TOP News

Sports: Dinwiddie thrives with fresh start, lifts playoff-bound Mavs

Kraken expected to trade captain Mark Giordano ahead of deadline

  Kraken expected to trade captain Mark Giordano ahead of deadline Giordano, 38, was a Norris Trophy winner in 2018-19, and still is producing at a high level for the Kraken. With 23 points in 50 games, he is their highest-scoring defenseman, and with more than 21 minutes of ice time a night, he plays more than everyone except Adam Larsson. Any acquiring team wouldn’t likely be asking him to do as much, which could perhaps improve his performance even further for a short postseason run.The Rangers have been linked to basically every player on the market this year as they try to parlay an incredible season by Igor Shesterkin into true contender status.

DALLAS (AP) — Spencer Dinwiddie looked a little puzzled at first over a question after a recent game about what changed when his scoreless first quarter was followed by 11 points in the second.

  Dinwiddie thrives with fresh start, lifts playoff-bound Mavs © Provided by The Canadian Press

Once the Dallas guard had clarity, he flashed a quick smile. The answer was easy. Luka Doncic scored 16 points in that first quarter.

“Oh, Luka was on a heater,” Dinwiddie said. “You get out of the man's way.”

New to the Mavericks after a trade that sent Kristaps Porzingis to the Wizards, Dinwiddie didn't need any time to figure out that part of the formula for a franchise with the 23-year-old Doncic shining as the brightest star — by far.

Hornets rout road-weary Mavs 129-108 for 4th straight win

  Hornets rout road-weary Mavs 129-108 for 4th straight win CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Miles Bridges scored 23 points, P.J. Washington added a season-high 21 and the Charlotte Hornets routed the road-weary Dallas Mavericks 129-108 on Saturday night for their fourth straight victory. Terry Rozier scored 18 points, and LaMelo Ball and Kelly Oubre each had 17 points for the Hornets. They shot 20 of 42 from 3-point range. “We knew it was going to turn around for us eventually,” Bridges said, referring to the Hornets losing 11 of their final 13 games in February. Luka Doncic had 37 points and eight 3s for the Mavericks, who were playing their fifth road game in eight nights and on the second night of a back-to-back.

Dinwiddie says he also had no trouble understanding the more complicated dynamics that come with trying to find his way in a new locker room. The eight-year veteran was stung by reports suggesting he was a problem in his old one.

His effort to prove otherwise is boosting the playoff-bound Mavericks, who play at Minnesota on Friday night.

“He’s been very receptive to coaching and to his teammates, and they trust him,” Dallas coach Jason Kidd said. “That’s one of the hardest things is, how fast will the trust take place? I think you can see the trust is at a very high level when he’s on the floor.”

Dinwiddie signed a $54 million, three-year contract with the Wizards in the offseason despite his final season in Brooklyn ending after just three games because of a torn ACL in his right knee.

Bullock, Mavs hold on after delay, beat Timberwolves 110-108

  Bullock, Mavs hold on after delay, beat Timberwolves 110-108 DALLAS (AP) — A 15-minute rain delay in an arena before the game, another interruption during a tedious and wild finish for teams jockeying for playoff position in the Western Conference. Reggie Bullock must not have minded either wait. The Dallas guard scored 18 points with a clutch 3-pointer late after missing four games for personal reasons, and the Mavericks beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 110-108 on Monday night. Luka Doncic had 15 points and 10 assists, the final one setting up a 3 by Dorian Finney-Smith from the same right corner where Bullock connected moments later for a five-point lead with 40 seconds left.

Washington started quickly, but faded almost as fast — and Dinwiddie's production did the same. After the deal with Dallas came together a few hours before the Feb. 10 trading deadline, first-year Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr. described his brief time with Dinwiddie as “one of those things that you could say it didn't work.”

Other reports weren't so kind, some suggesting his teammates didn't want to play with him.

“I think that's what hurt the most,” Dinwiddie said. "When the role changed and they wanted me to pass more, I did that. I took my foot off the gas scoring-wise because that's what the team felt like they needed.

