Dane Delgado

Dane Delgado is a writer for NBC Sports.

Luka Doncic notches another historic triple-double in win over Cavaliers

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CLEVELAND — Luka Doncic posted his second straight triple-double – and third of the season – with 29 points, 14 rebounds and a career-high tying 15 assists, powering the Dallas Mavericks to a 131-111 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night.

Kristaps Porzingis added 18 points and nine rebounds and Boban Marjanovic had 12 points and eight boards off the bench for the Mavericks, who are 3-0 on the road for the first time since their championship season of 2010-2011.

The reigning Rookie of the Year completed his triple-double with 3:44 left in the third quarter on an assist to Marjanovic.

The 6-foot-7 Slovenian had 11 points, four boards and five assists during the period as Dallas built an 86-76 advantage.

Two nights earlier, Doncic collected 31 points, 13 rebounds and 15 assists in a 119-110 overtime loss to the Lakers. Doncic became the youngest player in NBA history to record consecutive 25-point triple-doubles, besting the record of a then 21-year-old Magic Johnson from back in 1981.

His 11 career triple-doubles before the age of 21 are an NBA record, four more than Magic Johnson’s previous mark.

Kevin Love had a season-high 29 points and eight rebounds and Jordan Clarkson scored 17 points for the Cavaliers, who lost for the first time in three home games under coach John Beilein. Cleveland seized a 23-15 lead as Love scored 13 points in the first seven minutes.

Doncic sank his first five shots, including three 3-pointers, and delivered a highlight-worthy, behind-the-back pass while driving down the lane to Porzingis for a trey.

Neither team attempted a free throw in the first half until Cleveland center Tristan Thompson went to the line with 38 seconds left in the second quarter. Seth Curry subsequently shot a pair on the Mavericks’ final possession.

Thompson had 11 points and 12 rebounds, reaching double figures in the latter for the sixth game in a row to start the season.

Jalen Brunson scored 14 points and Curry had 13 as Dallas had seven players score 10 or more points.

 

Bucks put together montage of fans eating food in reverse (VIDEO)

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NBA in game operations teams come up with some great things, and the folks over at the Milwaukee Bucks are usually among the best in the league. Unfortunately, their most recent effort may have missed the mark.

In a video that made the rounds on social media this week, a Bucks in-game arena feed showed a montage of Milwaukee fans eating food in the arena… in reverse.

The results of these videos is typically very unsettling, but seeing a bunch of them back-to-back was even worse.

Via Twitter:

While this is certainly funny, I wonder how fans feel about being roasted by their own a team? The internet is forever, and going to a paid, private event as a fan and then having that team immortalize you burping up a hot dog so the social team can get a few hundred retweets is sort of wack.

Of course, I am probably in the minority about this. Most probably believe this video is funny — perhaps even the people seen on screen spitting out ice cream back onto their spoons feel this way as well. For now, I’ll let you be the judge.

David Fizdale says Marcus Morris’ leadership has been ‘unbelievable’

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Things were a little awkward between Marcus Morris and the San Antonio Spurs this summer. Initially a deal was struck between Morris and Gregg Popovich’s team, but some hinky things went down and eventually Morris wound up signing with the New York Knicks.

At the heart of this back-and-forth was, of course, money. Popovich got a little dig into Morris’ side already this season, commenting that both the player and the Knicks acted in an unprofessional way.

Meanwhile, Morris is now an important cog for a New York team that carries more forwards than good sense. That’s motivated Knicks coach David Fizdale to praise Morris and his leadership early into the season.

Via SNY:

“His leadership has been unbelievable,” Fizdale said. “I just didn’t know that about him going into it. I knew he was a tough guy, and I knew he could play. The way he’s been leading has just been really unbelievable. One of the better leaders I’ve been around in this game. The way he approaches the guys, the way he never goes off on the guys, he just always kind of calls it for what it is. He never does it where he’s pointing fingers. He always owns it first and then tries to make sure he’s leading the group.”

The Knicks need to find a way to cultivate young talent after missing out on big-time free agents this summer. Morris is a good locker room guy, and that’s why the Spurs wanted him. Perhaps his actions cast some doubt on whether he could be trusted long-term, but for now it appears that Fizdale is happy with how he has lead this team.

Of course, all that leadership hasn’t met much. As a publication, the Knicks are at the bottom of the Eastern Conference at 1-5.

LeBron James says Luka Doncic ‘just plays the game the right way’

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The Dallas Mavericks have a good one in Luka Doncic. The second-year player went head-to-head with the Los Angeles Lakers and LeBron James earlier this week, with both notching a triple-double but Doncic just narrowly missing the victory, 119-110 in OT.

It was a thrilling back-and-forth or both players. Fourteen years that separate the two in age, and James knows Doncic is the new generation that will take over his throne.

To that end, folks have made some comparisons about the similarities between James and Doncic. Both are large forwards who like to pass the ball, but who can shoot and dribble as well.

For his part, James said that he likes about Doncic plays the game and he thinks there’s a lot of talent for the Mavericks to exploit going forward.

Via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin:

“I don’t really get into the one-on-one battle,” James said. “Obviously he’s a great young talent, I love his game, his ability to not only create shots for himself, but you guys know I love the fact that he can get great looks for his teammates. That’s what I thrive on, that’s what I’ve always believed in, and he just plays the game the right way.”

Questions about weight aside, Doncic does appear to be one of the better, more interesting guys to watch in the NBA. The Mavericks should absolutely be a League Pass team for a lot of unattached fans, and how they rise in the Western Conference this season will be of great interest.

For now, Doncic has to feel pretty good about the high praise from one of the game’s greatest players.

Kyrie Irving: ‘True leadership comes from the way your actions speak’

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Is Kyrie Irving aloof? Is he a good leader? Is he moody? Depending on who you talk to, this seems hard to pin down. No matter what, the reality is that Irving has gone from place-to-place and been dogged with the same kind of criticisms at each stop. It’s hard to ignore that common thread.

Things already started off a little awkward with the Brooklyn Nets this year. A report from Jackie MacMullan said that Irving had already been moody, particularly during the Nets’ trip China. That report was refuted by players and coaches, but they have a mutual interest in making sure that the ego of Irving goes unbruised.

Meanwhile, these reports have once again called into question Irving’s leadership. When asked about how he expects to lead Brooklyn this year, Irving told the Athletic that it was more about how he acted then how he spoke.

Seriously.

Via Joe Vardon of the Athletic:

“True leadership comes from the way your actions speak,” Irving told The Athletic. “That’s the biggest thing. It’s just not trying to overemphasize what leadership means all the time and overexplain it, in terms of, ‘This is me as a leader.’ Because truth be told, there is not just one leader in the locker room.

“It’s a lot deeper when it’s just a team basketball game, and it’s just the realization of that.”

This reads as does most of what we hear from Irving. That is, like a plain thing explained to you in the manner of a moody 14-year-old who thinks he’s on the cutting edge of intellect because he reads Faust listens to Dinosaur Jr. Real Brain Genius type stuff.

Anyone who has been around competent leadership knows that’s not just about the rah-rah stuff. It’s about leading with your actions, and having the kind of confidence internally that projects to others following you on a path. Irving explaining that isn’t exactly groundbreaking.

Of course, reports of moodiness are not just about Irving not speaking to his teammates. It’s about the action of distance, and how that alienates others. Who knows how things are going to go in Brooklyn this year. Irving keeps scoring gobs of points, but that was expected. The Nets are just 2-4 to start the season, and most feel they should be a playoff team. If they can’t meet that mark, it won’t matter whether Irving spoke.

Winning games is about action, and right now Brooklyn needs more of it.