Doncic stars again as Mavs rout Pelicans

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic has matched NBA great Michael Jordan with his 18th straight game of at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists

Los Angeles (AFP) – Dallas guard Luka Doncic scored 26 points in as many minutes Saturday to lead the Mavericks to a 130-84 rout of New Orleans and put his name next to a pair of NBA greats.

The Slovenian star also handed out nine assists and grabbed six rebounds — joining Michael Jordan and Oscar Robertson as the only players with 18 straight games of at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists.

Jordan is the only player to put together such a run since the 1976 NBA-ABA merger, doing so in 1988-1989.

Doncic didn’t even play the last 14:20 of the contest, the Mavs’ fifth straight win and their 10th in 11 games.

Dallas led 104-66 after three quarters, giving coach Rick Carlisle a chance to rest his starters late in anticipation of a Sunday home game against the Sacramento Kings.

Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 14 points and Kristaps Porzingis chipped in 13 before exiting.

Boban Marjanovic contributed 15 points and 16 rebounds off the bench as the Mavs connected with 54 percent of their shots from the field and had six players finish in double figures.

The Mavericks’ 46-point margin of victory was just their second-largest of the season. They crushed Golden State by 48 in November — and also beat Cleveland by 42.

They’re second in the Western Conference standings behind LeBron James’s Los Angeles Lakers, but Carlisle cautioned against over-confidence.

“Look, it’s great to be winning games more consistently than the last three years,” Carlisle said. “That was the goal. But we’ve just got to keep our eye on the ball.

“It’s all very tenuous,” he added. “Patting ourselves on the back right now isn’t the way to go.”

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