Bucks vs. Mavericks takeaways: Luka Doncic outduels Giannis, helps Dallas win with spectacular triple-double

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Dallas Mavericks
USATSI

The seeding games inside the NBA's Disney World bubble continued on Saturday night with a matchup between two of the league's best young players, and the action did not disappoint. After a thrilling game that needed overtime, Luka Doncic led the Dallas Mavericks to a 136-132 win over Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. 

Continuing the trend that's been going on in Orlando, Luka Doncic was unbelievable, finishing with 36 points, 14 rebounds and a career-high 19 assists for his league-leading 17th triple-double this season. He did everything for his team, including throwing one of the best passes of the season to help seal the win late in the fourth quarter. 

Giannis and Brook Lopez both finished with 34 points to lead the Bucks, while Khris Middleton added 21 points, six rebounds and 11 assists. But while Milwaukee had plenty of success on the offensive end, they couldn't figure out how to slow down the Mavericks' offensive attack, and that was their downfall on the night. 

Luka, take a bow

Look, Luka is amazing. We know what he's about. We know his passing, we know his shooting, his ability to completely control the game on the offensive end. And yet somehow he shows up every night and makes us shake our heads in disbelief. Beyond the skills and the competitiveness, that ability to make you keep coming back for more, waiting desperately for the next amazing play even though you've seen countless others before it, is what really separates the true greats. And Luka has it, one hundred percent. 

His one-hand, between-the-legs pocket pass on the move to Maxi Kleber for a dunk was one of the best passes in years, and to do it in overtime of a close game was just... wow. He's a magician. He's unbelievable. There is not enough space here to give justice to his performance. 

For the night, he finished with 36 points, 14 rebounds and a career-high 19 assists, and overall, he was responsible for 81 of the Mavericks' 136 points on the night, which doesn't even seem like it should be possible. It was his 17th triple-double of the season, guaranteeing him the season crown, and it was his 12th 30-point triple-double of the season; only Russell Westbrook and Oscar Robertson have had more of those in one campaign. 

Mavericks finally take advantage of stars

Luka and Kristaps Porzingis have been terrific since the restart. From crazy triple-doubles from Luka, to 30-point nights from Porzingis, their stars have been ready to go. Unfortunately, it hasn't translated to much success. Coming into this game, they were just 1-3 in the bubble, and all alone in seventh place. 

It took overtime, but on Saturday night they finally took advantage of the young duo showing out. Luka's brilliance has already been covered, but Porzingis had another solid game himself, finishing with 26 points, 11 rebounds and three assists, even if he was a bit inefficient. 

With the win, the Mavericks improved to 2-3 in Orlando, and 42-30 overall. They're still solidly in the No. 7 spot in the West, but if they wanted any hope of moving up, they had to have this game. Now, they're two games back of both the Oklahoma City Thunder and Utah Jazz, who are tied for fifth. With only three games to play, they don't have any margin for error, but it's technically still possible for them to jump up a spot and avoid the Clippers, who look likely to finish second, in the first round. 

Lopez breaks out

Brook Lopez has been a revelation since joining the Bucks. He's been the centerpiece of their dynamite defense, swallowing up everything at the rim, and his ability to stretch the floor has helped open up so much space for Giannis to operate. Few role players mean more to their team than Lopez. 

But after shooting a career-best 36.5 percent from 3-point land last season, he's quietly dropped all the way down to 30.6 percent. The Bucks have been so good that it hasn't really mattered, but it does make their offense just a bit less threatening when one of the guys they spread around the perimeter can't be trusted to hit a 3 in a playoff game.

On Saturday night, however, Lopez had it dialed in. He went 6 of 12 from downtown en route to a season-high 34 points. It was the first time all season he's made six 3s, after doing it five times last season. In the four games he's played inside the bubble, he's now at 43.5 percent on 5.8 3-point attempts per game. If he's found his shot down in Orlando, that would be a huge boost for the Bucks. 

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SAT 8:30 P
DAL +6, o238
ESPN
DAL 6, O/U 238

Season Leaders

points
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G. Antetokounmpo 26.7 PTS, 5.7 AST, 13.8 REB
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G. Antetokounmpo 26.7 PTS, 5.7 AST, 13.8 REB
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L. Doncic 31.0 PTS, 8.7 AST, 9.8 REB
headshot-image
L. Doncic 31.0 PTS, 8.7 AST, 9.8 REB
assists
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K. Middleton 20.3 PTS, 6.0 AST, 6.9 REB
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K. Middleton 20.3 PTS, 6.0 AST, 6.9 REB
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L. Doncic 31.0 PTS, 8.7 AST, 9.8 REB
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L. Doncic 31.0 PTS, 8.7 AST, 9.8 REB
rebounds
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G. Antetokounmpo 26.7 PTS, 5.7 AST, 13.8 REB
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G. Antetokounmpo 26.7 PTS, 5.7 AST, 13.8 REB
headshot-image
L. Doncic 31.0 PTS, 8.7 AST, 9.8 REB
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L. Doncic 31.0 PTS, 8.7 AST, 9.8 REB
Live updates
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@dallasmavs via Twitter
August 9, 2020, 4:27 AM
@Bucks via Twitter
August 9, 2020, 4:21 AM
@dallasmavs via Twitter
August 9, 2020, 4:11 AM
@Bucks via Twitter
August 9, 2020, 3:54 AM
@Bucks via Twitter
August 9, 2020, 3:45 AM
@dallasmavs via Twitter
August 9, 2020, 3:41 AM

luka has been just unreal tonight. gets the floater to go there to give the mavs a 135-130 lead with 11 seconds left. that should do it. luka has 36 points, 14 rebounds and 19 assists tonight lol

August 9, 2020, 3:34 AM
@dallasmavs via Twitter
August 9, 2020, 3:32 AM

OH MY GOD LUKA

August 9, 2020, 3:31 AM

and now here come the bucks! two quick baskets for giannis and then a 3 by middleton and now its back to a two point game. mavs up 128-126 with 1:42 left

August 9, 2020, 3:28 AM

finney smith another 3! mavs up 9 all of a sudden

August 9, 2020, 3:24 AM

mavericks open up overtime with two straight 3s. one by tim hardaway jr and one by dorian finney smith. dallas up 125-119 with 3:30 to go

August 9, 2020, 3:23 AM
@dallasmavs via Twitter
August 9, 2020, 3:23 AM
@Bucks via Twitter
August 9, 2020, 3:22 AM

that challenge is looking huge now for the bucks that we're going to overtime. they would have had a tough time playing the extra frame without the greek freak

August 9, 2020, 3:19 AM

luka ties things up and the bucks decide to go no time out. george hill wide open from 3 but its no good so we're going to overtime

August 9, 2020, 3:18 AM

so the bucks win the challenge, kind of. still a foul, so luka will go to the line to tie the game. but the foul has been changed from giannis to khris middleton. so giannis stays in the game

August 9, 2020, 3:16 AM

and giannis has just fouled out of the game. luka drove inside and got fouled. he will go to the line for two free throws to try and tie the game..... all of that depending on the result of the bucks challenge

August 9, 2020, 3:14 AM
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