The Dallas Mavericks were shorthanded on Friday night in Houston, but it did not matter as Luka Doncic used a masterpiece to lift his team to a 112-106 road win on Dec. 23. The Rockets lost their fifth straight game as they fell to 9-23 on the season. Houston won the first meeting between the two teams, but Doncic was not going let them make it two straight over Dallas.
Luka was unstoppable from the opening tipoff. He had 14 first-quarter points and 33 after 36 minutes of action. Head coach Jason Kidd decided to leave his star player on the floor to begin the fourth quarter because the Mavericks needed him, and Doncic kept delivering on his way to 50 points, ten assists, eight rebounds, and three steals in 42 minutes of action.
The Mavs were down four key rotation players and rookie Jaden Hardy coming into Friday’s game, which made it all hands on deck for Dallas. Reggie Bullock suffered a neck injury in the third quarter and was unable to return. The Mavericks were shorthanded and faced travel woes getting to Houston, but none of that mattered. Everyone expected them to take care of business, so Doncic answered the call.
Luka Doncic masterpiece lifts shorthanded Dallas Mavericks over the Rockets
It was clear early on that the Mavs were going to need a special night from Luka on the road, and that he was ready to deliver. Number 77 had his jumper locked in, and he had no plans of watching his team lose to the rebuilding Rockets. Doncic had to take over, and he did, especially in the fourth quarter with shots like this.
The Rockets slowed Luka down a bit in the second quarter, but he had scored 14 in the first, 15 in the third, and 17 in the fourth to give him 50 for the game. It was a season-high for Doncic and the second-highest-scoring contest of his already incredible NBA career. Luka had the second 50-point game of his career, and it was his 16th double-double of the season.
His scoring efficiency was impressive too. Doncic made 17 of 31 field goals on Friday night, including hitting six 3-pointers, and he was ten of 12 from the foul line. Luka was unstoppable in one of his most impressive performances.
The win moved the Mavericks to 17-16 on the season, and they needed every bit of Luka’s incredible performance to secure the victory. It was a memorable night from number 77 as he improved his MVP case by lifting his team to the win down six players.
The Dallas Mavericks return home as they face the Los Angeles Lakers on Christmas Day in their next game. It will be Luka Doncic versus LeBron James as the Mavs unveil Dirk Nowitzki’s statue outside the American Airlines Center in a cannot miss game. Be sure to tune in and enjoy the show on the holiday.