The Dallas Mavericks had won four of their last five games, including their first three home contests of the 2021-2022 season, entering Tuesday’s showdown against the Miami Heat at the American Airlines Center. Superstar Luka Doncic still hadn’t played his best basketball, despite the team’s success.
The Heat had won five of their first six games to start the year coming into the Nov. 2. contest, and the Mavs were up against it from the opening tipoff because both Kristaps Porzingis (back) and Maxi Kleber (oblique) were out on the first of a back-to-back for Dallas. Kleber is set to miss at least one week with KP having a shot to return on Wednesday in San Antonio.
Miami is one of the best defensive teams in the league, so the Mavs needed a monster performance from Doncic to have a chance. The 22-year-old superstar delivered, including making a bit of history on Tuesday night, but it was still not enough as the Heat picked up the decisive victory. Here is a closer look at Luka’s performance.
Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic makes history in loss to Heat
Doncic had it locked in from the opening tip. He produced eight first-quarter points, including this deep 3-pointer that helped the Mavericks get out to an early lead.
It was the second straight game that Dallas won the first quarter, but the Heat punched back with a 46-point second as they seemingly did not miss from 3-point range. Doncic had a 19-point first half, including this bucket that allowed him to pass Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd on the team’s all-time scoring list.
The Mavs could not overcome that second-quarter run by the Heat, despite an impressive night for Doncic as he finished with 33 points, five assists, three rebounds, and three 3-pointers made in 35 minutes of action.
It was his first 30-point game of the 2021-2022 season, but Luka struggled a bit from the field going just ten of 24. The Mavericks superstar is in a shooting slump to start the year. No way it lasts, but his jumper is something to watch going forward.
Luka got to the foul line on Tuesday night. The new rules had been limiting Doncic’s free throw attempts as he had not taken more than six in any game before attempting 12 versus the Heat. Getting to the line should help the 22-year-old increase his scoring and get his number back on track.
There is no time for the Dallas Mavericks to rest as they head to San Antonio to face the Spurs on Wednesday night. Luka Doncic had 25 points as his team topped their in-state rival on Oct. 28. Can the 22-year-old lead the Mavs to win over San Antonio on the second night of a back-to-back? Fans should be sure to tune in to find out.