NBA regular season

Luka Doncic lights up Suns with 50-15 line on Christmas to notch scoring milestone


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Luka Doncic lights up Suns with 50-15 line on Christmas to notch scoring milestone

BIG NIGHT. Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) celebrates as Dallas Mavericks forward Derrick Jones Jr. (55) dunks against the Phoenix Suns during the first half at Footprint Center.

Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Mavericks star Luka Doncic joins the NBA's 10,000-point club, matching Hall of Famer Bob McAdoo for seventh fastest in league history

Luka Doncic recorded 50 points, 15 assists, 6 rebounds, 4 steals, and 3 blocks, and also went over 10,000 career points while leading the Dallas Mavericks to a 128-114 victory over the host Phoenix Suns on Monday, December 25 (Tuesday, December 26, Manila time).

Doncic reached 50 for the sixth time in the regular season and made eight three-pointers as Dallas won its second straight after losing four of its previous five contests. Derrick Jones Jr. added 23 points, Dereck Lively II had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 18 points for the Mavericks.

“I’m feeling good,” Doncic said postgame on ESPN. Then referencing the fact that Lively was just back in the lineup after an injury absence, he added, “We missed Lively for (four) games, we missed (Kyrie Irving) I don’t know how many games, so we are far away from our potential. … But ‘next-man-up’ mentality, and I can’t wait until (Irving) comes back.”

Phoenix’s Grayson Allen scored a season-high 32 points and matched his career-best of eight three-pointers. Chimezie Metu had career-bests of 23 points and 19 rebounds for the Suns, who have lost nine of their past 12 games.

Devin Booker contributed 20 points and 10 assists, Kevin Durant scored 16 points, and Eric Gordon had 14 for the Suns.

Doncic topped 10,000 points by draining a 34-foot, straightaway three-pointer with 4:52 left in the first quarter. He reached 10,000 points in 358 games, matching Hall of Famer Bob McAdoo for seventh fastest in NBA history. Wilt Chamberlain holds the record of 236 games.

The Mavericks were without Kyrie Irving (heel) for the ninth straight game.

Dallas connected on 53.6% of its field goal attempts and was 16 of 44 (36.4%) from behind the arc.

Phoenix shot 44.4% from the field, including 14 of 41 (34.1%) from three-point range.

The Suns trailed by 13 early in the third quarter but moved ahead behind Allen, who exploded with 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting in the period. He made five three-pointers in the quarter.

One of Allen’s treys gave Phoenix its first lead of the night at 84-82 with 3:38 left in the third. Allen knocked down another one exactly one minute later and the Suns eventually took a 92-91 edge into the final quarter.

Phoenix led by 6 points early in the fourth quarter before Doncic made two three-pointers in 68 seconds during a 15-5 burst to help the Mavericks lead 106-102 with 8:08 remaining.

Hardaway’s steal and dunk made it 124-112 with 1:32 remaining. Doncic hit a short jumper with 29.5 seconds left to reach 50 as the Mavericks closed it out.

Doncic had more points (24) in the first half than the combined output of Booker (11) and Durant (nine) as Dallas led 64-54 at the break. –

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