DALLAS (AP)Luka Doncic had 33 points and 12 rebounds in his return from a seven-game absence because of a sprained ankle, leading the Dallas Mavericks to a 130-111 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night.
An All-Star starter in his second season, Doncic added eight assists in the NBA triple-double leader’s final game before the break. The 20-year-old sensation also plans to play in the rising stars game during All-Star weekend in Chicago.
It’s the second time Doncic has missed games with a sprained right ankle. He was out four games in December after getting hurt early in a loss to Miami, then re-injured the ankle in practice late last month.
Kristaps Porzingis had 27 points and 13 rebounds with his fellow Euro star back after the 7-foot-3 Latvian recorded a career-best three consecutive games with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds while his Slovenian teammate was sidelined.
Buddy Hield scored 22 points and De’Aaron Fox added 16 for the Kings, who fell behind for good in the second quarter and were never closer than 11 points in the second half.
Doncic didn’t need long to find a groove, scoring 17 points in the first half with eight rebounds and five assists, including a no-look pass in transition to Maxi Kleber for a dunk.
Porzingis, who had five assists and three blocks, was 11 of 16 from the field with an emphatic dunk in transition that pushed the Dallas lead past 20 for the first time at 89-68 late in the third quarter.
Kent Bazemore scored 15 points and hit a 3-pointer that briefly put the Kings ahead in the second quarter after they trailed by 12 less than nine minutes into the game.
Kings: Coach Luke Walton said the club decided to wait until after the All-Star break for Jabari Parker’s return from a right shoulder injury. Parker has missed 24 of the past 25 games. … Marvin Bagley, drafted one spot ahead of Doncic at No. 2 overall in 2018, missed both games in Dallas. He was out for the 11th straight game with left foot soreness. Bagley has been limited to 13 games this season.
Mavericks: Dallas decided to wait until after the break for the debut of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. The No. 2 pick from the 2012 draft signed with the Mavericks after taking a buyout in Charlotte. … Dallas’ win was just the second in the past 10 games for the home team in the series. … Tim Hardaway Jr. had 19 points and six assists.
Both teams are going into the All-Star break. Sacramento returns Feb. 20 at home against Memphis. Dallas is back Feb. 21 at Orlando.
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