Doncic leads Mavs to impressive win
It’s no secret that Luca Doncic is one of the best players in the league, currently leading in fan votes for All-Star Weekend. At just 20-years-old, he single-handedly dealt the Brooklyn Nets their fourth loss on the road on Thursday night at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas. Dallas needed this boost after losing six of its eleven games, four of those at home.
One of Dallas’ biggest issues has been closing out games, but this was not the case against the Nets. Luca had his 20th double-double game amid chants of “MVP! MVP!” The Mavs outscored the Nets 30-18 in the fourth quarter causing a shift in the game. “The game was the kind of game we expected — a lot of scoring, a lot of aggressive play,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “It all came down to whether or not we could put together a quarter of solid defense."
Both teams came in depleted, with Kristaps Pozingis and Tim Hardaway Jr. sitting on the Mavericks bench and still no sight of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant (obviously) and Caris LeVert. It was apparent that both coaches would go deep with their bench players. The contribution from the Mavs bench came from Seth Curry, who scored 25 points in three quarters, German sharp-shooter Maxi Kleber who played thirty one minutes and scored 18 points and 7’4" center Boban Marjanovic who had 10 points and 7 rebounds.
The Nets had a balanced lineup with Spencer Dinwiddie, DeAndre Jordan and five other players in double figures. The Nets blew a 10-point lead in the third quarter then Doncic checked in with four fouls sparking a 11-4 run.
This is the first time the Nets have been under .500 since late November. They’re headed back home to face Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat on Saturday. Caris LeVert is expected to return to the line up and of course not forgetting the strength Nets coach Kenny Atkinson possesses to maximize his talent, giving the Nets an opportunity to possibly compete every night. “We’re in a little bit of a rut right now,” Atkinson said. “We’ve been through this before.” Will the Nets end their losing streak at home, or will this be the beginning of the end in their pursuit for a playoffs spot? Only time will tell.
By Nthabiseng Mushi