Dallas Mavericks down the Minnesota Timberwolves in rare road win

Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Mavericks earned a rare road win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Jan. 11 behind another masterful performance by Luka Doncic.

The Dallas Mavericks had the worst road record in the NBA entering tonight. Had. Luka Doncic changed that and fell just short of his first ever triple double in the process.

Doncic posted 29 points, eight rebounds, and 12 assists on the way to a 119-115 victory for the Mavs. For almost any other rookie in the history of the league that would be a shocking stat line, for Luka, it’s just another day at the office.

Barea injury

Unfortunately, the game wasn’t all good news. Backup point guard J.J. Barea suffered a scary injury to his leg or ankle in the fourth quarter. We are still waiting on an official update from the team, but it did not look good.

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Barea was in the midst of another excellent performance too. He had 16 points, seven assists, and four rebounds in 22 minutes before his night ended early.

Mavs hold on

The Mavericks held a 61-50 lead at the half. The Barea-to-Powell connection was in full effect, connecting on multiple alley-oops and carving up the Minnesota defense. Powell finished with 15 points in only 18 minutes.

The Timberwolves began to battle back down the stretch. It felt like the Mavericks might blow the lead as the game wore on.

The narrative was there. Minnesota has been playing fantastic basketball recently. Karl-Anthony Towns is beginning to remind people why just a couple of years ago he was voted the top player to start a franchise with by NBA executives. Towns finished with 30 points, 11 rebounds, and four blocks.

It was interim Head Coach Ryan Saunders’ first home game since taking over for the recently fired Tom Thibodeau. The Mavericks have been atrocious on the road and have given up leads down the stretch in the past.

Luka saves the day

Then Luka Doncic happened. Doncic scored nine of the team’s last 14 points. He sank a three right in Towns’ grill to put them up two with 24 seconds left only seconds after recording his first turnover of the game on an ill-advised inbounds pass.

This recap feels like a rant because it is. We’ve grown accustomed to this run because we’re spoiled by his greatness. Rookies do not do this. Not ever. Looking at the numbers, he compares to guys like Jordan, Bird, LeBron, and Oscar. He may have a unique name, which of course helps, but Luka has already entered the one name only legend of sports.

The Dallas Mavericks might not make the playoffs this year and that’s okay. They have Luka Doncic. He’s a killer. He’s a winner. He’s clutch. He’s truly magical in his own way. They’ve found their next Dirk, and I mean that as no disrespect to my personal hero. Luka Doncic is that special.

Looking ahead, the Mavericks take on the Golden State Warriors at home on Sunday. The team is now three games out of the playoff race in the murders row that is the Western Conference.

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If Luka can sustain his level of play over the last month, then the Mavs have a fighting chance at earning their first playoff birth since 2016.