Jason Kidd asked for it and he got it.
Before Thursday’s game against the Houston Rockets, the Dallas Mavericks’ coach said he asked his team to give Luka Doncic some help, because they just can’t keep relying on their superstar point guard to give a superhuman effort night-in and night-out. Kidd’s plea obviously worked as Christian Wood, Dwight Powell and Tim Hardaway Jr. scored at least 18 points apiece as the Mavs rolled over the Rockets, 129-114, on Thursday night at American Airlines Center.
And, oh yeah, Doncic provided another superhuman performance as he chipped in with 35 points, 12 rebounds and 13 assists while collecting the 54th triple-double of his career as the Mavs improved to 20-16 while winning their season-high fifth game in a row.
Doncic was coming off of Tuesday’s dramatic showing against the New York Knicks when he scored a franchise-high 60 points, grabbed 21 rebounds and distributed 10 assists while becoming the first player in NBA history with a 60-20-10 triple-double. But on this night when the supporting cast answered the bell, it was a welcomed sight for the Mavs that they didn’t need Doncic to go into overdrive in order for them to pick up a win.
“I did ask a couple of players that we needed to step up and not wait for Luka, and they responded,” Kidd said. “We talked about it before the game and they understand the time or the stress we put on Luka, so we needed some guys to be able to get some easy baskets and take that stress off of him and they didn’t that tonight.”
Wood finished with 21 points, six rebounds and a season-high tying four blocks, Powell was 8-of-8 from the floor and collected a season-high 19 points and six rebounds in only 21 minutes, and Hardaway added 18 points. Also for the Mavs, Spencer Dinwiddie contributed 15 points and six assists.
It was a game where the Mavs were off to the races while racking up a season-high 25 fastbreak points, and holding Houston to just five fastbreak points.
Doncic tallied 14 of his points in the first quarter as he picked up where he left off on Tuesday when he completely shredded the Knicks’ defense. He also already had his triple-double secured less than seven minutes into the third quarter.
Rockets coach Stephen Silas said he was on a plane when he got word of Doncic’s theatrics against the Knicks. Silas also said he wound up watching the overtime portion of the Mavs-Knicks game, when Doncic continued to terrorize the Knicks.
Some of Doncic’s magic spilled over into Thursday when he scored 21 points in the first half, including a long three-pointer at the halftime buzzer that wowed the crowd and put Dallas up, 65-51 at the game’s midway point.
“Yeah, it is amazing,” Silas said. “He’s shooting more free throws than he ever has in his career and it’s helping his scoring.
“Yeah, it’s always been his passing that has been the thing that has really separated him from everybody else. But now he’s adding the scoring to the passing, which makes him just a nightmare to defend and prepare for.”
The Mavs went on to lead 99-79 after the third quarter. All that remained was for the Mavs’ fans to cheer on former popular Mavs center Boban Marjanovic, who scored six points in the final four minutes of mop-up duty.
In the meantime, the Mavs will take their five-game winning streak up I-35, where they’ll play the San Antonio Sours on Saturday night.