Basketball / NBA

Mavericks star Luka Doncic drops 24 on Spurs in return from ankle injury


Luka Doncic barely missed a step and added a little Magic on his return to the Dallas lineup on Thursday night.

He had missed the previous four games because of a sprained right ankle. Doncic scored a game-high 24 points as the Mavericks beat the San Antonio Spurs 102-98. He finished with 10 rebounds and eight assists and barely missed adding to his NBA-leading total of eight triple-doubles.

Against San Antonio, Doncic played 32:39, about half a minute more than his season average.

“I’m not going to lie,” Doncic said. “I was pretty tired.”

Tired or not, he impressed Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.

“I hate to say this, he’s not Magic Johnson but it’s Magic Johnson-like in the sense that he sees the floor in that same way. He’s got a real intuitive sense and you can’t teach that. He’s just got it and he’s great at it. I’m not trying to put the Magic Johnson pressure on him, he’s not ready for that yet but he’s doing a hell of a job.”

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said that Doncic could have been even better.

“He had a few challenges early with rhythm and getting his legs under him. He got into a great flow as the game went on.”

Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 17 points, Porzingis and Dorian Finney-Smith had 13 each, and Delon Wright added 12 off the bench for Dallas. Dwight Powell’s 11 points all came in the first half.

DeMar DeRozan led San Antonio with 21 points, 16 in the second half. Rudy Gay scored 18, LaMarcus Aldridge had 17 and White finished with 10.

The Spurs rallied from a 102-85 deficit by scoring the game’s final 13 points.

Timberwolves 105, Kings 104 (2OT)

In Sacramento, Andrew Wiggins scored the first basket of the second overtime and then fed Robert Covington for another score as Minnesota ended its 11-game losing streak by beating the hosts.

Wiggins finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Gorgui Dieng had 21 points and 15 rebounds, while Covington scored 19 for the Timberwolves.

Richaun Holmes had 20 points and a career-high 18 rebounds for the Kings.

Jazz 121, Trail Blazers 115

In Salt Lake City, Donovan Mitchell scored 28 of his 35 points in the second half to power Utah over Portland.

Rudy Gobert, who had 16 points and 15 rebounds, forced Carmelo Anthony into an air ball with 22.4 seconds remaining and blocked Damon Lillard’s driving shot with 5.2 seconds left to quell the Trail Blazers’ furious fourth-quarter rally.

Lillard scored 34 points, including a pair of 9.1-meter contested 3-pointers in the final minutes, and CJ McCollum tallied 17 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter for the Blazers (14-18).

Knicks 94, Nets 82

In New York, Julius Randle had 33 points and eight rebounds, and the Knicks forced the Nets into the worst shooting performance in the NBA this season.

Brooklyn finished 21 of 78 (26.9 percent) from the field. Chicago had the previous worst shooting game this season when it hit 29.9 percent against Toronto exactly two months earlier.

Pistons 132, Wizards 102

In Detroit, Blake Griffin had 14 points and a season-high 11 rebounds and the Pistons routed Washington in a matchup of short-handed teams.

Detroit was missing Reggie Jackson (back) and Luke Kennard (knee), while Griffin, Bruce Brown and Derrick Rose played through injuries.

John Wall, Davis Bertans, Isaiah Thomas, Thomas Bryant and Rui Hachimura sat out for the Wizards.

The Pistons got 14 points and 10 rebounds from Andre Drummond. Christian Wood finished with 22 points and Todd Frazier scored 18.

Washington’s Anzejs Pasecniks scored a career-high 17 in his fifth NBA game.

Grizzlies 110, Thunder 97

In Oklahoma City, Jonas Valanciunas scored 21 points, Jaren Jackson Jr. added 20 and Memphis held on to the lead this time against the Thunder in the second meeting between the teams in eight days.