DALLAS (AP)Luka Doncic followed his 60-point triple-double two nights earlier with 35 points in his NBA-best eighth triple-double of the season, and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Houston Rockets 129-114 on Thursday night.
Doncic, who recorded the NBA’s first game with 60 points and 21 rebounds to go with 10 rebounds on Tuesday against the New York Knicks, had 12 rebounds and 13 assists in 34 minutes as Dallas ran its winning streak to a season-best five games. He clinched the triple-double with his 10th assist with 5:37 remaining in the third quarter, giving him consecutive triple-doubles twice this season.
Christian Wood, acquired from Houston last summer, had 21 points, hitting 5 of 8 3-pointers, and four blocks for the Mavericks, who led by as many as 25 points. Dwight Powell added a season-high 19 points off the bench, hitting all eight of his shots, and Tim Hardaway Jr. had 18.
”I thought this was a great team win,” Dallas coach Jason Kidd said. ”We didn’t have to rely on Luka.”
Doncic has scored an NBA-record 95 points in the consecutive triple-doubles.
Jalen Green scored 23 points, Kevin Porter Jr. 17 and Jabari Smith Jr. 16 for the Rockets, who lost for the seventh time in eight games.
Doncic scored 21 first-half points in 18 minutes thanks to a 35-footer at the buzzer after Dallas inbounded from the baseline with 1.5 seconds left. The Mavs led 65-51.
”It’s always been his passing that has been the thing that has really separated him from everybody else, but now he’s adding the scoring to the passing, which makes him just a nightmare to defend and prepare for,” said Rockets coach Stephen Silas, who was a Dallas assistant during Doncic’s first two seasons.
The Mavericks scored a season-high 25 fast-break points.
”Normally we have zero. Or two,” Kidd said after a handful of Doncic’s assists came on long-distance inbound passes from the baseline, beginning with a touchdown-like strike to Davis Bertans late in the first quarter.
”For whatever reason, Davis is one of his favorite wide . tight-ends receivers who tends to outrun the coverage,” Kidd said. ”I think he set the tone for us in a funny way.”
”Our guards, Luka especially, are looking ahead and trusting that we are going to run under some of those Hail Mary’s,” Powell said.
GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
With the Mavericks comfortably ahead late, the American Airlines Center crowd cheered wildly when Houston’s Boban Marjanovic, who was in the Wood trade after playing three seasons for Dallas, reported in for the first time. The fans cheered even more when Marjanovic hit a turnaround jumper en route to seven points to match his season high.
Before the game, the popular big man crossed the midcourt line at the scorer’s table to throw candy to some Mavericks front office personnel and was playfully pushed back toward Houston’s end by Bertans.
SEE YA REAL SOON
The Rockets and Mavericks will meet for the third time in 11 days next Monday at Houston.
Rockets: Green and Porter combined to hit 5 of 7 behind the arc. The rest of the team was 0 for 10. . Smith scored 14 in the first quarter, hitting 6 of 7 shots.
Mavericks: The 2021-22 Western Conference finalists are four games above .500 for the first time this season. . Doncic received his ninth technical foul this season, one of those having been rescinded.
Rockets: Will host the Knicks on Saturday.
Mavericks: Will begin a two-game Texas road trip on Saturday against the San Antonio Spurs.
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