DALLAS (AP) — Tim Hardaway Jr scored a season-high 36 points, Trey Burke did the same with 29 and Luka Doncic had another triple-double as the short-handed Dallas Mavericks beat the Orlando Magic 112-98 yesterday.
Hardaway and Burke took on expanded roles to help Dallas get over .500 for the first time this season with starters Josh Richardson and Dorian Finney-Smith and backup point guard Jalen Brunson sidelined by COVID-19 protocols.
The three Mavericks didn’t return with the team from Denver following a 124-117 overtime win Thursday, and coach Rick Carlisle wouldn’t discuss how long they would be out. One of the three, who hasn’t been identified, tested positive for the virus.
Hardaway and Burke made it a rather quiet second triple-double of the season for Doncic, combining to go 15 of 21 from three-point range while the star point guard had 20 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
“We got here at five o’clock off the whole thing with the Denver trip,” Carlisle said of the team skipping a morning shootaround because of the COVID-19 issues. “I was really impressed with our level of focus and concentration. And it all started with Luka. He understood exactly what the situation was.”
Burke, who missed the Denver trip because of an illness that Carlisle said was not coronavirus-related, was seven of eight from long range to help the Mavericks finish 20 of 40 against an Orlando team tied for the fewest 3s allowed per game coming in.
“He’s a dangerous scorer,” Carlisle said. “One reason I think he plays well for us is that he knows that we have great confidence in him. He’s a guy that can just get white hot out there.”
Nikola Vucevic had 30 points and 15 rebounds, and Aaron Gordon scored 16 points a night after missing a 42-point loss in Houston with a sore left hamstring as the Magic lost their ninth straight game in Dallas and fell to 2-4 since a 4-0 start.
It was Orlando’s second game without guard Markelle Fultz, out for the season with a knee injury, and Gordon said it was the first time he has played point guard since high school.
“The team needs me to step up and carry some of the load of initiating the offence,” Gordon said. “I’ve got to take it on my shoulders to get us more organised. There were some times that it was just chaotic.”