Luka Doncic has historic return to lift Dallas Mavericks over Pistons

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Detroit Pistons 111-105 on Monday night behind a 53-point night from Luka Doncic. The 23-year-old was in his first game back from a sprained ankle, but it did not look like it as he rarely missed and was unstoppable.

The Mavericks secured a season series split against the Pistons with the victory. Dallas lost in Detroit back in December, despite Doncic scoring 35. He was not going to let his team lose on Jan. 30, especially after missing all but three minutes of the last two games.

The Pistons made it tough on the Mavericks on Monday night as Bojan Bogdanovic could not miss on his way to 29 points, but Doncic was just too good. The Mavs gave him just enough support, despite struggling to sink their threes and free throws. Here is a closer look at Luka’s performance on Jan. 30 which helped the Mavericks improve to 27-25 on the season.

Luka Doncic has historic return to lift Dallas Mavericks over Pistons

Doncic had it going from the opening tipoff on Monday night as he scored 24 of the team’s 30 points in the opening quarter as the 23-year-old sank seven of his first eight field goals, including four 3-pointers. It was the highest-scoring first quarter in the NBA this season, and number 77 just could not miss.

He was far from done there. Doncic had 27 in the first half and 45 after three quarters in another unforgettable performance. The Mavericks superstar finished with 53 points, eight rebounds, five assists, and two steals in 36 minutes of action on Monday night. He made 17 of his 24 field goals, including five 3-pointers. Doncic was getting into with the Pistons bench from the opening minutes, and it looked like it added a bit of fire for him on Jan. 30.

There were certainly no signs of his ankle injury that cost him one game. Doncic had the first scoreless game of his career against the Suns as he exited after just over three minutes. He lost the lead in the race for the league’s top scorer, but number 77 made up some ground against the Pistons on Monday.

It was Luka’s 11th 40-point game of the season and the fourth time that he has gone for 50-plus. His 53 points were tied for the second-highest scoring mark in Mavericks history behind Luka’s 60-point 20-rebound triple-double earlier this season. Doncic also broke the franchise record for most points in a regulation game on Jan. 30.

The Mavericks had their annual Seats for Soldiers on Monday night, and Doncic put on a show for the service men and women. Dallas is now 14-2 in those games, and this was the first one since 2020 because of the pandemic.

It was a bit of an off night for the rest of the Mavericks. They struggled to hit 3-pointers and make their free throws on Monday night as Dallas went just ten of 34 from long range and shot just 69.7 percent from the charity stripe. Spencer Dinwiddie made five key buckets in the fourth quarter after failing to make a field goal in the first three quarters to be the only other Maverick in double-figures on Jan. 30.

The Mavs need every win, so it was fantastic to see Doncic back in the lineup as he lifted his team to another win. Detroit tried everything on Monday night, including doubling Luka, but they just did not have any answers to slowing him down in an unforgettable game.

The Dallas Mavericks host the New Orleans Pelicans in a key game for both teams in the Western Conference standings on Thursday night. Luka Doncic will look to stay white hot and lead his team to victory at the American Airlines Center before the Mavs start a five-game road trip. Fans do not want to miss what Doncic does an encore, so be sure to tune in and enjoy the show.

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