DALLAS (AP) — It wasn’t the 38 points, the 11 rebounds or the 10 assists from Luka Doncic that most impressed his coach yesterday.
It was his poise. But the production didn’t hurt either.
Doncic scored 21 points in the third quarter and had his NBA-leading 11th triple-double of the season to lead the Dallas Mavericks past the Chicago Bulls 118-110 yesterday.
Doncic scored 17 of the Mavs’ 19 points in the final 5:35 of the third to break open what had been a tie game. His three gave Dallas a 72-69 lead it would not relinquish.
“I thought tonight the most impressive thing about his game was his demeanor and his disposition and his poise,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “Teams are sending athletic guys to be physical and banging him, and he really stayed level-headed.”
The 20-year-old scored at least 20 in a quarter for the second time this season. He hit three 3s over that decisive stretch and scored four other times on drives to the basket, including a rainbow floater that banked in as he was getting fouled. His only blip was missing the subsequent free throw.
“For me, all that matters is we got to win,” Doncic said. “We needed that win coming from a loss (in overtime to Charlotte last Saturday) that we should have won. My team is helping a lot. We just played tough from the start to the end and that’s how it’s got to be.”
Dwight Powell added 16 points for Dallas on six-for-six shooting from the floor and four-for-four from the line. The Mavericks played without Kristaps Porzingis for the fourth straight game due to right knee soreness.
Lauri Markkanen led the Bulls with 26 points, starting the game despite spraining his left ankle last Saturday night against Boston.