DALLAS (AP) – Kristaps Porzingis got two quickon purpose and another by accident in the fourth quarter while putting Dallas in front of Milwaukee for good a night after appearing unhappy over not getting any looks late in a loss to lowly Houston. Luka Doncic scored 27 points, Porzingis had 26 points and 17 rebounds playing on consecutive days for the first time in two months, and the Mavericks beat the Bucks 116-101 on . Those eight consecutive points helped put quite the bookends on arguably the worst loss of the season for the Mavericks: victories over NBA-leading Utah and the Eastern Conference-contending Bucks.
Porzingis scored 11 points in the fourth quarter, including consecutive 3-pointers right after returning to thebefore Milwaukee‘s Pat Connaughton and Donte DiVincenzo collided on a rebound, and the loose ball fell the 7-foot-3 Latvian for an easy dunk.
“I thought that was a big play, too,” BucksBudenholzer said. “It was a few things that happened.”
DiVincenzo scored 22 points, and Bobby Portis had 20 points and 14 rebounds for the Bucks. They dropped to 1-2 without reigning two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is out withsoreness. The big finish for Porzingis came a night after he didn’t get a shot in the fourth despite an efficient scoring effort and had a cryptic post-game reply in a 102-93 loss to the Rockets that ended a season-best five-game .
“It felt good,” said Porzingis, who was 10 of 20 and made all four attempts in the fourth, three from long range. “To just come in right away and hit that pump-fake 3. After you hit one like that, you felt in a good rhythm and got a couple more.”
Porzingis finished a rebound off his season-high, and his only assist set up a corner 3-pointer by Dorian Finney-Smith for a 110-97 lead with 2:17 remaining.
Already missing their star, the Bucks had rough shooting nights from Khris Middleton (14 points) and Jrue Holiday (13), who were a combined 12 of 43 from the field. Milwaukee shot 38% while finishing its second six-game, the longest of the season, with the same 3-3 record as the first.
“There’s amore of a load on both Jrue and Khris,” Budenholzer said. “I think they’re learning to take that. Playing without Giannis, he can’t play for 48 minutes. I think there will be good stretches for us in learning from these without him.”
Dallas took control with a 13-2 run that included an overturned call when Finney-Smithby Middleton and immediately signaled to the bench to challenge the foul.
The Bucks finished the third quarter on afor an 84-80 lead, all after Doncic checked back in with 1:45 remaining in the quarter and the Mavericks holding their most important information of the game to that point at eight.
DiVincenzo capped the run with the fifth of his six 3-pointers after Tim Hardaway Jr.’s inbound pass was intercepted with 21 seconds remaining. The other three Dallas turnovers in the final 90 seconds were by Doncic, who also drew his 12th technical foul. The Slovenian.
“He’s an emotional competitor,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “It all comes from the right place. He’s smart. He knows where the count is. If he’s going to get 16, he’ll get it in a situation wherefor a day of rest anyway.”
Bucks: Coach Mike Budenholzer said Antetokounmpo didn’t do any pregame work or indicate when the five-time All-Star would return. … Portis’ double-double was his secondof the season.… in double figures with 16 points. He had five last season.
Mavericks: Porzingis hadbefore the back-to-back, the first for rest on the second night of a back-to-back and the second for a right wrist sprain the big man says he will be dealing with the rest of the season. Coach Rick Carlisle said the two missed games and a two-day break after the visit from the Bucks were also factors in letting Porzingis play. … Carlisle said G Trey Burke was available, but he was listed as out with a in the boxscore. Burke missed his third .