“To kind of get kicked out the door was a wild feeling. I hadn’t really experienced that before. I still have nothing ill to say other than, yes, it hurt my feelings. Just like anything else, you become cautiously optimistic about your new situation.”

Seven games into that new situation, Dinwiddie drew his first start when Doncic rested a sore foot. He scored a season-high 36 points in a 114-113 win over Sacramento.

Mark Borowiecki out week-to-week

  Mark Borowiecki out week-to-week Just as he was getting healthy again, another injury has sidelined Nashville Predators defenseman Mark Borowiecki. The team announced that he won’t be in the lineup tonight against the Vegas Golden Knights and that he’s week-to-week with an upper-body injury. © Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports Nashville Predators defenseman Mark Borowiecki (90) is dealing with an upper-body injury. Borowiecki returned to the lineup on March 21st against Anaheim after missing over two weeks with a lower-body injury.

Dinwiddie finished with 23 points in the game that included the scoreless first quarter, a crucial 111-103 victory over Utah.

When Doncic rested again Wednesday night, this time because of a sore ankle, Dinwiddie had his own heater. He scored 19 points in the first 16-plus minutes of a 110-91 win over Houston that pulled Dallas even with Utah for the fourth seed and home-court advantage in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.

Among the nine games remaining for the Mavericks and Jazz is their final meeting of the regular season Sunday in Dallas. Utah holds the tiebreaker, and is in good shape to keep it even if the Mavericks win to split the four-game series.

Still, the Mavericks have a chance to go 2-0 against the Jazz since Dinwiddie arrived. The cautious optimism has turned to joy — something Dinwiddie expressed with in-person thanks to new general manager Nico Harrison moments after hitting a buzzer-beating 3-pointer in a 113-111 victory at Brooklyn, where his career blossomed two years ago.

“You still just kind of approach the situation with kid gloves, see what’s going on,” Dinwiddie said of the days after the trade. “Everything that’s been said to me so far has been authentic and everybody has bought into doing what they need to do to win. They encouraged me to be aggressive.”

James out at Mavs, Davis near return as Lakers eye play-in

  James out at Mavs, Davis near return as Lakers eye play-in DALLAS (AP) — LeBron James will miss a game at Dallas with a sprained right ankle and Anthony Davis remains sidelined but close to returning from a foot sprain as the Los Angeles Lakers battle for the final play-in spot in the Western Conference. The Lakers entered the meeting with the Mavericks on Tuesday night a half-game ahead of San Antonio for 10th in the West. An LA loss would leave the teams tied with seven games remaining. James and Davis were listed as doubtful, which was actually an upgrade for Davis. The eight-time All-Star hasn't played since Feb. 16 because of the right mid-foot sprain.

Dinwiddie is averaging 18.2 points per game with Dallas, almost six more than with the Wizards. He's shooting 50% overall and 41% from 3-point range, compared to 38% and 31% in Washington. Dallas is 12-3 in games he has played.

“He didn’t really talk about there,” backcourt mate Jalen Brunson said. “As soon as he came here, he just kind of talked about he just wanted to help us win. That was on his mind. That was what was most important. And he’s doing it.”

And he understands it's Doncic first and everything else second — except when Doncic isn't playing.

“When I’m with him, it’s about being ready to shoot, being ready to catch and go and restart the blender as he kind of collapses the defense,” Dinwiddie said. “When he’s out, it’s kind of on me to start the blender.”

And maybe go on a heater.


More AP NBA: and

Schuyler Dixon, The Associated Press

Luka Doncic-led Mavericks beat Pistons 131-113 for 50th win .
DETROIT (AP) — Luka Doncic has helped the Dallas Mavericks win 50 games, a relatively rare feat lately for the franchise. The All-Star guard had 26 points, 14 assists and eight rebounds to lead Dallas in a 131-113 win over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night. The Mavericks reached the 50-win mark for the first time in seven years, and just the second since winning their only NBA title. “It’s a great accomplishment," coach Jason Kidd said.The All-Star guard had 26 points, 14 assists and eight rebounds to lead Dallas in a 131-113 win over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.

See also