Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving have proved any doubters wrong after leading the Dallas Mavericks to a seventh straight win.

That is the opinion of coach Jason Kidd, whose Dallas team overcame the Phoenix Suns 123-113 on Thursday.

Doncic had 41 points, nine rebounds and 11 assists, while Irving finished with 29 points.

Dallas have been without at least one of Doncic or Irving in 27 games this season due to injuries, but the duo have now started in the last seven games.

"I think it answers the questions that those two co-exist quite well," Kidd said.

"I think it just shows again, our health, our energy, everything's positive right now. I think the guys are having fun. You can see that energy on the floor.

"They want to win, and you can see that energy on the floor. Those guys are cheering for one another.

"There's going to be mistakes, there's going to be missed shots, but it's on to the next play.

"You can see that. We were on a roll and then we go on [the All-Star] break. Sometimes you can come out flat, but I thought the guys did a great job tonight."

Devin Booker led the Suns with 35 points, though Phoenix were unable to keep Doncic or Irving down.

"You just have to know that, especially after he makes one, that the next one is coming up," Booker said of Irving.

"He's a great player and hard to guard. We definitely could have limited some of those transition looks."

The Suns have lost two of their last four games, and are now one place below the Mavericks in the Western Conference.

"We didn't start the third quarter with enough attentiveness," Suns coach Frank Vogel said.

"We did get a little too stagnant offensively. We had some breakdowns with what we were supposed to do. That led to some tough possessions."

Dallas Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd heaped praise on Luka Doncic after his franchise-record 73 points helped them past the Atlanta Hawks on Friday, declaring: "He is the game plan".

The Mavs arrived at State Farm Arena looking to halt a three-game losing run, and Doncic ensured they did exactly that with a historic performance in their 148-143 victory.

He tied Wilt Chamberlain and David Thompson for the fourth-best return in NBA history. Chamberlain also holds the scoring record with a 100-point game and also had a 78-point performance to his name, while Kobe Bryant racked up 81 points against the Toronto Raptors in 2006.

Doncic's incredible performance came just four days after the Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid brought up 70 points in a win over the San Antonio Spurs.

Kidd was more than happy to let Doncic take centre-stage and believes the Slovenian will have been frustrated to miss out on a triple-double after adding 10 rebounds and seven assists.

"He is the game plan," Kidd said of Doncic. "The three assists are what he's probably thinking about in the locker room to have a triple-double!"

Doncic himself was focused purely on helping Dallas end their slump, saying: "We've been struggling lately, so the mindset was to go and get a win. We played great."

He was not the only player to put in a huge performance on Friday, with Devin Booker scoring 62 points for the Phoenix Suns, only to finish on the losing side against the Indiana Pacers. 

Obi Toppin's putback broke a tie with just under four seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, guiding Indiana to a 133-131 victory and ruining Booker's remarkable display.

"He's a great player," Toppin said of Booker. "But in that fourth quarter, we decided to hit and send another defender to get the ball out of his hands and just scramble out of that. They didn't like it at all. I think it was their worst quarter.

"We needed points so our objective was just to get involved, crash the boards. I saw Bennedict [Mathurin] try to finish over someone and then Pascal [Siakam] was right in front of me, so I just grabbed the ball and put it in."

Jason Kidd claimed Luka Doncic is "taken for granted" before he walked out of his press conference following the Dallas Mavericks' win over the Houston Rockets.

The Mavericks, whose owner Mark Cuban is reportedly close to selling a major stake in the franchise, beat the Rockets 121-115 on Tuesday to prevent Houston from advancing in the NBA's in-season tournament.

Doncic, who played just three days after sustaining a thumb sprain, had 41 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, playing a key role at both ends of the court.

"Sometimes we take him for granted, and we shouldn't," said Kidd. "He's about winning, too. It just happens that he's a walking triple-double.

"Tonight, he had some great looks, but I think he's not looked upon, or you guys haven't really talked about his defense. He's competing defensively. He's taking the challenge.

