Dallas Mavericks: Tim Hardaway Jr. drops 15 in return win over Bulls

Dallas Mavericks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. returned after missing three games and dropped 15 points against the Bulls. Here is the latest.

The Dallas Mavericks had two starters go down against the Los Angeles Lakers on Dec. 29. Tim Hardaway Jr. strained his hamstring, and Kristaps Porzingis suffered a knee injury. Both players missed three games. That was a massive blow to the Mavs playing without their second and third-leading scorers.

The Chicago Bulls came to Dallas on Monday night. It was the third in a six-game homestand. It wraps up with three difficult matchups against the Nuggets, Lakers, and 76ers. The Mavericks needed a win against the struggling Bulls.

Porzingis remained out, but Hardaway Jr. returned on Jan. 6. Let us take a look at his performance in the Dallas Mavericks 118-110 victory over the Bulls.

Massive first quarter

Tim Hardaway Jr. got off to a blazing start on Monday evening. He sank a three off a Luka Doncic pass to put the Mavericks up six to zero with 9:55 remaining in the first. He followed that up with a steal and lay in less than 30 seconds later.

Hardaway Jr. drilled two more 3-pointers before checking out in the first quarter. He also grabbed a rebound and took it all the way to the bucket for a three-point play the old fashioned way which fans can see below.

https://twitter.com/dallasmavs/status/1214368310780997632

It was an incredible first quarter for THJ. He checked out with 3:17 remaining in the frame. Hardaway Jr. finished with 14 points, one rebound, one assist, and one steal. He also made all five of his field goal attempts in the quarter.

Eased back in

Tim Hardaway Jr. only played 22 minutes against the Bulls. He was brought back in slowly. Hamstring injuries are always tricky. The rate of re-injury or aggravation is high, so caution is warranted.

THJ produced 15 points, four rebounds, two assists, and one steal in his first game back.

Going forward

Expect Tim Hardaway Jr. to play a few more minutes on Wednesday against the Nuggets. He will likely settle in around 29 per game once he is back up to speed. Coach Carlisle may wait for a few games before given him a full workload.

Hardaway Jr. is proving to be an important piece for the Dallas Mavericks. His shooting and scoring ability helps space the floor and gives the offense new dimensions. He will continue playing that role this season. Hopefully, THJ stays healthy and doesn’t slump down the stretch.