DALLAS – Luka Doncic's pursuit of Jason Kidd's triple-double record in Dallas will have to wait. That night it was about the 3-point shooting of the 20-year-old sensation.
Doncic spent the best eight-three points of his career on his way to 35 points, Tim Hardaway Jr. added 29 and the Mavericks defeated Portland 120-112 on Friday evening to avoid being haunted by the Trail Blazers.
Doncic had eight rebounds and seven assists at the young Slovenian's first chance to tie Kidd's Dallas career record of 21 triple doubles.
As long as the next one comes before February 28, Doncic will have at least three times as many triple doubles before the age of 21 as the next person on the list – Magic Johnson at seven.
"It's crazy," owner Mark Cuban said before the game. "To honor J-Kidd, the game is much faster now and a lot more points are scored. So everything is relative. What he has achieved is simply phenomenal."
The 3, which has surpassed Doncic’s best time of seven, was a 27-foot set for an 11-point lead in the last minute.
"We were banned at the end of the game," said Doncic, who was 8 out of 12 out of 3 to help the Mavericks finish 20 out of 47 from across the bow, compared to 9 out of 30 for Portland who jumped an impressive win in Houston.
Damian Lillard scored 34 points and Carmelo Anthony had 22 for the blazers that lost guard CJ McCollum to a sprained left ankle in the first half. Hassan Whiteside had 21 points and 18 rebounds.
The Mavericks had to do without Doncic's European buddy Kristaps Porzingis for the tenth time in succession because of pain in the right knee. The 7-foot-3 Latvian was excluded early in the day after a late scratch on Wednesday in Sacramento.
The Mavs kept Portland a safe distance in the final minutes after losing 121-119 in Dallas in October when the blazers got a key reversal in the final seconds challenge of a foul against Lillard.
The blazers won another challenge to undo a foul call to Whiteside while lagging at six in the fourth quarter, but it was just before Portland missed five shots in the last three minutes.
"Every time we play in Dallas we have one of those games," said coach Terry Stotts. “Very competitive, teams get leads and another team comes back. Doncic is a great player and if he makes his 3 he is even better. "
Lillard had only two points in the 1-6 shootout in the fourth quarter – after playing half of the game without McCollum when he questioned himself before the game about an illness.
"I think a little bit sick every time you are under the weather, it affects you on the ground," said Lillard, who was 13 out of 25 on the field and added 10 assists. "But I didn't go into the game and thought," Oh, I'm sick. "It was never an option for me to lean on."
Before Doncic's final 3, Hardaway hit one with the Blazers within five minutes after they failed at 17 in the third quarter. He was 9 out of 16 from the field and 5 out of 8 from afar.
"Hardaway was great all night, great on both sides of the ball," said coach Rick Carlisle. “Aggressive, dialed in, very focused and focused. The shooting was brilliant. "
Trail Blazers: F Mario Hezonja returned after missing two games with a back bruise. He scored seven points in 19 minutes. G Gary Trent Jr. was excluded due to illness in the second half.
Mavericks: Doncic was called in front of Whiteside for an obvious foul on an apparently accidental elbow when Doncic drove in the third quarter. Doncic was not happy with the review decision, but Whiteside missed both free throws. … Doncic was fouled twice with 3 pointers in the first half and missed the free throw the first time before scoring the second for the 4-point game.
The blazers will be excited to see how long McCollum will take a break. They played with Center Jusuf Nurkic all season, who averaged a double-double last season. Another great man, Zach Collins, has been eliminated since his injury in the first game against Dallas – the third of the season.
"Usually the second day is the worst, so see how it feels tomorrow," said McCollum, who was injured while driving when his foot landed on the striker from Dallas striker Maxi Kleber. "Get treatment tonight, try compressing it, and see how it feels."
Seth Curry scored 16 points, including the only two field goals for Dallas in a six-minute section of the fourth quarter. The buckets stood half a minute apart and answered baskets that drew Portland within five points. The blazers never came closer.
Trail Blazers: On Saturday in Oklahoma City to end a trip in two consecutive games and three games.
Mavericks: A three-day break without having to travel before the clippers take place on Tuesday.
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