"But again, when you're that good, someone has to pick at something. Unfortunately, you guys don't see the game totally all the time but he's competing defensively.

"For him to get on the floor, it just shows that he's all about winning, too."

Defiance was a theme of Kidd's post-game news conference, as the coach lashed out at reporters for being overly critical of the time it has taken Kyrie Irving and Doncic to form a formidable partnership.

"Maybe it's the things that you guys thought should have happened day one. It takes time – failing is alright, it's not a bad thing to fail for a pro athlete, as you can learn and get better from it," he said.

"Those two are the best in the world and we feel very comfortable with those two having the ball. Sometimes it goes in, sometimes it doesn't – and we learn from it.

"Write some positive s***. It's alright to write positive stuff, people will read positive s***. You don't have to be negative, the world's already negative enough. Let's see some positive stuff on positive people who are doing their job on a nightly basis."

Irving finished with 27 points, with 22 of those coming in the second half.

"Yeah, he can go off [at] anytime," Doncic said of Irving.

"There were a couple of insane layups, which isn't insane for us because we see it all the time. But his play has been amazing, and his leadership has been amazing. We are just happy to have him on our team."

Nikola Jokic opened his season with another triple-double and Jamal Murray scored 21 points as the Denver Nuggets defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 119-107 on Tuesday after raising their NBA championship banner.

Jokic had 29 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists for his 106th career triple-double, which trails only Russell Westbrook (198), LeBron James (107) and Jason Kidd (107) on the career list.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 20 points, Aaron Gordon added 15 and Michael Porter Jr. contributed 12 points and 12 rebounds for Denver, which went 16-4 in the playoffs last season, including a sweep of the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals.

All of Los Angeles’ starters scored in double figures, led by James’ 21 points in 29 minutes as his playing time was being monitored at the start of his 21st season.

Denver led by as many as 18 points, but the Lakers whittled the lead down to three on James’ 3-pointer with 9:42 remaining.

James’ basket got Los Angeles within 103-96 with just over five minutes to play, but the Nuggets responded with a 10-3 run featuring 3s by Murray and Porter.

Booker sparks Suns past Warriors

Devin Booker scored 32 points and the Phoenix Suns got past the Golden State Warriors 108-104 in Kevin Durant’s return to the Bay Area in a back-and-forth season opener for the Pacific Division powerhouses.

Booker shot 13 of 21 and had eight assists and six rebounds, while Jusuf Nurkic added 14 points and 14 boards – including a key driving layup in the closing seconds - in his Suns debut.

Josh Okogie sank a baseline jumper with 69 seconds left, and Eric Gordon drained a 3-pointer with 45 seconds to play before Stephen Curry’s 3 drew Golden State within 106-104 with 31 seconds to go.

Nurkic’s layup made it a four-point game and Paul’s missed 3 ended the Warriors’ hopes.

Durant scored 18 points on 7-of-22 shooting with 10 rebounds in his first game in front of Bay Area fans since leaving the Warriors after the 2019 NBA Finals.

Curry had 27 points and Chris Paul had 14 points, nine assists and six rebounds in his Warriors debut facing his most recent team.

The NBA is investigating the Dallas Mavericks' team selection from their 115-112 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Friday.

The defeat ensured Dallas miss out on the play-in tournament but retain their number 10 slot in the 2023 draft lottery, still owing the New York Knicks a top-10 protected pick as part of a 2019 trade to acquire Kristaps Porzingis.

The Mavericks left out Kyrie Irving, Josh Green, Tim Hardaway Jr, Maxi Kleber and Christian Wood, while Luka Doncic only played the first quarter at American Airlines Center.

Mavs coach Jason Kidd had called it an "organisational decision", later adding: "It's not so much waving the white flag. It's [that] decisions sometimes are hard in this business. We're trying to build a championship team. With this decision, this is maybe a step back. But hopefully it leads to going forward."

Owner Mark Cuban had previously denied his team would deliberately tank, saying on Wednesday: "The guys don't want to do that. Players aren't going to do that. Players don't do that."

