West Notes: Mavs, Luka Doncic, Thunder, Clippers


Finally, the Mavericks were able to dispatch of the Suns, leading by as many as 27 points in a blowout home victory on Monday.

Yes, the Mavs blasted the Suns in Game 7 of last year’s Western Conference semifinals. But they had lost 10 straight to the Suns in the regular season. That streak is history now, though, and Mavs star Luka Doncic kept things simple when addressing it.

“I’m really happy,” he told reporters. “I like this.”

  • Doncic leads the NBA in scoring at 33.4 points per game. Along with that, he’s tied for third in steals (1.8 spg) and fourth in assists (8.5 apg).
  • Point guard Kemba Walker dressed for Monday’s game, but still has yet to make his Mavs debut. It marked the fourth game since he signed with Dallas.


Shooting guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the Thunder have been one of the NBA’s most pleasant surprises, quietly winning games that everyone suspects they will probably lose. Monday’s road victory over the Hawks being the latest example.

Gilgeous-Alexander is third in the NBA in scoring average at 31.3 points per game, and he indicated even when he’s off, he knows he’ll eventually get going. That was the case Monday — especially when it came to driving to the basket and creating free-throw opportunities.

“Try to be aggressive, I try not to seek them too much, just play aggressive basketball and then when the opportunity presents itself I like to get there,” Gilgeous-Alexander told reporters. “Unfortunately I didn’t get (to the line) in the first half and I knew that going into halftime that I was going to try to get there in the second half for sure.”

  • Point guard Josh Giddey on the Thunder: “The good thing about our team is we don’t give in. We play through it. When things get tough, we come together.”


  • In case you missed it, star forward Kawhi Leonard finally returned and made a major impact right away. We have that full story here.
  • With Leonard, Paul George and John Wall all finally together, there are those who think the Clippers will be playing their best basketball when it means the most. They are, after all, 4-0 when Leonard plays this season.

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