Luka Doncic on Monday scored 31 points as the Dallas Mavericks shrugged off the injury absence of Kristaps Porzingis to snap Utah Jazz’s nine-game winning streak.
Slovenian star Doncic spearheaded a superb offensive performance for the Mavs in a dominant 111-103 victory over the Western Conference leaders, who had been chasing a 10th straight win.
Doncic’s tally included six three-pointers, while the 22-year-old prodigy also hauled down nine rebounds with eight assists.
It was a hugely impressive fifth consecutive victory for the Mavs, who improved to 28-21 to remain in seventh place in the West.
Dallas had been jolted by confirmation just hours before tip-off that Porzingis would miss the game with a sprained right wrist.
Yet the Mavs made light of the reshuffle with Dorian Finney-Smith weighing in with 23 points — including five from outside the arc — and Jalen Brunson adding 20 off the bench. Josh Richardson finished with 17 points and Tim Hardaway Jr with 16 points.
Dallas steadily took control after edging into a 27-25 lead at the end of the first quarter, and pulled away decisively by outscoring the Jazz 37-27 in the third period.
Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said his team had been determined to ask more questions of Utah after their 120-101 defeat to the Western Conference pace-setters in January.
“The difference was we came out and were much more physical than the last time we played them,” Carlisle said. “That was light years ago. We knew we had to play with a lot more presence tonight.”
TAKE TWO: Tainan TSG are the favorites going into this season, which starts on Sunday. They have fearsome forwards and national ’keeper Pan Wen-chieh between the posts Defending champions Tainan TSG (Taiwan Steel Group) face a tough challenge from their southern neighbors Taipower and CPC FC when the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) season starts this weekend with four matches on Sunday. Promoting grassroots soccer, and organizing relegation and promotion between the top and second divisions last year was important for the progression of Taiwanese soccer, CTFA chairman Chiou I-jen told a news conference in Taipei yesterday. “We are going in the right direction ... and becoming more competitive” for international competitions, Chiou said. Still the favorites, Tainan TSG have the league’s most fearsome forwards, with three international star players.
Nine-year-old Thai kickboxer Pornpattara “Tata” Peachaurai is eager to get back in the ring after COVID-19 curbs brought his fight season to a halt more than five months ago. The money he earns is vital income for his family. “All the money from boxing, the regular payment and the tips, it all goes to mum,” the lean young fighter said. “I’m proud to be a boxer and to earn money for my mum.” Tata’s last fight was in October last year, before a second COVID-19 outbreak in Thailand shut down sports events as bans on large gatherings were reimposed. “I cannot box. I
FIFTY YEARS ON: ‘Don’t be afraid of competition, we can compete peacefully,’ said Yao Zhenxu, a Chinese player who was there when ‘ping-pong diplomacy’ began It was 50 years ago, but Zhang Xielin remembers vividly how a shaggy-haired US table tennis player stepped onto the Chinese team’s bus, a chance encounter which would shape history. It was the world championships in Nagoya, Japan, and Glenn Cowan mistakenly hopped in with Zhang and his teammates — an awkward moment because the US and China were then deeply at odds. “We were on the bus and were talking and laughing,” said Zhang, now 80. “But when we realized that an American had come onto the bus, we fell silent.” The Chinese triple world champion Zhuang Zedong eventually came forward and
After several humbling losses to the West Division leaders, the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday sent quite the message to the Colorado Avalanche in their last of eight regular-season matchups. Eight was more than enough for the Wild to slow the Avalanche. Kevin Fiala notched his first career hat-trick, while Kirill Kaprizov had two of Minnesota’s three power-play goals as the sharp-shooting Wild beat Colorado 8-3 to hand the Avalanche their first regulation loss in 16 games. “We can play against you guys,” Fiala said. “If we’re going to meet them in the playoffs.” Luke Johnson, Ryan Hartman and Joel Eriksson Ek also scored as