Doncic and the best Porzingis connect at Sabonis' house

Important victory for the Mavs, who break their losing streak, in Porzingis' best game after his return and on a day when Doncic was the distributor.

The Mavericks did not want to lose four games in a row but the visit to Indiana lengthened like a dangerous shadow on a team bruised by casualties (and the effect of COVID) and that has not yet recovered all the troops. But he is doing it. The Pacers are another team grounded for a scary season looking at pregame medical reports. One of the most attractive starts at the beginning of the course with the renewed proposal of his newcomer coach, Nate Bjorkgren, he was left without TJ Warren first, then he transferred Oladipo and his replacement, Caris LeVert, is out due to a liver cyst discovered in the medical review; And now Myles Turner is also missing. The center, one of the best defensive players in the NBA (4.2 blocks per game) has a broken hand.

So the Mavericks, who came to Indianapolis in need, were more whole, since they were not yet complete. And they won well (112-124), not without working hard. The Pacers devoured their advantages in good ends of the first (from -15 to 28-37) and second quarter (from 53-63 to 63-65) and seemed to totally change the temperature of the duel in the third, where they were put for the first time in advantage. The last one came at the beginning of the final quarter (94-93) just before a 0-8 (94-101) run that opened the final gap with, in addition, Luka Doncic on the bench. The Mavs return to 50% wins (7-7) and the Pacers are now 8-6. Let's hope to see his full plan (Brogdon, LeVert, Warren, Sabonis, Turner) before the season ends.

There was some good news for the Mavericks. The main one was that Kristaps Porzingis played (on the fifth attempt) the best game since his return: 27 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists and few forced shots from beyond the line of three (1/3). His 12/15 was the testimony of (it was seen last season) the impact that placing the Latvian as a pure center has on the Mavs attack. The problem is in the defense or, rather, in the overexertion that playing in that position (much more physical than the four) supposes for his knees. A risk that Carlisle will have to measure. Without Turner, the Mavs left Cauley-Stein for the second unit and bet on Porzingis as an anchor, nurtured by a Doncic who found him in good positions and who, on a bad shooting day (5/15, 0/3 in triples) served as a distributor and punished the superiorities offered by the Pacers' defense obsession with him. The Slovenian touched his knee a lot in the first quarter, he went to the locker room before the second set and played a very correct game, without the seismic shocks of other days but with a good reading of how the game was going and how he could win without many points out of your pocket. Another good news for the Mavs.

Still, Doncic finished with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists. His fifth triple-double of the season (all in the last eight games) and 30th of his career. He has equaled Ben Simmons (he is now in 14th place in all time) and is the second fastest to reach that figure: 146 games. Behind Magic Johnson (190) and in front the untouchable Oscar Robertson (75) .

Jalen Brunson, one of those who had been absent and an excellent rotation guard (it will probably end up being more than that), contributed 19 points and 4 assists, Trey Burke scored 22 fundamental points from the bench and rookie Josh Green played well as a starter , that little by little is growing and that, with a minimum, always puts a contagious attitude. The Mavs won well, with work and merit, to some Pacers in which Sabonis added 25 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists but, without Turner at his side, he suffered a lot against the size of Porzingis and Cauley-Stein. Brogdon scored 26 points, the secondary players (Sumner, McConnelll….) Gave minutes of great energy and Jeremy Lamb returned, almost a year later. The shooting guard, whose points will be very welcome in Indiana, scored 10 off the bench. But the Pacers lost on a night in which the Mavs gave themselves a necessary, and deserved, respite.

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