Mavericks rookie sensation Luka Doncic scored 31 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out four assists in 18 minutes in Doncic’s home debut with his new team. The 21-year-old gave the Mavericks their biggest lead of the game with a stretch of three 3-pointers in a three-minute span late in the third quarter, and Dallas held on to defeat the Houston Rockets 116-106 on Wednesday night in the team’s first game at American Airlines Center since Mark Cuban bought the team for a record $2 billion in 2013.
The crowd’s reaction to Mavs President and former NBA coach Don Nelson was one of the most charming moments of the game. Fans gave Nelson a standing ovation for being elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this week. Following the game, Kidd, who has spent 25 years as an NBA player and coach and ranks fifth on the NBA’s all-time assist list, addressed the crowd in his first home game as a head coach.
From the Associated Press:
“It means so much for me to be able to be back here with you all. It’s a dream come true to be able to say thank you. I think you know this organization, the city that I grew up in, really has given me so much.”
Doncic is the league’s top rookie in scoring (16.2), assists (5.3) and blocks (0.9). He shot 12-for-18 from the field Wednesday night, including 8-for-9 from 3-point range.