No Luka, no problem.
With Luka Doncic sidelined for the second straight game this series with a calf injury, the Dallas Mavericks still pulled off the Game 2 win over the Utah Jazz. The main reason why? Jalen Brunson’s scoring explosion.
Brunson, a second-round pick (No. 33 overall) in the 2018 NBA Draft, poured in a career-high 41 points on 15-of-25 shooting overall and 6-of-10 from 3-point range in a thrilling 110-104 victory to tie the series at 1-1. He added eight rebounds, five assists and two steals in 42 minutes.
Another impressive stat? He did that without recording a single turnover, making him the first player in franchise history to score 40 points without a mistake in a playoff game, via ESPN Stats & Info:
Brunson scored his first 11 points within the first five minutes of the opening quarter, hitting four field goals in a row (three from 3-point range). He’s been enjoying a career season averaging 16.3 points, 4.8 assists and 3.9 rebounds on a 50-37-84 shooting split.
He’s also due to hit unrestricted free agency this summer. A contract extension with Dallas has been a major talking point throughout the season, and this big-time performance could help his case to secure a major payday during the offseason.
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Game 3 will be in Utah on Thursday, April 21 with tip-off time slated for 9 p.m. ET. There is no word yet on Doncic’s status.