Without star Luka Doncic, the Dallas Mavericks survived a 48-point effort from reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and beat the Milwaukee Bucks 120-116. The Bucks’ loss ended Milwaukee’s 18-game winning streak.
Doncic was averaging nearly a triple-double per game before suffering an ankle injury last week. It didn’t matter for Dallas as the Mavericks jumped out to an early 14-point lead by the end of the first quarter.
Kristaps Porzingis took over for Dallas and hit 9-of-19 shots, including 4-of-8 from 3-point range, to score 26 points. The 7-foot-3-inch Porzingis added 12 rebounds, four assists, and two blocks. Seth Curry almost duplicated Porzingis’ effort shooting 9-of-15 from the floor (4-of-8 from 3-point range) and scored 26 points off the bench.
The Bucks (24-4) had to rely on Antetokounmpo as the rest of the Milwaukee starting lineup shot a dismal 9-of-34. The Bucks star shot 18-of-31 from the field and 11-of-16 from the free throw line for his 48 points. He added 14 rebounds and four assists, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Mavs.
Dallas becomes the first team in NBA history to snap a winning streak of 15 or more games and do so without the team’s leading scorer. Doncic, who averages a team-high 29.3 points per game, will miss approximately two weeks with a sprained right ankle.
The win for Dallas pushes the Mavs record to 18-8 overall. It was the first of a tough stretch for Dallas. The Mavericks face Boston at home on Wednesday and then travel to Philadelphia on Friday and Toronto on Sunday.