Doncic explodes for 53 points in Mavericks victory, Curry dominates in Oklahoma City

Luka Doncic delivered another spectacular performance on Monday when he defeated the Dallas Mavericks with 53 points in a 111-105 home win over the Detroit Pistons.

The 23-year-old Slovenian returned to the lineup after missing out on Saturday’s Mavericks loss to the Utah Jazz and was looking for a big win from the jump on the track.

Doncic scored 24 of Dallas’ 30 points in the first quarter, but the team was behind at halftime as the rest of the Mavericks struggled on offense.

By the end of the third frame, Dallas was a margin behind as Doncic had 45 points and none of his teammates had more than eight, but the Mavericks were able to hold the Pistons to 21 points in the final third to pull out the tight win.

Doncic shot 17 of 24 from the field for his 53 points — the second most he’s ever scored in an NBA game — and added eight rebounds, five assists and two steals. He had 41 points more than his closest teammate Spencer Dinwiddie with 12.

It was the fifth time in his career that Doncic had reached 50 points and the fourth since December 23 after scoring games of 50, 51 and 60 points in the last nine days of 2022.

With the win, the Mavericks improved their record to 27-25 and finished sixth in the Western Conference, while the Pistons are bottom in the East at 13-39.

Curry brings the thunder to OKC

Stephen Curry was at his best in the Golden State Warriors’ 128-120 away win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, leading both teams in points and assists.

The reigning NBA Finals MVP finished with 38 points on 12-of-20 shots while notching up 12 assists and eight rebounds in a masterful performance.

He was well assisted by “Splash Brother” Klay Thompson, who scored 28 on 10-of-21 shooting as the duo hit a combined 14-of-28 from three-point range.

They went head-to-head with The Thunder’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who maintained the fifth-best scoring average in the league (30.9 per game) by hitting 31 on 10-of-24 shooting with seven assists and three blocks.

Banchero shines at Fultz’s return to Philly

Orlando Magic guard Markelle Fultz hit his first double-double of the season as the former No. 1 overall made a winning return to Philadelphia.

In his first road game against the Philadelphia 76ers since being traded from the franchise in 2019, Fultz finished with 12 points and 10 assists and helped build a 77-47 second-half demolition en route to a 119-109 spark victory.

The star for the Magic was their other top overall pick as rookie Paolo Banchero hit a team-high 29 points on 11-of-22 shooting and added nine rebounds, three assists, a block and a steal.

Joel Embiid was great for the 76ers, dropping 30 points (11 of 20), 11 rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks, but his scoring average for the season dropped to 33.6. He still leads the league but Doncic (33.4) is hot on his heels.

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