Doncic lights up, Dallas breaks Toronto. Giannis raises Milwaukee

Luka driver in Canada for the first victory of the Mavs, the Greek and Middleton make the difference for the champions in San Antonio

Davide Chinellato


Luka Doncic shows in Toronto why he is considered the favorite for the mvp award and gives Dallas its first victory in 2021-22. Giannis Antetokounmpo plays a complete match despite fouls problems and helps Milwaukee overtake San Antonio. Here’s what happened in the two highlights of the NBA night.

Toronto Raptors-Dallas Mavericks 95-103

Like a diesel. Inspired by the excellent Luka Doncic (27 points, 9 rebounds and 12 assists), Dallas moved to Toronto, hitting the first win of the season and inflicting the second knockout of the Raptors in three games. Match with two faces the one in front of the 19,800 of the Scotiabank Arena: hosts in control in the first half, guests at their best in the second half, when Luka rises in tone and drags his teammates behind, especially Tim Hardaway Jr who closes with 25 points and 7 triple on target. Coach Kidd still has a lot of work to do, especially in attack (41.8% from the field to the end), but the win in Canada is definitely a step up from the Atlanta flop in the first game of the season. In addition to Doncic and Hardaway, Kristaps Porzingis did well (18 points and 10 rebounds): he won’t be the unicorn yet, but at least he seemed more integrated with Doncic and the rest of the team. Toronto closes with the entire quintet in double figures: until OG Anunoby (20 of his 23 points in the first half) bit on offense and the defense held up, the Raptors held the match. Then, when Doncic became overwhelming, they gave in. Still good Scottie Barnes, showing with 17 points and 8 rebounds why Toronto chose him with number 4 in the draft.

The match

Toronto sprint start, which flies to 16-2 and controls for the rest of the first half, good at responding especially with Anunoby to Dallas’ comeback attempts. The game fails in the second half, when Doncic rises in tone (12 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists in the third period alone), dragging his teammates behind him. At 5’45 ”from the third siren comes the first Mavs advantage of the match, 64-62; Toronto remains in the game for the rest of the period but gives way in the fourth, turned off by Hardaway who has been raging for three. The Raptors do not give up, but when Kleber makes 94-78 Mavs with 4’47 ”to play, the match virtually goes to the archive.

Toronto:Anunoby 23 (4/6 from two, 5/9 from three), VanVleet 20, Barnes 17. Rebounds: Achiuwa 12. Assist: VanVleet 5.

Dallas:Doncic 27 (9/14, 2/19, 3/5 tl), Hardaway 25, Porzingis 18. Rimbalzi: Porzingis 10. Assist: Doncic 12.

San Antonio Spurs-Milwaukee Bucks 111-121

The champions got back on their feet. After the collapse of Miami, Milwaukee hits the second victory in three games in San Antonio, shaking off Gregg Popovich’s pugnacious Spurs in the final, in the second defeat in a row. The Bucks find Jrue Holiday, absent in Florida, but with Brook Lopez still in the pits for back problems they have to improvise with Pat Connaughton center holder. The champions ended with 6 players in double figures, above all Khris Middleton who scored 14 of his 28 points in the fourth period. Giannis Antetokounmpo, limited by problems of fouls, plays a complete game (21 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists): with him on the field +14 Bucks. The Achilles heel of the champions are turnovers: no less than 22, 16 of which “signed” by the Big Three. Popovich and the Spurs are “satisfied” with having battled a more popular team again, as they did two days earlier with Denver. The spotlight this time is taken by Doug McDermott, deadly with his 7 triples to target, a new career high (25 total points). Pop will also have the youngest and least valuable roster of its quarter-century of Spurs management, but it already seems to have managed to shape it: see Keldon Johnson, 20 points, to believe. Good for three quarters from the bench also Lonny Walker IV (17 points), but in the fourth period he was not seen, complete match by Dejounte Murray (10 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists), but to become the team man of which the Spurs need still has to climb a couple of steps.

The match

Milwaukee tries to break the great balance of the first half at the start of the second half (56-52 Bucks), with Thanasis Antetokounmpo who, at 8’44 ”from the third siren, signs the 70-57. San Antonio overturns everything with a 20-4 run, but the Bucks respond and close the period ahead 85-81. The push and pull continues also in the fourth period, opened by two triples from McDermott that close a Spurs 10-2 at 87-87, then Middleton rises to All Star level and hands the match to the guests.

San Antonio: McDermott 25 (2/2, 7/11), Johnson 20, Walker 17. Rimbalzi: Murray 9. Assist: White 8.

Milwaukee:Middleton 28 (7/10, 2/7, 8/9 tl), G. Antetokounmpo 21, Holiday 16, Connaughton 16. Rimbalzi: G. Antetokounmpo 8. Assist: G. Antetokounmpo 8.

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Doncic lights up, Dallas breaks Toronto. Giannis raises Milwaukee

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