Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic had a triple-double in the heartbreaking loss to Rockets
The Dallas Mavericks have been waiting for months to get back on the court. The NBA suspended play on March 11. Luka Doncic and the Mavs finally returned to action in a game that counted in the standings on July 31. They took on the Houston Rockets from inside the bubble at Walt Disney World.
There was a lot riding on the game coming in. Both teams had 40 wins before the NBA suspended play back in March. The Mavericks were 1.5 games behind Houston in the standings coming in. Neither team wants to finish seventh in Western Conference making a win on Friday massive.
The game turned into an absolute shootout. Both teams scored 42 points in the first quarter. It was 85-75 at halftime. The Mavs finished the third quarter with 119 points. Their fourth-quarter struggles came back as Dallas lost a heartbreaker in overtime. Luka led the Mavericks and put on a show. Let us look at his best plays.
Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic has 28-point triple-double against Rockets
Luka got his first basket in Orlando off a step back three. It was a beauty from the 21-year-old.
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle decided on a different substitution pattern for Doncic. He came out with 6:36 left in the first quarter. That was Luka’s only field goal before hitting the bench for the first time. He returned with 2:41 remaining and scored three points before the period ended.
Doncic got going in the second. He had eight points and four assists in the quarter. Luka was attacking the basket and orchestrating the offense beautifully. See another Doncic make below.
Luka got up for a third-quarter dunk. Fans cannot miss this one.
Doncic had nine points in the third as the Mavericks scored another 34. The 21-year-old had 23 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists with 12 minutes remaining in the game.
Luka reached into his bag and brought out the Euro step in the fourth quarter. Check out the nifty finish here.
Things got hairy for Dallas in the final stanza. The offense struggled to score especially down the stretch. The Rockets tied the game with less four seconds remaining after the Mavs failed to box out. Dallas missed the chance to win which sent it to overtime.
The Rockets took the game in the extra session for a 153-149 (not a typo) victory. It was a disappointing loss for the Mavericks in so many ways.
The 21-year-old superstar finished with 28 points, 13 rebounds, ten assists, one steal, one block, and eight turnovers before fouling out in overtime. He played 42 minutes against Houston. Luka shot 11 of 27 from the field. He struggled on his 3-pointers hitting just one of nine. Doncic connected on five of nine from the foul line too.
Here is Luka’s full highlight tape the NBA posted following Friday’s game.
It was a disappointing start for the Mavericks, but they still have seven games left before the playoffs begin.
The Mavs are back in action on Aug. 2 against the Phoenix Suns. They need a win there to have any hope of climbing out of seventh in the Western Conference. Fans are not going to want to miss it.