MEXICO CITY – Luka Doncic's Spanish was impeccable. His game was pretty good as well.
Doncic scored 41 points and scored his eighth triple-double this season. Seth Curry scored a season high of 30 points and the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Detroit Pistons 122-111 on Thursday night at the inaugural NBA Mexico games.
Doncic finished the game with 12 rebounds and 11 assists for the Mavericks, who scored the best 24-game start at 17: 7 since the release of the same brand at this time of the 2014-15 season.
"He took us apart," Piston coach Dwane Casey said.
Curry scored 18 points for Dallas in the second quarter alone. The Mavericks were seven behind in the first half, 14-0 before the break and were eventually led by up to 24.
Curry was Dallas' first reserve, scoring 30 points on the bench since Jason Terry scored 34 points against San Antonio on January 29, 2012.
"Even as Detroit played in the zone, our boys tried to find Seth for the shot," said Maverick coach Rick Carlisle. "Really happy for him. He did everything. He drove it. He shot it. During the breaks he made some good games. He made some good passes. He contributed a lot tonight. "
Doncic's eight triple doubles already equal his total last season. Kristaps Porzingis added 20 points for the underdogs, who overtook Detroit 52-34.
"I think we're getting better every day," said Doncic. "He's getting better, I'm getting better, and with both of us, the team is getting a lot better."
Andre Drummond led the Pistons with 23 points and 15 rebounds. Derrick Rose scored 19 points and Markieff Morris added 16 for Detroit, who received 12 from Tony Snell and 10 apiece from Christian Wood and Blake Griffin.
"Back to the drawing board," said Casey. "Dallas is a great team. Rick did a damn good job with this team. But we missed a lot of shots that we normally do. And then I thought defensively, we would have missed a lot of rotations. "
It was the 29th game in Mexico since 1992, most in a country other than the US or Canada at that time. That night, the NBA announced that Capitanes – a Mexico City-based team of the country's top professionals – is playing league – will be added to the G League starting next season.
"Playing outside was amazing," said Drummond. "The atmosphere was excellent."
Doncic happily addressed the crowd-pregame in Mexico City in flawless Spanish before handing over the microphone to Griffin. "Hola, Mexico" was the extent of Griffin's Spanish offer, as he grinned and a very amused Doncic stood a few yards away.
The night did not get much easier for Griffin from there: he scored only 3 for 16 and 1 for 10 out of 3-point range.
Meanwhile, Doncic continued to score his second 40-point triple-double of the season. He is the first player in NBA history to have played several triple-double matches with 40 points before his 21st birthday. He celebrates his birthday on February 28th.
Mavericks: It was the third time that Dallas played a regular season game outside the US or Canada – the Mavs played in Houston in 1997-98 and Phoenix in 2016-17, both in Mexico City. … NBA Commissioner Adam Silver made a typo at a press conference before the match and introduced Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum as "Mark Cuban" – the owner of the Mavs.
Pistons: Before Thursday, Detroit's only regular season game outside the US or Canada was January 17, 2013 – a defeat by New York in London. … This was the second chance for Detroit to win in three games this season. The Pistons had won twice in a row before losing to Milwaukee on 4 December, winning twice before Thursday before Thursday.
Drummond was a playful decision as the Pistons said he had an allergic reaction to an avocado. He had a swelling around his eyes on Wednesday, but he played as planned.
San Antonio plays against Phoenix in Mexico City on Saturday. It is considered a home game for the suns. This is the first time the NBA has brought four teams to the matches in Mexico.
Mavericks: Host Miami on Saturday.
Pistons: Visit Houston on Saturday.
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