Luka Doncic from the Dallas Mavericks has been on a scoring tear by dropping 50 or more points in three out of his last five games. His scoring surge coincided with a six-game winning streak for the Mavs, who recently moved into fourth place in the Western Conference.
During the Mavs’ winning streak, Doncic averaged 42.2 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 10.2 assists per game.
The Mavs are 11-5 since the start of December after they sunk to an emotional low with an 131-125 overtime loss against the Detroit Pistons on Dec. 1. They ended the month with six wins in a row and currently occupy the #4 seed in the Western Conference playoff standings.
The Mavs’ run began a couple days before Christmas with two close road victories against the Minnesota Timberwolves and Houston Rockets. The Mavs came from behind to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers on Christmas, and then edged out the New York Knicks on overtime two nights later to extend their winning streak to four in a row. Their winning streak continued over the weekend with an easy victory against the Rockets, and a close shave against the San Antonio Spurs to end 2022 on a 6-0 spurt.
The Mavs have an easy opponent on Monday night when they return to Houston to take on the Rockets. The last-place Rockets are +7.5 home dogs.
The Mavs face two tough foes later in the week when they host the Boston Celtics on Thursday, and then square off against the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday.
Luka has now dropped 50+ in 3 of his last 5 games. Unstoppable. pic.twitter.com/AFYYqmWaUb
— NBA (@NBA) January 1, 2023
Luka Drops Another 50
Doncic scored at least 32 points in his last five games, and he’s now the NBA’s scoring leader. He averages a career-best 34.2 points, 8.9 assists, and 8.7 rebounds per game this season. He’s also posting career highs in overall field goal shooting (51.1%) and 3-point shooting (36.7%).
Doncic’s scoring bonanza began with 50 points against the Rockets on Dec. 23. He lit up the Knicks for a triple-double in an overtime win on Dec. 27, which included 61 point, 21 rebounds, and 10 assists. On New Year’s Eve, Doncic put on another show with 51 points in a one-point victory against the Spurs.
It’s incredible,” said Mavs center Christian Wood “In my seven years in the league, I’ve never seen anybody do what he’s able to do. He’s on an incredible run. He’s playing like an MVP. Clearly one of the best players in the league.”
Over the last five games, Doncic averages a triple-double with 45.6 points, 11.2 rebounds, and 10.2 assists per game.
Prop bettors are aware of Doncic’s hot shooting. Doncic is now the consensus favorite to win the MVP at +275 odds, according to DraftKings’ NBA awards board. A month earlier, Doncic was one of three MVP co-favorites with Jayson Tatum from the Boston Celtics, and Giannis Antetokounmpo from the Milwaukee Bucks. Tatum is now second on the board at +330 odds, followed by Antetokounmpo at +400.
Three-Way Race Develops in Southwest Division
The Southwest Division is a polarizing division in the NBA this season with three strong teams and two of the worst in the league. Only 2.5 games separate the Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans, and Dallas Mavs for the division title.
The San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets combined for 50 losses already. Both teams are in the running to secure the #1 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft Lottery and eventually select international phenom Victor Wembanyama.
In late December, two top teams in the Southwest battled for the #1 seed in the Western Conference. The Memphis Grizzlies were in contention for the best record in the west even though starting shooting guard Desmond Bane was sidelined for over a month with a toe injury. The New Orleans Pelicans were also jockeying for the top seed after finding their groove in December thanks in part to a healthy Zion Williamson.
The Grizzlies and Pelicans are tied for first place in the Southwest Division with a 23-13 record. The red-hot Mavs are closing in on them and now trail the division co-leaders by 2.5 games.
The Grizzlies are -155 odds to claim back-to-back Southwest titles, according to DraftKings. The Pelicans are +165 odds to win the Southwest, and the Mavs saw their divisional odds bump to +600.
The Mavs are currently +3000 odds to win the 2022-23 NBA championship, but their recent six-game winning streak did not influence the futures market. They’ve been listed at +3000 odds over the last three weeks.
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