However, multiple reports on Saturday said the league would be looking into the matter, citing a statement from NBA spokesperson Mike Bass on Saturday.

"The NBA commenced an investigation today into the facts and circumstances surrounding the Dallas Mavericks' roster decisions and game conduct with respect to last night's Chicago Bulls-Mavericks game, including the motivations behind those actions," Bass said.

Kidd has already confirmed his star players will also not feature in Dallas' final game of the season against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday.

Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving concedes his side's downward spiral since his trade has been "emotionally draining" but says there is still a glimmer of hope for their playoff aspirations.

The Mavs slumped to their third straight loss with Sunday's 132-130 overtime defeat against the Atlanta Hawks, also leaving them with one win from their past eight games.

The result means the Mavs sit 11th in the Western Conference with a 37-42 record, outside the final play-in tournament spot, occupied by the Oklahoma City Thunder (38-41).

OKC suffered a 128-118 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Sunday to keep the Mavs in contention but the clock is ticking for a franchise who had championship designs when they traded in Irving in February to play alongside MVP contender Luka Doncic.

The Mavs are a lowly 7-12 with Irving since the trade and the All-Star guard said their struggles had been "emotionally draining".

"We've just been losing tough ones, emotionally draining, but at the same time we're professionals," Irving told reporters.

"I think the fun part of it is we still have a glimmer of hope, a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel of where we can still sneak in.

“But at the same time, I’m at peace with just our effort, with spurts throughout the games. We’ve just got to be able to finish better as a team."

Mavs head coach Jason Kidd, who is under pressure to keep his job, said the team were now playing "catch-up" given their play-in predicament with three games left.

"We know the situation we're in," Kidd said. "We're playing catch-up. We've got to find a way to win and right now we're coming up short when we need to win games. Unfortunately we're not winning right now."

Irving was almost the hero against the Hawks, attempting to steal the ball off Trae Young at 130-130 in the final seconds of OT, only for the referee to call a foul.

Kidd and Irving argued the call as Young hit both of the game-winning free-throws, with the coach calling it a "wild ending".

Irving added: "I know those refs will look back on it and won't be too happy with that call. But it could’ve gone either way. I thought I was great position but that foul cost us game practically."

The NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks produced a statement win ahead of the playoffs led by Giannis Antetokounmpo as they defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 117-104 on Sunday.

Antetokounmpo scored 33 points with 14 rebounds, six assists and three blocks, bringing up his 31st 30-point double-double this season, as they improved to 56-22 at Fiserv Forum.

The win moves Milwaukee closer to clinching the Eastern Conference, with the Boston Celtics (54-24) in the second spot ahead of the 76ers (51-27) in third with four games to play.

Boston, who routed the Bucks 140-99 three nights ago, have the head-to-head tiebreaker on Milwaukee.

The Bucks shot at 57.5 per cent from the field, led by Antetokounmpo's 13-of-17 shooting, while Khris Middleton started strong for 19 points. Brook Lopez, Jrue Holiday and Bobby Portis contributed 21, 18 and 18 points respectively.

Middleton's hot start fuelled the Bucks' 41-26 first-quarter lead and they never looked back, with the 76ers closing to within four points in the third period, before the Bucks pulled away again as Antetokounmpo scored the final seven points of that quarter.

MVP candidate Joel Embiid scored 28 points on 11-of-25 shooting from the field with nine rebounds and five assists.

Tyrese Maxey added a team-high 29 points with six-of-seven from beyond the arc. James Harden was contained to 11 points with six assists.

Thompson spurns game-winning attempt

Klay Thompson missed two game-winning three-point attempts in the final five seconds as the fast-finishing Golden State Warriors lost 112-110 to the Denver Nuggets without Nikola Jokic.

The Warriors had rallied from nine points down in the final two minutes to earn Thompson a three-point shot for victory from Stephen Curry's pass, but his initial attempt rimmed out, before a follow-up was blocked by Aaron Gordon.

Michael Porter Jr (29 points and 11 rebounds) and Jamal Murray (26 points and eight assists) impressed in Jokic's absence.

