CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – The dangerous duo is back in Dallas.
Luka Doncic had 34 points, 13 rebounds, nine assists and a career-high four blocks, Kristaps Porzingis scored 16 points in his return from a knee injury and the Mavericks beat the Charlotte Hornets 104-93 on Wednesday night.
"Having both guys there at the same time changes a game changer for us," said Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, who became the 16th coach in NBA history to have 800 wins. "They are two guys who can play on the inside and divide the court on the outside."
Tim Hardaway Jr. added 18 points for the Mavericks. They won four in a row after opening 2-4.
Terry Rozier had 18 points to lead the Hornets. They shot 38% of the field and their four-game winning streak was broken.
Porzingis played for the first time since knee surgery in October.
The 7-foot-3 Let impacted play on both sides with its size, easily able to shoot over smaller defenders while turning shots in the paint against the smaller Hornets. Charlotte occasionally tried to counter with a small ball line-up, but struggled all night with Dallas' height and height.
"That's the first time we've seen this line-up and they're tall, they're physical," said Hornets coach James Borrego. “Those are two special players who can play at a high level. Give Doncic the credit for playing a great game tonight. Porzingis's height and size clearly played a role. "
Porzingis played 21 minutes, finished 6 of 16 from the floor and 4 of 9 from past the 3-point arc. He had four rebounds.
Porzingis said he felt good on the floor, but admitted that he might have forced himself to take some bad shots because he had a minute restriction imposed by Carlisle.
"I tried to do as much as possible in the minutes I had," said Porzingis. "And sometimes you don't make the best decisions if you want to be really aggressive. But it's okay. It's part of it. I wanted to be aggressive when I was there."
“He's a great player,” said Doncic. "He needs to get back into the rhythm, but I think he played great for the first game."
Doncic seemed frustrated with the lack of calls in the second half, but used that as motivation. After not calling, Doncic rushed back to block Gordon Hayward's shot, threw the loose ball and drove all over the floor where he raised a one-handed lane-oop pass to Josh Green for the lay-in.
Doncic became irritable at the end of the third quarter after Charlotte & # 39; s Caleb Martin said something to him. Doncic started to walk up to Martin and shouted back when the referees judged Martin a technical foul.
Carlisle said that looking back at 800 wins in his career, he was fortunate to have had "great ownership" and "exceptional players" during his time on the bench. "It's just a privilege to be one of the 30 guys who coach in this great competition," said Carlisle.
Mavericks: Jalen Brunson, Dorian Finney-Smith, Maxi Kleber, Dwight Powell, and Josh Richardson didn't play because of the NBA's health and safety protocols.
Hornets: Hornets coach James Borrego said Hayward left the game in the fourth quarter due to a strained hip. After averaging 29.2 points over the four-game winning streak, Hayward was held at 16 points on the Mavericks' 5-of-15 shots. … P.J. Washington had 16 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists.
Mavericks: In Milwaukee on Friday nights.
Hornets: Vs. Toronto in Tampa, Florida, on Thursday and Saturday nights.