Luka Doncic’s latest feat ‘a little walk in the park,’ Jason Kidd says

DALLAS – Luka Doncic, who admitted to fatigue after two games in the Dallas Mavericks’ 0-2 road trip this week, again reported for work Saturday night. He gave his strength to a good recovery day and “two, three, four” shots of pregame espresso and Red Bull.

Results: 42 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in the Mavericks’ 117-112 win over the Portland Trail Blazers at the American Airlines Center.

“He had 42, a triple-double, just a walk in the park,” Dallas coach Jason Kidd said.

Doncic didn’t do that kind of routine, but it was the fourth 40-point triple-double of the 23-year-old’s career. It ranks sixth in NBA history, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

This performance came on the heels of Doncic being held under 30 points for the second time this season. His 30-game hitting streak is the second-longest in a single season, behind Wilt Chamberlain’s 23-game streak to start the 1962-63 campaign.

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Kidd expressed concern that after losses to the Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards — when Doncic shot a combined 17-of-50 from the floor — the Mavs asked more of their superstar. Doncic leads the league in scoring for the third time.

“He’s human,” Kidd said. “But I think losing two in a row and not playing well, people who know him a lot, he always bounced back. and put us in a position to win.”

Doncic excelled against the Blazers by attacking off the dribble. 13-of-22 from the floor, with only two of his buckets coming in the paint, and 15-of-18 from the line, attempting more free throws than both games combined.

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“I was just attacking the paint,” said Doncic, who is 10th in NBA history with 49 triple-doubles. “You could see the last two games I wasn’t getting to the free throw line and I wasn’t good enough because I wasn’t getting in the lane.”

The Blazers were determined not to let Doncic beat them down the face, holding him to push the ball out of his hands. His teammates responded by making 3-pointers on four straight possessions to take the lead in the final minutes, the first of which came off a Doncic assist and three ball moves initiated by him. .

“Luka’s performance is a problem for the defense,” said Mavs guard Spencer Dinwiddie, whose 20-point, 7-rebound, 6-assist outing was highlighted by the first three 3s of the clutch flurry. “He gets two on the ball, and he makes the right read, the right touch.”

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Doncic consistently made wide open 3-point shots for his teammates on a nightly basis. Outside of Dinwiddie (6-of-8 on 3s), the Mavs struggled to shoot from deep (14-of-43 overall). Still, Doncic didn’t hesitate to give the ball away with the game on the line, as a Mavs team that was poor in solid situations shut out the Blazers.

“I can defend, just attack the paint and kick out, and they’re opening every game,” said Doncic, who leads the league with 34.3 points per game. and the eighth level of assistance (8.1). “Keep shooting. I always tell them, ‘Keep shooting.’ You’re open, you have to shoot. That’s it. I’ll keep my faith in them. It’s easy for me.”

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