Thompson and Curry finished with 25 and 21 points each, with the former making five-of-16 from three-point range as Golden State shot nine-of-42 from beyond the arc as a team. Golden State fall to sixth with a 41-38 record with the Los Angeles Lakers right behind them.

LeBron matches Kidd for triple-doubles

Anthony Davis scored 40 points and LeBron James recorded a triple-double as the Lakers claimed their third straight win to boost their playoff hopes, downing the Houston Rockets 134-109.

James finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists to draw level wit Jason Kidd in fourth overall (107) for most triple-doubles in NBA history. Russell Westbrook (198) has the most, ahead of Oscar Robertson (181) and Magic Johnson (138).

Davis scored 27 of his 40 points in the first half, with the Lakers improving their record to 40-38 to sit seventh in the West with four games to go. The fifth-placed Los Angeles Clippers (41-38) lost to the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday, with the two LA sides to meet on Wednesday.

Jason Kidd praised the performance of Luka Doncic after the point guard led the Dallas Mavericks to a much-needed away win against the Indiana Pacers.

Doncic was cleared to play against the Pacers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse after his one-game suspension for a 16th technical of the season was rescinded earlier on Monday.

The four-time NBA All-Star starred with 25 points (eight-of-17 shooting), seven rebounds and six assists to guide the Mavs to a 127-104 victory, snapping their four-game losing streak.

"That's what he does," coach Kidd said. "He's one of the best players in the league at finding guys and then he's able to catch and shoot – not just once but multiple times."

The Mavericks' season had been hanging by a thread following defeats to the Memphis Grizzlies, the Golden State Warriors, and the Charlotte Hornets back-to-back.

But with Doncic stepping up and Kyrie Irving chipping in with 16 points (seven-of-11), six assists, three blocks and two steals, Dallas are now 37-39 for the season.

Kidd's side are a half-game behind the Los Angeles Lakers (37-38) and Oklahoma City Thunder (37-38) as they battle it out for the last play-in spot.

 

The 33-43 Pacers have now lost three straight and six of eight, meanwhile, and former Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle accepts his side had little chance with Doncic clearly in the mood.

"It's tough," Carlisle said. "Luka makes a couple of passes that were unbelievable, that only one player in the world can make."

Doncic's dazzling display proved the difference, but Carlisle – who has a league-leading 11 technicals this season – was not surprised the league allowed him to play.

"I don't know how many I have myself, I just know I've surpassed the five the team can pay for," he said. 

"They're not cheap, so if you're going to get them, you better get your money's worth."

The Mavs have another road trip at the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, while the Pacers host Eastern Conference leaders Milwaukee Bucks on the same day.

Jason Kidd was hopeful Luka Doncic would have his one-game suspension overturned as the Dallas Mavericks work to "stop the bleeding" after a fourth straight defeat.

The Mavericks' past two losses have come against a 25-51 Charlotte Hornets team who looked to have shut down for the season.

And Sunday's 110-104 reverse, which left Dallas 11th in the West at 36-39, included a further costly setback.

Doncic received his 16th technical foul of the season after directing a profanity at an official following a correct no-call, meaning he is set to be banned for Monday's game at the Indiana Pacers.

The Mavs superstar had been the centre of attention following the previous game, too, outlining his "really frustrating" situation on a misfiring team.

Doncic responded with 40 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, but his suspension now presents a problem for a team who cannot afford to throw away another game in an intense playoff chase.

"You're never going to replace him. It's going to take a group," coach Kidd said.

"It's 'next man up' mentality with Timmy [Hardaway Jr.] and look at [Jaden] Hardy and Josh [Green] participating and playing more minutes, [Justin] Holiday playing more minutes.

"But hopefully it's rescinded. I didn't think it was warranted, but we'll see what happens.

"If he is suspended, we have to move on with the next guy, so Timmy, coming back from the flu, was really good tonight, Holiday's minutes were positive, Maxi [Kleber] did a great job, a lot of great jobs.

