NBA

Doncic explodes for 53 points in Mavericks victory, Curry dominates in Oklahoma City

By Sports Desk January 31, 2023

Luka Doncic produced yet another spectacular performance on Monday as he carried the Dallas Mavericks with 53 points in a 111-105 home win against the Detroit Pistons.

The 23-year-old Slovenian returned to the lineup after missing the Mavericks' loss against the Utah Jazz on Saturday, and he looked on track for a big one from the jump.

Doncic scored 24 of Dallas' 30 points in the first quarter, but the team found themselves trailing at half-time as the rest of the Mavericks struggled on the offensive end.

By the end of the third frame, Dallas trailed by one as Doncic had 45 points and none of his team-mates had more than eight, but the Mavericks were able to hold the Pistons to 21 points in the final period to pull out the narrow victory.

Doncic shot 17-of-24 from the field for his 53 points – the second-most he has ever scored in an NBA game – while adding eight rebounds, five assists and two steals. He had 41 points more than his closest team-mate, Spencer Dinwiddie with 12.

It was the fifth time in his career Doncic has reached 50 points, and the fourth since December 23, after posting games of 50, 51 and 60 points in the last nine days of 2022.

With the win, the Mavericks improved their record to 27-25, sitting sixth in the Western Conference, while the Pistons are dead last in the East at 13-39.

Curry brings the thunder to OKC

Stephen Curry was at his best in the Golden State Warriors' 128-120 road win against the Oklahoma City Thunder, leading both teams in points and assists.

The reigning NBA Finals MVP finished with 38 points on 12-of-20 shooting, while also dishing 12 assists and snatching eight rebounds in a masterful display.

He was supported well by 'Splash Brother' Klay Thompson, who chipped in 28 points on 10-of-21 shooting, as the duo combined to hit 14-of-28 from three-point range.

They locked horns with the Thunder's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who maintained the fifth-best scoring average in the league (30.9 per game) by scoring 31 on 10-of-24 shooting with seven assists and three blocks.

Banchero shines in Fultz's return to Philly

Orlando Magic guard Markelle Fultz posted his first double-double of the season as the former number one overall pick made a winning return to Philadelphia.

In his first road game against the Philadelphia 76ers since being traded from the franchise in 2019, Fultz finished with 12 points and 10 assists, helping to ignite a 77-47 second-half demolition on the way to a 119-109 upset win.

The star for the Magic was their other top overall pick, as rookie Paolo Banchero scored a team-high 29 points on 11-of-22 shooting while adding nine rebounds, three assists, a block and a steal.

Joel Embiid was terrific for the 76ers, dropping 30 points (11-of-20), 11 rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks, but his scoring average for the season dropped to 33.6. He still leads the league, but Doncic (33.4) is hot on his tail.

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    Tyrese Haliburton added 17 points and 10 assists for Indiana, which broke open the game with a 20-4 run in the fourth quarter to earn a third consecutive win and hand Dallas its first defeat since Feb. 3.

    The Mavericks got 33 points from Luka Dončić and 29 from Kyrie Irving, but failed to get late stops as the Pacers shot a sizzling 63.2 per cent from the field over the final 12 minutes.

    Dallas cut an 11-point deficit early in the fourth quarter down to four when Irving got a jumper to fall with 8:56 to go to bring the Mavs within 104-100. 

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    Rookie Ben Sheppard scored nine of his 15 points in the fourth quarter and went 5 of 5 on 3-point attempts to lead Indiana's reserves. The Pacers also received a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double from Bennedict Mathurin, while Turner grabbed eight rebounds in addition to finishing 10 of 15 from the field. 

     

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    Giannis Antetokounmpo finished just short of a triple-double while amassing 30 points as the Milwaukee Bucks made head coach Doc Rivers' return to Philadelphia a triumphant one by rolling to a 119-98 win over the host 76ers.

    Rivers coached the 76ers for three seasons before being fired at the conclusion of the 2022-23 campaign after the team lost in the second round of the playoffs for the third consecutive year. The accomplished veteran was hired by Milwaukee after the Bucks dismissed Adrian Griffin on Jan. 26.

    Antetokounmpo added 12 rebounds and nine assists to help the Bucks keep pace with first-place Cleveland in the Central Division. The Bucks remain a game behind in the standings after the Cavaliers defeated the Washington Wizards on Sunday.

    Damian Lillard scored 11 of his 24 points in the first quarter as Milwaukee opened up a 35-21 lead after 12 minutes. Bobby Portis had 11 of his 17 points in the second as the Bucks stretched their advantage to 69-48 at half-time.

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    The Nuggets overcame a 16-point second-quarter deficit in this latest matchup, as the Warriors failed to hold on to a 56-40 lead they held 5 1/2 minutes before half-time and saw their three-game winning streak snapped.

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    Golden State shot just 29.4 per cent in the final period as the Nuggets maintained a lead of at least nine points the rest of the way.

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