NBA regular season

Luka Doncic, Mavericks win third straight game over Blazers this season


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Luka Doncic, Mavericks win third straight game over Blazers this season

TOO GOOD. Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) drives to the basket past Portland Trail Blazers forward Kris Murray (8) during the second half at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

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Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving combine for 70 points as the Dallas Mavericks reassert their mastery over the rebuilding Portland Trail Blazers

Luka Doncic scored a game-high 41 points to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a 126-97 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night (Thursday, January 4, Manila time) in Dallas.

Kyrie Irving added 29 points for the Mavericks, who rebounded from a season-worst 37-point loss to the host Utah Jazz on Monday. Tim Hardaway Jr. netted 14 points and Jaden Hardy chipped in 11 points as Dallas never trailed en route to its third win in as many tries against Portland this season.

Shaedon Sharpe paced the Trail Blazers with 16 points, and Anfernee Simons followed with 15. Matisse Thybulle scored 12 points for Portland, which has dropped the first two contests of its seven-game road trip. Jerami Grant and Toumani Camara each finished with 10 points.

The Mavericks started the game on a 9-0 run, beginning the onslaught they inflicted all night. Dallas used a 38-15 second-quarter run to match its largest first-half lead at 75-44.

Doncic then completed an and-one opportunity to give him 30 first-half points on 9-for-14 shooting from the floor, and gave Dallas its 31-point halftime advantage at 78-47. Irving complemented Doncic’s scoring with 22 points in the half, as Dallas shot 26-for-42 (61.9 percent) from the floor.

Portland, which struggled to find a rhythm throughout, made just 16-of-41 shots (39 percent) from the floor and committed 14 turnovers in the first half. Sharpe and Simons led the Trail Blazers with 11 points apiece.

The Trail Blazers were more competitive after the break, outscoring Dallas 27-24 in the third quarter, but they entered the fourth quarter trailing 102-74.

A pair of free throws from Mavericks rookie Olivier-Maxence Prosper gave Dallas its largest lead of the game, 118-80, with 5:56 left in the game.

Simons returned to the Trail Blazers lineup after a three-game absence due to an illness. The sixth-year shooting guard entered Wednesday averaging a team-high 27.1 points per game.

Wednesday was the front half of a two-game series in Dallas, with the teams to meet again on Friday. –

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