DALLAS (AP) – Luka Doncic had 22 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists for his third triple-double of the season as the Dallas Mavericks beat Chicago 113-99 on Sunday night for their best sixth consecutive win of the season all slamming the Bulls’ a nine-game winning streak.
Josh Green and Maxi Kleber topped this season with 18 points each for Dallas. It was a career-high for Green, who scored nine in the fourth quarter, and Kleber tied a career-high with six shots behind the arc in nine attempts. Jalen Brunson added 17 points, Dorian Finney-Smith 12 and Dwight Powell 10.
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Doncic, back in the lineup after missing the previous game with a sprained right ankle, got his first triple-double since Nov. 29 and has 39 in his four-year NBA career.
“He looked good, didn’t he?” said Mavericks assistant coach Sean Sweeney, who led the team for the second straight game after Jason Kidd was placed in NBA health and safety protocols on Friday.
Dallas averaged 15.7 points during their streak and kept their opponents at 93.0 points.
“The (defensive) unity combined with the effort has been really, really strong lately,” Sweeney said. “We do a really good job of figuring out what the plan is and then, if there isn’t something that we have prepared for, we cover each other up when necessary.”
DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine each scored 20 points to lead the Bulls. Chicago is averaging 111.3 points per game, the league’s eighth-best, and has been held in double digits for the first time since Dec. 11.
The Bulls topped the NBA in 3-pointers at 38.7% but with 29.9 attempts at the lowest in the league. They reached 7 of 15 in the first half, but only 4 of 18 thereafter to finish 11 for 33 for 33.3%. “We made the guys shoot what we wanted (them) to shoot,” said Kleber, whose previous six-3 game was 12 shots. “Everyone was sticking to the game plan. We never lost our temper.
The Bulls have failed to secure their longest streak since 1997-98, in the last of Michael Jordan’s six championship seasons.
“What these guys did night after night to get nine straight wins, I’m really, really proud of what they’ve done,” said Chicago coach Billy Donovan.
“It would have been nice to get to 10 (winning streak), double digits, but we didn’t play well enough to win,” said Nikola Vucevic, who scored 13 points.
The Mavericks led 83-81 after DeRozan opened the fourth quarter with a 15-foot jumper. Dallas then dominated Chicago 19-7 to take a 102-88 lead with 6:24 remaining.
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Look back to the 2010-11 championship season to find a winning streak in Dallas of more than six games. That season, the Mavericks had 12, 10 and eight game playoffs in the regular season and went on a seven-game playoff streak.
Green, the Mavericks’ 2020 first-round pick, scored a career-high 17 points last Friday in the 24-point victory in Houston. This career lasted better less than 48 hours.
“I feel like I was able to find a rhythm and just be able to take advantage of it,” Green said.
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At the end of the third quarter, the large contingent of Bulls fans at the American Airlines Center sang “MVP! When DeRozan crossed the free throw line. When Doncic prepared to shoot free throws about 40 seconds later, the majority of the fans in the building predictably delivered a louder rendition of the same chant.
Bulls: Coby White scored 11 points in the first half for his seventh straight double-digit game and finished with 13.… F Patrick Williams (broken wrist in late October) saw a cast replaced by a brace.
Mavericks: Kristaps Porzingis missed his fifth straight game while in protocol. … Doncic, No. 77, had seven points, seven rebounds and seven halftime assists. … Dallas’ only free throw of the first half came with 1:17 remaining when Green completed a three-point play.
Bulls: Host Detroit Tuesday night to start a three-game homestand.
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Mavericks: In New York on Wednesday night.