Kidd calls Doncic’s latest work a ‘walk in the park’

DALLAS — Luka Doncic, who admitted to being tired after two away games during the Dallas Mavericks 0-2 road trip this week, reported that he was back at work Saturday night. He attributed his energy to a great recovery day and “two, three, four” shots of espresso plus a Red Bull.

RESULTS: 42 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists in the Mavericks’ 117-112 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers at American Airlines Center.

“He had 42, three times, a little walk in the park,” Dallas coach Jason Kidd said.

Doncic didn’t do that kind of great production routine, but this was already the fourth 40-point Triple Point of the 23-year-old’s career. This ranks sixth in NBA history, according to ESPN Statistics and Information Research.

This performance came on the heels of Doncic holding less than 30 points for the first two times this season. His nine consecutive 30-point runs was the second longest such streak to start a season, placing second behind Wilt Chamberlain in just 23 games to start the 1962–63 campaign.

Kidd expressed his concern after back-to-back losses to the Orlando Magic and the Washington Wizards – when Doncic fired 17 of 50 off the ground – that the Mavis were asking too much of their star. Doncic leads the league in usage rate for the third consecutive season.

“He’s a human,” Kidd said. “But I think he lost twice in a row and he didn’t play well, the guys who saw him the most, he always bounced. That’s what he did tonight. He could have finished the match easily to get some rest, but he struggled and put us in a position to win.”

Doncic took control of the Blazers by attacking and dribbling. He was 13 out of 22 off the floor, with all but two of his buckets, and 15 out of 18 off the line, attempting more free throws than in the previous two games combined.

“I was just attacking the paint,” said Doncic, who ranks 10th in NBA history with 49 doubles. “You could see the last two games I didn’t get the free throw line and I wasn’t efficient because I didn’t go into the lane.”

The Blazers were intent on not allowing Doncic to hit them along his stretch, trapping him to force the ball out of his hands. His teammates responded by making 3 throws on four possessions in a row to take the lead in the final minutes, Doncic’s first outing started and the next three ball movement by him.

“Luca is doing an exceptional job being a problem for the defense,” said Muffs goalkeeper Spencer Dinwiddy, who played 20 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists through the first 3 seconds of the clutch wave. “He gets the ball twice, makes the correct reading, and passes the ball to the right.”

Doncic constantly created wide open 3-point appearances for his teammates throughout the night. Aside from Dinwiddie (6 of 8 in 3s), the Mavs struggled shooting from depth (14 of 43 overall). However, Doncic didn’t hesitate to let go of the ball with the match on the line, as the Maves who were poor in clutch positions shut down the Blazers.

“I paint the defense, I just attack the paint and knock it out, and they will be open throughout the game,” said Doncic, who leads the league with 34.3 points per game and ranks eighth in assists (8.1). “Just keep shooting. I always tell them, ‘Keep shooting.’ You’re open, you have to shoot. That’s it. I’m going to keep my trust in them. That’s easy for me.”

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