Basketball / NBA

Mavericks cruise past Grizzlies

AP

Luka Doncic missed his fifth triple-double of the season primarily because Dallas didn’t need him in the fourth quarter.

Doncic had 24 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists to lead the Mavericks to a 138-122 victory over Memphis on Saturday night.

Doncic recorded his stats in three quarters as Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle sat the second-year guard while Dallas maintained a double-digit lead in the final period. Kristaps Porzingis already had taken the night off recovering from a left knee injury.

“It was a really good effort from start to finish,” Carlisle said. “Had a real even contribution from top to bottom. The second unit, obviously came in and was very strong.”

Doncic was part of eight Mavericks reaching double figures as Dallas had its highest scoring output of the season. Tim Hardaway Jr. added 20 points for Dallas, Justin Jackson had 17 points and Seth Curry scored 16, all in the first half.

Jaren Jackson Jr. led Memphis with 23 points on 10-for-17 shooting from the field, including a pair of 3-pointers. Jae Crowder added 18 points for the Grizzlies, which lost their second straight.

Yuta Watanabe, a second-year player on a two-way contract, made his season debut for Memphis in the loss. He scored 4 points and grabbed a rebound in three minutes on the floor.

The Grizzlies played without leading scorer and rookie Ja Morant, who took the night off for rest. Additionally, rookie forward Brandon Clarke did not play due to injury maintenance on a sore back.

For the Grizzlies, the offense is there, but the defense is not. The Mavericks’ 138 points was the most surrendered by Memphis this season. Over the last three games, opponents have averaged just more than 125 points a game.

“The numbers are off the chart,” Memphis center Jonas Valanciunas said. “We’ve got to do a better job on defense.”

Before Doncic took the rest of the night off, he helped Dallas pull away in the third quarter, scoring 14 points to give the Mavericks a 104-91 lead entering the fourth.

Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins noted his team’s defensive struggles, including the Mavericks connecting on 18 3-pointers.

“That makes it tough,” Jenkins said. “But back-to-back nights, as we try to solidify this defensive identity about anchoring down, protecting the paint and (no) second-chance points, it’s a struggle.”

Celtics 135, Spurs 115

In San Antonio, Jaylen Brown scored 30 points and Boston routed the Spurs in a victory that was tempered by the loss of Gordon Hayward, who broke his left hand late in the first half.

Kemba Walker added 26 points as the Celtics (7-1) won their seventh straight game and set season highs for total points, first quarter scoring (39 points) and first half scoring (72 points).

There was a somberness to the victory, though, as Hayward suffered his second significant injury since signing with the team three seasons ago.

The Boston forward broke his left hand after colliding with San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge with just over a minute remaining in the first half. Hayward was sent for an X-ray that confirmed the diagnosis. He did not return to the game. The Celtics said Hayward will miss at least a month and he could undergo surgery, according to coach Brad Stevens.

Pelicans 115, Hornets 110

In Charlotte, Brandon Ingram had 25 points and nine rebounds, and New Orleans overcame 26 turnovers to snap a three-game losing streak.

JJ Redick had 22 points on five 3-pointers and Jrue Holiday added 12 points and 11 assists for the Pelicans (2-7).

Ingram, who was born and raised in Kinston, North Carolina, finished 8 of 12 from the field and had 10 points in the fourth quarter while Charlotte went cold down the stretch.

Rockets 117, Bulls 94

In Chicago, James Harden narrowly missed his first triple-double of the season, finishing with 42 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists as Houston pulled away in the second half.

Russell Westbrook scored 26 points as the Rockets won their third straight.

Thunder 114, Warriors 108

In Oklahoma City, Danilo Gallinari scored 19 points, Dennis Schroder added 18, and the Thunder beat short-handed Golden State.

Chris Paul had 16 points and nine assists, Steven Adams scored 13 and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 12 to help Oklahoma City beat the Warriors for the second time this season.

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