The Dallas Mavericks took on the top-seeded Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night, attempting to score a big victory over the Western Conference juggernauts.
Dallas was without Kyrie Irving, who was out because of lower back tightness, so the pressure was really on the team’s leader, Luka Doncic.
And even though he stepped up and performed well, it wasn’t enough.
Luka in the 1st quarter:
His 9th 15-point first quarter this season. Nobody else has more than 5. pic.twitter.com/rWs2P4dpLS
— StatMuse (@statmuse) February 16, 2023
Doncic got off to a wonderful start against the Nuggets, scoring 17 points and going 5-of-8 from the field in the first quarter alone.
That was his ninth 15-point first quarter of the season.
That’s an astonishing fact and proves that he’s the best first-quarter player in the league.
In fact, no other NBA athlete has more than five 15-point opening quarters.
Still, the Nuggets beat the Mavs, 118-109.
This has happened before: we have repeatedly seen Doncic cruise past everyone else on the court while his team still comes up short.
Wednesday night was yet another example of that.
The fact that Irving wasn’t on the court definitely hurt the Mavericks.
But would he have assured victory?
Fans are worried by the fact that the Mavericks have lost the first two games featuring both Irving and Doncic.
They have both been scoring a lot and playing well together but they have yet to claim a victory with one another.
Is this just a matter of two titans of the game getting used to each other?
Or is the Irving addition not as good a fit as some had hoped?
We will see after the All-Star break when Irving and Doncic get a lot more time together.NEXT: A Celebrated NBA Star May Be Making A Return