They got on with business in the form of a 112-98 victory over the Orlando Magic at the American Airlines Center, their third straight victory, which pushed their record above .500 for the first time this season at 5-4.
The victory was not built on the shoulders of Luka Dončić, although he certainly did his part, but on the strength of the sensational filming nights of Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke.
Hardaway was back in the starting lineup because starters Dorian Finney-Smith and Josh Richardson were unable to play due to league health and safety protocols. The Jalen Brunson reserve key was also missing.
So all Hardaway did was rack up 30 points – in the first three quarters – with 16 coming up in the third quarter when the Mavericks fell behind, then rallied to go up 85-75 before the fourth. quarter. Hardaway finished with 36 points.
Burke? After missing the game in Denver on Thursday, he rebounded by hitting seven of his eight 3-pointers and finishing with 29 points.
It was by far the best shooting performance for the Mavericks of the season, as they were over 50% of the 3 point distance practically at the start of the game.
“Trey Burke was spectacular. Hardaway was spectacular, ”said coach Rick Carlisle. “Luka, you almost expect him to go for a triple-double type party.” And we had a lot of other guys who did a lot of great things. A really important victory after the situation in Denver.
The situation in Denver is what caused the Mavericks to be so shorthanded. But they had great performances from Hardaway and Burke.
And Dončić wasn’t bad either. He checked the 27e triple-double of his career with 20 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
It was a dynamic third quarter that put the Mavericks in charge. They had lost their heads and were lost 65-59 until Hardaway caught fire and triggered the Mavericks on a 26-10 finish in the third quarter. They looked after that 85-75 lead to the finish line.
Carlisle gave Dončić a lot of credit not for what he did on the pitch, but for what happened before the game. The Mavericks, due to the events in Denver, were unable to set up a morning shoot.
“So we got there at 5 pm and I was really impressed with our level of focus and focus,” said Carlisle. “And it all started with Luka. He was really connected. He understood exactly what the situation was. He knew it was a game where we couldn’t have a lot of slippage. And he set the tone. It’s a sign of a guy who is a great leader in a team.
Dončić just shrugged.
“It has to be every game,” he said. “We try to win every game, whether we have six players or 15. But I think we did a great job today, especially on the defense.
It makes everyone’s life easier when the hits are on. And Hardaway and Burke saw it. They were a combined 23 of 33 in the field.
“They were hot players the whole game,” Dončić said. “You pass, you know you’re going to get a help. It was great. ”
Carlisle de Burke said: “He’s a dangerous scorer. One of the reasons I think he’s playing well for us is because he knows we have great confidence in him. And he’s a guy who can just get hot there.
Burke, who went through a COVID-19 quarantine before joining the Mavericks in the Orlando bubble last season, said he could certainly understand what Brunson, Richardson and Finney-Smith were going through.
“You have a lot of time for yourself,” he says. “And that can go two ways. This is going to be my encouragement to (these guys). It is a difficult time. But try to use this isolation time. Work your soul and you will come back prepared.
“That’s the nature of this league. You never know how things are going to turn out. This is all new to all of us. But I’ll try to encourage these three guys not to be depressed and we can’t wait for them to come back.
Overnight, Burke and Hardaway took over, completing a tough two-leg through Texas for the Magic. After being increased by 42 points in Houston on Friday, they were brutally kicked out of the state on Saturday, although the Magic showed a lot more life than the night before against the Rockets.
This is the Mavericks’ ninth consecutive victory over the Magic in Dallas.
The victory was also the 799e of Rick Carlisle’s coaching career. One more and it will become the 16e member of the club of 800 victories in the history of the NBA.
And it was a game that Hardaway could be very proud of. He has now played more than 30 games as a starter and reserve last week.
“My job right now is to be an energy giver, not an energy drainer,” Hardaway said. “When I go there, just try to compete all the time.”
And on the coronavirus, Hardaway said, “Whichever team counts everything fastest, they’ll end up in the playoffs feeling good about themselves. Sadly there are three guys back in Denver, but this is the next one. These guys encourage it.