Luka Doncic triple-double helps Mavs overcome Spencer Dinwiddie ejection, end skid

With 10:52 remaining in the Mavericks’ 116-113 victory against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night, officials huddled around the video replay monitor at the scorer’s table and then turned to guard Spencer Dinwiddie, who waited a couple feet away for an answer.


Doncic's historic triple-double helps Mavs to improbable win over Knicks |  Reuters

One mouthed the word: “Two.”

Dinwiddie laughed.

He couldn’t believe officials deemed his elbow-to-the-face offensive foul on Warriors guard Jordan Poole a flagrant-2 penalty, triggering his automatic ejection.

The Mavericks got the last laugh, too.

Down a ball-handler on a night their lack of play-making depth was the lead topic of discussion, the Mavericks responded to Dinwiddie’s early exit and the Warriors’ ensuing 6-2 run by relying on their do-it-all superstar to, well, do it all.

Doncic recorded his NBA-leading fifth triple-double of the season (41 points, 12 rebounds, 12 assists and four steals in 39 minutes) and 51st of his career about one minute after returning early in the fourth quarter.

“It’s getting boring,” Kidd quipped. “I mean, let’s see something different. Maybe do it with his left hand.”

He assisted Josh Green (13 points) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (22) for big-time three-pointers in clutch time and reached the 40-point mark for the fifth time this season on a pull-up 3-pointer after forcing turnovers on consecutive Golden State possessions.

Doncic celebrated that swish by sticking his tongue out, and a couple minutes later, after Steph Curry traveled while trying to shoot a go-ahead three with 10 seconds remaining, he let out a fierce shout.

The longest losing streak of coach Jason Kidd’s tenure: over.

Ball-handling conundrum with his secondary creator in the locker room: also over — at least for one night.

“I was scared, I’m not going to lie,” Doncic said of Thompson’s final look. “It’s Klay. He don’t miss many open shots. I was happy.”

In the six months since the Mavericks’ season-ending loss May 26 to the Warriors in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals, the departure of Jalen Brunson — Dallas’ second-best player in that series and playoff run — and their inability to fill his third-creator void has been the biggest focus as Dallas has started 10-10.

A couple hours before blowing a 17-point lead but still winning their first one-possession game since Nov. 15, the Mavericks made a few moves official.

Kemba Walker signed his non-guaranteed, 15th-roster-spot contract and joined the team on the bench, dressed in a navy blue Jordan Brand sweatsuit, during the game.

It’s unclear when he’ll play his first game with Dallas — and first in the NBA since Feb. 16 after dealing with knee injuries with the New York Knicks last season — but coach Jason Kidd said Walker will practice Wednesday before the team’s flight to Detroit.

“I’m feeling better than I’ve felt in a very long time,” Walker said during a mid-game interview on TNT. “I’m excited to be back. I’m happy these guys picked me up. I’m ready to get started.”

Walker will acclimate while the Mavericks’ rotation remains in flux.

Though Reggie Bullock returned from his rest night Sunday, he did not start for the first time this season.

Instead, Kidd stuck with his opening lineup from the first half Sunday in Milwaukee: Hardaway at shooting guard alongside regulars Doncic, Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith and Dwight Powell.

Bullock and Christian Wood, who started the second half at center Sunday, came off the bench.

Luka Doncic frustration apparent in Mavs' loss to Hornets: 'I used to have  fun'

The Warriors’ stability might’ve magnified the Mavericks’ continued search for consistency and production around Doncic since Jalen Brunson’s departure.

Golden State started the same lineup it did in all five games in the Western Conference finals, and weathered the Mavericks’ game-opening 18-6 run, when only Kevon Looney scored for the Warriors.

Panic when the Mavericks led by 17 points (34-17) after a Josh Green 3-pointer with 1:10 left in the first quarter?

Only from Dallas fans, who’ve grown accustomed to their favorite team blowing double-digit leads through the first quarter of the season.

In the first 6:12 of the second quarter, with Doncic resting and shaking out his gimpy right hand, the Mavericks managed just six points as their 36-24 lead when Doncic subbed out whittled to two points (42-40) when he returned.

Good thing primary defender Andrew Wiggins and the Warriors didn’t corral his MVP-level roll like they did in the playoffs.

Doncic tallied 11 points and six rebounds in the first quarter despite getting fouled in traffic in the opening minutes and appearing to hurt his right hand, 13 points and six assists in the third to help build on the Mavericks’ two-point halftime lead and nine points on 4 of 7 shooting in the last 9:46.

Green — thrilled to be part of the closing lineup for one of the first times in his career — and Hardaway — fresh off a confidence-boosting conversation with Jason Kidd during a workout Monday — combined to fill Dinwiddie’s void alongside Doncic.

Green’s first thought after Dinwiddie’s ejection: “Damn, I haven’t played point guard in a while.”

After the Warriors reeled off a quick 6-2 run to re-take the lead: “It’s time to hoop.”

That’s what Doncic and Co. did against the defending champs to snap the Mavericks’ longest losing streak since January 2021.

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) dribbles around Golden State Warriors guard Stephen...

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