"I thought Luka, again, being able to do what he did after his press conference... I thought he would have a big game and he did.

"It's just unfortunate we let these two games go. We've got to figure out how to stop the bleeding."

Dallas Mavericks coach Jason Kidd slammed his side's performance as "awful" and "dogs***" and says they deserved to be booed during their 117-109 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Friday.

Despite having star duo Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic available, the Mavericks were brushed aside by the under-manned Hornets who are already out of playoff contention.

The defeat significantly hurts the Mavs' own playoff aspirations, slipping outside the play-in tournament spots to 11th in the Western Conference with a 36-38 record after three straight losses.

The home crowd at American Airlines Center made their feelings known, booing the team during a third-quarter timeout when they trailed by 18 points.

"We probably should have been booed in the first quarter," Kidd told reporters. "The effort in the play. They have a right, they paid to see a better show, it wasn’t there until the second half.

"It was awful, dogs***. Understanding the talk before the game with what we're playing for, playoffs or championship, to come out in that first quarter and give up 37, the interest level wasn't high. It was just disappointing."

The Mavs are 7-12 since Irving was traded in from the Brooklyn Nets in February to make them a championship contender. Dallas are 3-7 when Irving and Luka Doncic have played together.

Doncic scored a game-high 34 points with 10 rebounds and eight assists, while Irving added 18 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, but the Mavs were undone after their poor first-half showing.

Irving downplayed the significance of the fans booing the side, despite losing six of their past eight games.

"So what? Just the way I feel about it," Irving said. "I've been in New York City, so I know what that's like. You obviously want to play well, but it's only five people on the court that can play for the Dallas Mavericks.

"If the fans want to change places, then hey, be my guest. Got years of work ahead to be great enough to be on this level. But our focus isn't necessarily on the boos.

"It should be on our performance and just being there for each other."

Kyrie Irving feels he has finally "joined the party" after partnering with Luka Doncic to make franchise history in the Dallas Mavericks' 133-126 win against the Philadelphia 76ers.

The pair became the first Mavs team-mates to score at least 40 points each in the same game, with Doncic shooting 13-of-22 for his 42 points and Irving 15-of-22 for 40.

It is the third time Irving has reached the 40-point mark this season, and the first time since making a high-profile trade from the Brooklyn Nets on February 6.

The eight-time NBA All-Star spoke about "scaling back the pressure" earlier in the week in order to "show up to the party", and he did just that with his display against the Sixers.

"Like I said last time I was sitting up here, I just had to join the party and just make sure my team-mates were going to follow along," he said.

"Luka was ready for the party, I was ready for the party tonight, and it was one of those games where we had some special performances. I'm grateful that the work translated.

"I've got to keep it up. I've just got to keep it up and stay consistent in terms of just being prepared for when he's going to pass and get used to his flow in the game."

Irving has averaged 27 points across his 48 games for Dallas and Brooklyn this campaign, while fellow superstar Doncic leads the way in the NBA with 1,801 points overall.

The duo also combined for 18 assists, eight rebounds and four steals in Thursday's win against Philly at American Airlines Center, while hitting 13-of-21 from three-point range.

"I enjoyed watching those two working off of each other," Mavs coach Jason Kidd said. "As much as we play the game on paper, it's still played on the court. 

"They've got to work through the kinks, but I think at the end of the day, we'll be happy with what we have."

 

Irving is the only player in NBA history to be part of a team-mate duo scoring 40-plus points each in regulation for two different teams.

The 30-year-old previously did so with LeBron James during his time with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and it is now Doncic who is starting to build a strong partnership with Irving.

"Playing with him is so easy," said Doncic on the back of his sixth 40-point, 10-assist showing of the season. "He helps me a lot.

"The offense I don't think is a problem. I think offensively, we're good. It's just the defensive end. We've got to get stops."

The 33-31 Mavs are sixth in the Western Conference ahead of facing the Phoenix Suns on Sunday.

Luka Doncic had fun linking up with Kyrie Irving for the first time in spite of the Dallas Mavericks going down 133-128 in overtime at the Sacramento Kings.

In his third game since being traded from the Brooklyn Nets, Irving scored 28 points with seven rebounds and seven assists, but it was not enough to beat the Kings at Golden 1 Center again, as the Mavs did on Friday.

Doncic did not play in that game, but he returned on Saturday for the second of a double-header against Sacramento, and linked up well with Irving as he finished with 27 points, nine rebounds and five assists.

"Amazing, only our first game together, but I think it's so fun to play with this guy," the Slovenian said about lining up with Irving. "He's an amazing basketball player and I think it's going to be really fun and today, first game, it was really fun, too."

Mavs coach Jason Kidd was equally enthused by his new star partnership despite the loss, saying: "I thought it was good. It was just natural. Nothing forced.

"It's going to make us that much better. They did an incredible job."

De'Aaron Fox managed to outshine Doncic and Irving in Sacramento, scoring 36 points for the hosts, 26 of which came in the fourth quarter and overtime, while Domantas Sabonis and Terence Davis also put up 22 points each, with the former recording 14 rebounds for a league-leading 44th double-double of the season.

Kings coach Mike Brown was understandably pleased with his team's work, saying: "Heck of a job by our guys. Defensively, we did a pretty good job in both second halves.

"We had a lot of great individual performances."

Jason Kidd is extremely bullish about the Dallas Mavericks' chances in the playoffs after acquiring mercurial superstar Kyrie Irving from the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday.

In the biggest trade of the season so far, the Mavericks sent Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, a first-round pick and two second-rounders to the Nets in exchange for Irving and depth forward Markieff Morris.

The move means the Mavericks are the only team with two players named as starters in this year's All-Star Game, with Irving receiving his eighth selection overall after putting up averages of 27.1 points, 5.3 assists and 5.1 rebounds while playing in 40 of Brooklyn's first 51 games.

Dallas made a surprising run to the Western Conference Finals this past season with Jalen Brunson as Luka Doncic's number two, and Kidd was not shy about calling the move from Brunson to Irving an upgrade.

"When you look at Ky, nothing against [Brunson], but Ky is at a different level," he said. "This gives us another weapon. Someone is going to be free. Someone is going to have the advantage."

Doncic's usage rate of 37.6 per cent is the second-highest in the league behind Philadelphia 76ers centrepiece Joel Embiid (37.8 per cent), and Kidd said the addition of Irving should help that number come down to a more sustainable level.

"When you look at [Doncic's] usage, it's at 99.9, so it has to come down," he said in jest. 'It's going to come down – and that's a healthy thing. It's not a bad thing. 

"He'll be stronger in the fourth [quarter], the team will be better. Then the trust between the two – it's going to take some time to get that rhythm and trust, but Ky is about winning.

"We're still going to preach defense, being able to get stops, but there's going to be nights where we're going to try to make you feel uncomfortable on the offensive end with scoring 130 or 140.

"Some nights, you're going to have to use the offense as your defense, but Ky's going to compete on the defensive end. Luka's going to compete on the defensive end. 

"But when you look at the offensive end – can we put pressure on the opponent, and are they going to be comfortable to be able to score that many points?"

Kidd referenced Irving's track record as a champion with the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016, where Irving hit the game-winning three-pointer over Stephen Curry in their Game 7 victory on the road.

"You look at his journey at other stops, he's won where he's gone," he said. "We feel that the talent and his abilities to make us better are something that we needed. 

"We feel that getting him is going to help put us in a position to win a championship."

Irving's former team-mate on the Nets Theo Pinson will be a familiar face in Dallas, and he said he is excited to see how teams decide to guard the dynamic duo.

"Pick your poison," he said. "It's one of those things where I don't know what you do, personally – I really don't. 

"You can trap Luka all you want now. We swing it to another killer. It's going to be fun to watch."

Luka Doncic is "playing like an MVP", according to his team-mate Christian Wood, after a second successive triple-double inspired the Dallas Mavericks to a 129-114 victory over the Houston Rockets on Thursday.

