Luka Doncic has first first-half triple-double in Mavericks' 147-97 victory over Jazz
DALLAS (AP) — Luka Doncic had 40 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists playing only three periods after the first first-half triple-double of his career in the Dallas Mavericks’ 147-97 victory over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.
Doncic had his 60th career triple-double to move past Larry Bird and into sole possession of ninth place overall on the career list.
“Pretty amazing,” said Doncic, who sported a thin headband for the first time only days after becoming a first-time father. “I don’t know what to say, honestly. We all know who Larry Bird was, so it’s pretty special.”
Doncic shot 14 of 25 from the floor, 6 of 12 on 3-pointers. He played 32 minutes, slightly above his per-game average.
“Luka set the tone with that, knocking down shot after shot after shot … after shot after shot after shot,” Tim Hardaway Jr. said. “I thought he was going to go 50-20-20.”
Doncic went into the final 1:30 of the second quarter with 29 points, nine rebounds and nine assists. He grabbed a rebound with 1:11 left following a missed free throw by Keonte George. Twelve seconds later, he lofted a pass inside to Dereck Lively II, whose dunk produced his 10th assist.
With real-time statistics for players on the court displayed on the American Airlines Center video boards, the crowd was following Doncic’s progress and erupted in cheers following Lively’s dunk. It was the first 25-point first-half triple-double in NBA history.
Doncic admitted he, too, was aware of his numbers in the half’s closing minutes.
“I was going for the (assist on the) last field goal, and the assist,” he said.
It was the Mavericks’ highest-scoring game this season and two points short of their highest-scoring game ever in regulation.
Dallas’ 52-point lead in the closing minutes was one point short of the franchise record set in November 2014 in a 123-70 win over Philadelphia. The Mavericks shot a season-best 55.4% from the floor.
They went into play leading the NBA averaging 15.9 3-pointers per game and hit 22 on 49 attempts.
For the Jazz, it matched the franchise’s second-worst loss behind only a 56-point defeat to Milwaukee (158-102) in March 1979.
“That was an absolutely horrendous performance,” Jazz coach Will Hardy said. “It seemed like the Mavericks were moving at a different pace than we were from start to finish.”
Doncic finished the first half shooting 10 of 17 from the floor, 6 of 10 from 3-point distance in 20 minutes.
Doncic’s 60 triple-doubles have come in 349 regular-season games. Bird played 897.
Kyrie Irving had 26 points for Dallas. The Mavericks lost their previous two games, both at home, while missing one of their star guards: Doncic (Friday vs. Memphis, birth of child) and Irving (Saturday vs. Oklahoma City, foot injury).
Ochai Agbaji led the Jazz with 21 points. Utah played without top scorers Lauri Markkanen and Jordan Clarkson. Markkanen, also its leading rebounder, has a hamstring injury and has missed six consecutive games. Clarkson sat out for the fourth time in five games with an injured thigh.
The Jazz have the most road losses in the NBA this season with 10 in 11 games.
The game was added to the schedule last week after both teams were eliminated from the NBA’s inaugural In-Season Tournament. Each team came in following three days off.
Jazz: Host the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night.
Mavericks: At Portland on Friday night.
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