanges, but in the end they both wanted to win the game.”
Dallas would outscore the Pacers 26-25 in the second quarter, however, both teams went into halftime tied, 53-53.
The second half would be an exciting one as the lead would change nine times before the final buzzer. However, Dallas would prove to be too much as they had the never say die attitude. Maxi Kleber led the end of game charge for the Mavs with back-to-back threes to help extend the lead for Dallas before Doncic would bring the game home as part of a 10-5 run for the Mavericks and a 110-101 victory to end their losing streak.
The Dallas Mavericks will look to win their second game in a row as they’ll host the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday.