DALLAS, TX – Luka Doncic finally had a chance to give former teammate Dirk Nowitzki a live look at how the Dallas Mavericks are coming along without the best player in franchise history.
Not too bad so far.
Doncic had 30 points and 14 assists with Nowitzki watching courtside next to owner Mark Cuban, and the Mavericks won by more than 40 points for the second straight game, routing the Cleveland Cavaliers 143-101 on Friday night.
Nowitzki stayed away for the first eight Dallas home games after setting an NBA record of 21 seasons with the same franchise while finishing last season as the highest-scoring foreign-born player in league history.
The big German got a standing ovation when shown on the video board in what was also his first peek in person at Dallas’ new European pairing of Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, the 7-foot-3 Latvian who missed his five shots but made his last six, finishing with 17 points.
“I’m here to make this franchise, make this team a better team,” said Porzingis, who also had four blocks in his 200th career game. “I’m trying to do my part. I’m sure Luka’s trying to do his part. He’s doing it well.
“As I said before, those are some huge shoes that we have to fill with Dirk ending his career and how high he set the standard for this organization.”
Rookie Darius Garland scored a career-high 23 points for the Cavaliers, who lost their sixth straight game while getting swept in a second consecutive season series against Dallas. Cleveland lost at home by 20 early this month.