3 Studs, 2 duds from Dallas Mavericks' narrow win over Timberwolves

Jan 7, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Derrick Jones Jr. (55) and guard Kyrie
Jan 7, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Derrick Jones Jr. (55) and guard Kyrie / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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3. Stud - Luka Doncic

Luka Doncic had yet another obscene performance as the Slovenian-wonder finished with 34 points, eight assists, and six rebounds on the night. Doncic was getting double-teamed at the point of attack by Minnesota’s lengthy defenders in Edwards and Jaden McDaniels all game, but he countered by splitting double teams and finding the roll man in the 4-on-3 all too often.

Doncic only had three turnovers on the night and was getting swarmed virtually every possession after he started draining some wild step-back threes in the third quarter. It certainly wasn’t the most electric scoring game that we’ve ever seen from Doncic, but he made all the right plays offensively even if it didn’t correlate to direct assists.

Doncic also played a pretty decent defensive game, as he anchored down and used his strength well when having to guard one-on-one. Doncic may have gotten caught lacking as an off-ball defender a few times, but it was definitely one of his more well-rounded defensive performances of the season, as he’s shown a tendency to up his defensive intensity in high-profile matchups on occasion. Doncic did a great job of hustling for loose balls late in the game as well as head coach Jason Kidd is taking notice of how him and fellow superstar Kyrie Irving's effort has ripple effects for the rest of the team.

The Mavericks had a tough time on the defensive glass all night, but in the few times that it was applicable, Doncic did a great job at pushing the ball down the floor off of long misses by Minnesota. Doncic ultimately put up another MVP-caliber performance and got to his spots at will when he wasn’t getting double-teamed, but there is one Maverick on our list who could’ve possibly even had a better performance on the night.