Mavericks blast Thunder with Luka Doncic back in lineup | Inquirer Sports
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Mavericks blast Thunder with Luka Doncic back in lineup

/ 01:39 PM March 30, 2021
Luka Doncic Mavericks

FILE – Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks reacts against the San Antonio Spurs in the second quarter at American Airlines Center on March 10, 2021 in Dallas, Texas. Tom Pennington/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by TOM PENNINGTON / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Luka Doncic had 25 points and seven assists to help the Dallas Mavericks snap a two-game losing streak with a 127-106 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night in Oklahoma City.

Doncic hadn’t played in either of the Mavericks’ most recent losses, nor had he played in either of their first two games against the Thunder this season, but he returned to have a major impact.

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Kristaps Porzingis added 20 points and nine rebounds, going 9 of 15 from the floor. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 19. The Mavericks tied a season-high with 51 field goals, shooting 53.1%.

Oklahoma City has lost three in a row, tying their longest losing streak of the season.

Dallas dug itself into an early hole after the All-Star break but got off to a hot start Monday. The Mavericks led by as many as 12 in the first quarter with the help of an early 13-2 run and led 33-24 after one quarter.

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Dallas had trailed after 12 minutes in each of their first 10 games since the break.

Porzingis helped the Mavericks build that early lead with 12 points in the first, going 5 of 8 from the floor. It was the third consecutive game with double-digit scoring in the first quarter for Porzingis.

Dallas is now 16-0 when leading after one quarter this season.

The Thunder quickly erased the deficit to start the second quarter, going 8 for 10 from the floor — including six points from the newly acquired Tony Bradley, who was making his Oklahoma City debut — in the first four minutes.

But the Mavericks regained control, as Porzingis tied his career-high with five assists by halftime — all in the last eight minutes before the break. Porzingis didn’t have another assist the rest of the way.

Aleksej Pokusevski led the Thunder with 21 points. Svi Mykhailiuk added 16, going 7 of 10 from the floor.

The Thunder attempted 33 free throws — 20 more than Dallas — but made just 63.6%. Dallas scored 24 points off Oklahoma City’s 16 turnovers.

Nicolo Melli made his Mavericks debut in the second half, going 3 for 4 from the floor with six points.

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TAGS: Dallas Mavericks, Kristaps Porzingis, Luka Doncic, NBA, OKC Thunder
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