CLEVELAND (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Out of all of the young, talented offensive players Dirk Nowitzki has seen during his time, none of them are like Luka Doncic.
The Dallas rookie sensation matched his season high with 35 points and did a little bit of everything. Harrison Barnes scored 13 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Mavericks to a 111-98 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers Saturday night.
With a sea of fans waving Slovenian flags to support Doncic, the 19-year-old showed why the Mavericks are so excited about their future. He added 11 rebounds, six assists and made a couple long 3-pointers that drew gasps from the Quicken Loans crowd.
“For a 19-year-old, he’s got as good an all-around game as I’ve ever seen,” said Nowitzki. “He’s got it.”
Barnes made three 3-pointers in the fourth and finished with 17 points, while rookie Jalen Brunson added 15 for the Mavericks, who played their second game since acquiring star Kristaps Porzingis from New York in a blockbuster trade. Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee and Trey Burke also came in the deal but are not eligible to play until their physicals are completed.
Jordan Clarkson scored 19 and Larry Nance Jr. had 11 points and 12 rebounds for Cleveland.
The Cavaliers, who have been dealing with injuries all season, suffered another one when forward Cedi Osman went out in the first half with a right ankle injury. He didn’t return.
Due to the trade, Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle had nine dressed players.
Fortunately, one of them was Doncic, who sat out Thursday’s game in Detroit with a sore left ankle.
Doncic scored 18 points in the first quarter, when he became the sixth player since 2000 to score 1,000 points before turning 20. LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Devin Booker and Dwight Howard did it before Doncic, who will be 20 on Feb. 28.
Doncic finished the first half with 28 points, 10 in the final 3:56 after the Mavericks went more than six minutes without a field goal.
However, it was Brunson and Barnes who had the bigger impact in the second half. Shortly after replacing Doncic, Brunson converted a 4-point play with 8:56 left and Barnes made his 3s, the last giving Dallas a 106-91 lead with 4:34 left.
“When Luka was out of the game that’s when we actually took control,” Carlisle said. “In the second half we had more attitude. I liked our second half. Everyone was bad in the first half defensively.”
Drew was impressed with Doncic.
“He’s a terrific player,” he said. “He plays with confidence. He’s a facilitator, and it doesn’t look like he gets too rattled. He plays under control, inside and out.”
The Mavs will head back home to host the Charlotte Hornets Wednesday.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)