DALLAS — It wasn’t the 38 points, the 11 rebounds or the 10 assists from Luka Doncic that most impressed his coach on Monday night.
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 Monday night.
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 3 gave Dallas a 72-69 lead it would not relinquish.
— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) January 7, 2020
“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 on 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 6-for-6 shooting from the floor and 4-for-4 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 Saturday night against Boston.
“I was proud of Markkanen fighting through. (He) played his heart out,” Chicago coach Jim Boylen said. “I thought our guys played really hard, competed.”
Chicago stayed close throughout the game, even after losing forward Wendell Carter Jr. to a right ankle sprain with 8:25 left in the third quarter. Chicago went on a quick 10-2 run after Carter’s injury to tie the score at 69 before Doncic took over.