Luka Doncic is first NBA player to have 6 straight 30-point triple-doubles as Mavericks top Pistons

Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2) is defended by Dallas Mavericks guard Josh Green during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, March 9, 2024, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2) is defended by Dallas Mavericks guard Josh Green during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, March 9, 2024, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

DETROIT (AP) — Luka Doncic became the first NBA player to record six consecutive 30-point triple-doubles as the Dallas Mavericks pulled away in the second half and beat the Detroit Pistons 142-124 on Saturday night.

Doncic finished with 39 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds, eclipsing Russell Westbrook’s mark of five straight 30-point triple-doubles. He also extended his own record with a fifth straight 35-point triple-double.

“That just shows what level he’s playing on right now,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said. “He knows he can score the ball, and he’s also able to find his teammates and lastly, he’s able to rebound the ball.”

Kyrie Irving added 21 points for Dallas, which has won two in a row after a three-game losing streak.

Cade Cunningham had 33 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds for the Pistons, who have lost 10 of 12. Simone Fontecchio added a career-high 27 points, but struggled against Doncic after Ausar Thompson left the game with an illness.

“That definitely had an impact,” Fontecchio said. “I had to guard him when (Thompson) went out, and I’ve said it before — he’s an elite defender.”

The Mavericks led 69-65 at halftime, helped by 21 points from Doncic in the second quarter.

Doncic had 10 more points in the third and Dallas moved out to a 104-88 lead after Michigan star Tim Hardaway Jr. hit three 3-pointers in the final 2:16 of the period — the last, a buzzer-beater.

“It’s huge for us when (Hardaway) can come in and hit 3-pointers like that,” Kidd said. “Not only did he make four, he had two chances at a four-point play.”

The Mavericks outscored Detroit 7-0 in the first minute of the fourth, extending their lead to 23 points.

“We just couldn’t score — we had seven turnovers in the third quarter — and no one played defense,” Pistons coach Monty Williams said. “We didn’t and they didn’t.”

The game got scrappy down the stretch. With 9:07 left, Stanley Umude was whistled for a flagrant four for hitting Hardaway in the head. Then, with 7:03 left, Jalen Duren fouled Gafford hard as he went to the basket on what would have been Doncic’s 10th assist. P.J. Washington lightly pushed Duren away from Gafford, who was on the floor, and Duren responded with a much harder shove, bringing all 10 players into the scrum.

Duren was ejected after receiving a personal foul and two technicals. Washington also received a technical.

“It’s a hard foul, but that’s basketball,” Gafford said. “I don’t hold that against anyone.”

Doncic left the game immediately after getting his 10th rebound.

“I kept looking at the scoreboard, and he was stuck on nine for a while,” Kidd said. “The Pistons couldn’t miss.”

Cunningham battled Doncic fairly evenly in the first half, posting 24 points, five rebounds and four assists. Meanwhile, Dallas turned eight turnovers by the Pistons into 18 points.

UP NEXT

Mavericks: At the Chicago Bulls on Monday

Pistons: Host the Charlotte Hornets on Monday

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