Dallas — Luka Doncic He made his way to the Detroit Pistons’ bench with 7.1 seconds left in the Dallas Mavericks’ 111-105 win on Monday night.

Continuing the game-long conversation, he approached Pistons assistant coach Jerome Allen to offer a few parting words.During the final exchange, Doncic slowly returned to the Dallas bench as they yelled at each other.

Once the conversation was over, Doncic laughed and cracked a big smile. He certainly got the last word, scoring 53 points in his return from a brief return from a sprained left ankle to lead the Mavs to victory.

“I mean since the first quarter. You know I’ll be back,” Doncic said after his NBA-leading fourth 50-point performance. From the first quarter he was screaming. I don’t want to say the words. I have no problem with that, it’s basketball, it definitely gets me going.”

Doncic looked to Allen after most of his baskets in the first quarter, as the Mavs played offense in front of Detroit’s bench and Doncic scored 24 points on 7-of-8 shooting. On several occasions, Doncic talked trash with Allen while running back on defense. That happened several times in the playoffs as Doncic tied Dirk Nowitzki for the second-highest scoring performance in franchise history, following Doncic’s own 60-point outing in an overtime win over the New York Knicks on Dec. 27.

“It’s a bunch of nothing, nothing,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “We’ve seen worse. Remember, I coached Gary Payton and Kevin Garnett, so tonight was zero until the buzzer. I liked him. I thought he really got us going, and that’s the way it should be with competitive guys. Doncic is competitive. I like the way he plays. , I like the way he carried himself, and I like the way our guys responded, they weren’t scared. So everything was good, it was clean, there was no dirt.

“If that’s what he needs to go and speak for himself, that’s fine. But he doesn’t need any help. He’s a very good player without other things, but that’s who he is.”

Doncic was surprisingly efficient, shooting 17-of-24 from the floor, 5-of-11 from 3-point range and 14-of-18 from 3-point range after missing a game with an ankle injury. Due to the injury, he was coming off the only scoreless outing of his career after he scored just three minutes and 21 seconds into Thursday’s win over the Phoenix Suns.

“It’s definitely not 100%, but it’s good,” Doncic said of his ankle. “He did a good job.”

According to ESPN Stats and Information Research, Doncic became just the fourth player in the last 50 years to record four 50-point performances before February, joining Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and others. James HardenThe latter won three times.

Dallas needed a dominant performance from Doncic as the Mavs had to rally from an 11-point deficit in the third quarter to win.

The Pistons often held Doncic close to half court, taking the ball out of his hands, holding him to just three points in the second quarter, while his Dallas teammates struggled to hit 3-pointers created by Detroit’s attention to the MVP candidate.

“He was unselfish against two teams,” Mavs coach Jason Kidd said. “We have to be in rhythm with those shots because we see it all year. Once we start getting those shots off, our defense picks up.”

The Mavs prioritized speeding up the pace in the second half to prevent the Pistons from trapping Doncic. He dominated the quarter, scoring 18 points in five turnovers, an off-the-dribble game and six free throws.

“Sometimes you just have to accept when you double coverage,” said Doncic, who had eight rebounds, five assists and two steals. “If I had waited, they would still have doubled. But sometimes they attack before they leave. And they always attack the paint.”

“We’ve seen worse. Remember, I coached Gary Payton and Kevin Garnett, so tonight was zero until the buzzer. I liked it. I thought it really got us going, and that’s the way it should be with competitive guys.”

Pistons coach Dwane Casey on Luka Doncic’s trash talk

Dallas pulled within one point late in the third quarter. The Mavs took the lead when he rested for the first six minutes, and Doncic scored eight points in the final 4:01. With 46 seconds left, he hit a dagger, pushing Doncic over the 50-point barrier.

It was the fifth 50-point performance of Doncic’s career, one more than any other Mavs in franchise history combined. Only Rick Barry Doncic has the most 50-point performances in NBA history at age 23 or younger, according to ESPN Stats and Information Research. Wilt Chamberlain, LeBron James And Jordan in that category.

“It’s tough,” Casey said. “He’ll get his body inside, score, get to the free throw line. If not, he’ll take the 3 and go back. If you don’t have the right guy, you’ve got to play if the right body is on him. Like we did tonight. I thought. We are not the first and we will not be the last.

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