Luka Doncic scores 39 in triple-double, Mavericks beat Hornets 130-104 for 15th win in 17 games

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Luka Doncic had 39 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists, and the Dallas Mavericks continued their surge heading into the postseason, beating the Charlotte Hornets 130-104 on Tuesday night for their 15th win in 17 games.

The NBA’s leading scorer had 21 points and made five 3-pointers in the first quarter as the Mavericks bolted to a 36-14-point lead. Doncic finished 8 of 17 from beyond the arc in his 21st triple-double of the season. He also set a Mavericks franchise record for points in a season with 2,341, surpassing Mark Aguirre’s 2,330 in 1983-84.

Daniel Gafford scored 26 points and Kyrie Irving added 18 points, nine assists and eight rebounds for the Mavericks (49-30), who are fifth in the Western Conference.

Miles Bridges scored 22 points and Brandon Miller 21 for the Hornets, who wrapped up a franchise-long eight-game homestand with a 2-6 record.

After Doncic dominated the first quarter, Irving took over in the second, helping Dallas take a 22-point lead at halftime.

P.J. Washington, acquired in a midseason trade with the Hornets, struggled in his return to Charlotte, missing all seven shots and making one free throw.

Doncic toyed with the Hornets most of the night, creating space to shoot 3s and finding big creases in the defense on drives. His most impressive play wasn’t a basket, but rather a one-handed lob to Gafford for an alley-oop.

Charlotte cut the lead to 11 in the fourth quarter, but Doncic rifled a pass to Gafford for another dunk, igniting a 13-0 run.

The Hornets honored coach Steve Clifford before the game with a framed jersey. Clifford is stepping down after the season, his seventh with the Hornets in two separate stints.

UP NEXT

Mavericks: At Miami on Wednesday night.

Hornets: Finish up with three away games, beginning Wednesday night at Atlanta.

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AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA

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