Doncic had scored a franchise-best and NBA season-high 60 points two days earlier as the Mavericks beat the New York Knicks 126-121.

And although he did not hit quite the same heights at the American Airlines Center, the 23-year-old was still the Mavs' inspiration.

He finished with 35 points, 12 rebounds and 13 assists, his eighth triple-double of the season, as the Slovenian guard helped the Mavs to a fifth straight win that improves them to 20-16.

Doncic shot 11-of-21 from the field against the Rockets, including four-of-nine from beyond the arc, making nine-of-12 free-throws, with his collective 95 points across the past two games an NBA record in consecutive triple-doubles.

Despite the obvious heroics of Doncic, there has been a particular focus on the collective for the Mavs – though Wood could not resist giving his colleague a little praise.

"We're just playing together," former Rockets forward Wood said.

"If you look at the last game [against the Knicks], we stayed together even though everybody probably thought we were going to lose.

"Today we stayed together, everybody was moving the ball and even the games before that we were piggy-backing off each other, playing off each other and it's really working out.

"Also, Luka's playing like an MVP."

Undoubtedly Doncic's brilliance proved telling once again against the Rockets, but Mavs coach Jason Kidd had previously demanded more support for their talisman.

Only three players scored 15 points or more in the defeat of the Knicks, but this time Doncic was one of five to do so, with Tim Hardaway Jr. (18), Wood (21), Spencer Dinwiddie (15) and Dwight Powell (19) all chipping in.

Understandably, Kidd was pleased by such a reaction.

"I did ask a couple of players that we needed to step up and not wait for Luka, and they responded," Kidd said.

"We talked about it before the game and they understand the time or the stress we put on Luka.

"So, we needed some guys to be able to get some easy baskets and take that stress off of him and they did that tonight."

Luka Doncic moved to a "whole different level" in the view of Dallas Mavericks team-mate Dwight Powell after hitting a historic 60-point triple-double against the New York Knicks.

The three-time NBA All-Star ended with figures of 21-for-31 shooting, 21 rebounds, 10 assists, two steals and a block in one of NBA's all-time great individual showings.

Doncic's magic inspired the Mavs to a 126-21 home win over the Knicks on Tuesday in a contest his side trailed 112-103 with less than 30 seconds to go in the fourth quarter.

He scored seven of the Mavericks' 11 points in the overtime period to complete the comeback en route to topping Dirk Nowitzki's franchise record of 53 from December 2004.

"Guys say all the time that we see it and we know his greatness, but he's showing up on a whole different level in a whole lot of different ways," Mavs center Powell said. 

"This tonight, there's not really any way to accurately describe that. It's hard to believe – what he's done is different."

 

Doncic is the only NBA player in the post-Wilt Chamberlain era to have a 60-point game, a 21-rebound game and a 10-assist game in the same season – let alone the same game.

The 23-year-old tied the record for the highest-scoring triple-double in NBA history, level with James Harden's 60 for the Houston Rockets against the Orlando Magic in 2018.

Chamberlain, who did so twice, and Elgin Baylor are the only others to have registered at least 20 rebounds during a 50-point triple-double game.

Reflecting on the highest-scoring individual performance of the season, Mavs coach Jason Kidd said: "To do something that's never been done before, that's hard to do.

"There's been some great players before him. Elgin Baylor and Wilt... he was in that class, and then he separated himself and made his own class."

Dallas became the first team in at least two decades to win a game in which they trailed by at least nine points in the final 35 seconds with their comeback against the Knicks.

With four seconds on the clock and still trailing by three points, Doncic was sent to the line for two free throws. 

He made the first, before intentionally missing the second, tracking down his own rebound and putting it back in to tie the game, which Dallas won to go 19-16 for the season.

"I thought we won the game," Doncic said of his late heroics in regulation time. "Then I see it's tied. I was like, 'Oof.' I didn't know what to do.

"The whole team just keeps going. Everybody just kept it together. We believed. But now I'm tired as hell and need a recovery beer."

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