DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Both Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis were out… but the Mavericks had other weapons and they brought everything to the floor against the Hawks.
Dallas coach Rick Carlisle described the first game without top scores Luka and Porzingis as a great challenge, but it turns out it wasn’t insurmountable
Jalen Brunson scored 27 points in his ninth start of the season, Dorian Finney-Smith matched a career high with 22 points and Maxi Kleber added 18 as Dallas beat the Atlanta Hawks 123-100 in a game between teams with depleted rosters.
“My mentality stayed the same (minus Doncic and Porzingis),” said Brunson, in his second season. “I just was seizing the opportunity a little more.”
Doncic sprained his right ankle in Thursday’s practice and isn’t expected back until Feb. 10 at the earliest. Porzingis sat out the second of a back-to-back while recovering from a left knee injury. Carlisle said sitting Porzingis was decided before the Mavericks played on Friday night at Houston, where Porzingis scored a season-high 35 points in 36 minutes.
Brunson scored 19 points in the first half, nearly surpassing his previous season high of 21. He scored 13 in the second quarter as the Mavericks took control.
Seth Curry left in the fourth quarter with tightness in his left knee. Dallas had lost another starter, Dwight Powell, for the season on Jan. 21 with a torn right Achilles.
“We had a lot of good performances, really, top to bottom,” said Carlisle, who recorded his franchise-best 500th Dallas win. “It was a battle of attrition out there.”
The Mavericks are 3-2 without Doncic, the second-year guard voted in as an All-Star starter. They built a 62-49 halftime lead and extended that advantage to 29 points in the third quarter.
John Collins led the Hawks with 26 points and had 11 rebounds. Kevin Huerter scored 20 points.
Trae Young, also a first-time All-Star starter in his second season, was limited to 12 points, more than 15 below his average. One game after having a career-high 18 assists, Young had one assist. He left the game late in the third quarter with a right ankle sprain.
“We’ll talk more about it tomorrow,” Young said of the injury, “and hopefully I’ll be better soon.”
De’Andre Hunter, who has made 47 starts for Atlanta this season, didn’t play because of a left ankle sprain. Cam Reddish left the game late in the first quarter with a face contusion and was placed in concussion protocol. Bruno Fernando missed his second straight game with a left ankle sprain.
The Hawks raced to a 15-5 lead in the first four minutes with Huerter hitting all three of the team’s 3-point shots. But the Mavericks answered with a 12-2 run to tie the score less than three minutes later. Dallas closed the period with a 19-9 spurt, beginning with a 16-foot pull-up jumper by Brunson with 5:33 left in the first quarter for the game’s only lead change.
Atlanta coach Lloyd Pierce said he was disappointed his team didn’t take advantage of a team that played the previous night on the road, losing 128-121 at Houston.
“They were spirited and moved the basketball well,” Pierce said.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)