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HomeSportNBA: Luka Doncic's second straight triple-double carries Mavericks

NBA: Luka Doncic’s second straight triple-double carries Mavericks


Dec 29, 2022; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) grabs his face after Houston Rockets forward Usman Garuba (16) falls over him during the second half at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Luka Doncic recorded his eighth triple-double of the season while Christian Wood scored 12 of his 21 points in the third period as the host Dallas Mavericks sprinted past the Houston Rockets 129-114 on Thursday for their fifth consecutive victory.

Doncic finished with 35 points, 12 rebounds and 13 assists to lead a Mavericks offense that shot 51.6 percent overall while producing a 25-5 advantage in fast-break points. Doncic was coming off a historic 60-21-10 line 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 provided 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 remaining to thwart a transition opportunity. Doncic followed by beating the buzzer with a 35-foot 3-pointer that lifted Dallas to 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) each made multiple 3-pointers for the Mavericks, who placed four starters in double figures. Dwight Powell added 19 points on 8-for-8 shooting with six rebounds in only 21 minutes off the Dallas bench.

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. matched Doncic with 14 first-quarter points but finished with only 16 while missing five of his final six shot attempts. Sengun posted 11 points and six rebounds but logged just 17 minutes as 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.

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