There will be a clash of surging stars — Pascal Siakam and Luka Doncic — on Friday night when the Toronto Raptors visit the Dallas Mavericks.
Siakam reeled off his second triple-double of the season Wednesday with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in only 27:34 of playing time in the Raptors’ 143-100 romp over the host San Antonio Spurs.
“I just think Pascal has a great command of what he’s seeing and what he’s doing,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said.
It was the Raptors’ second straight lopsided victory without Fred VanVleet (back). Siakam scored 31 points with 12 rebounds Monday in a 139-109 victory over the visiting Atlanta Hawks.
Meanwhile, Doncic made history with 33 points and 11 assists Wednesday in the Mavericks 103-100 victory over the visiting Utah Jazz.
Doncic became the third player in NBA history to score at least 30 points in each of his first seven games of the season. He joined Wilt Chamberlain (eight games in 1959-60 and 23 games in 1962-63) and Jack Twyman (seven games in 1959-60).
“That’s rare air,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said. “We get to see that on a nightly basis, so that’s pretty cool. A 23-year-old kid that’s playing at this level is really, really special. He can do it in so many ways, when you talk about posting up or getting to the basket, shooting the 3, shooting the little stepback. … He’s carrying the team and putting the team in position to win.”
“I’m trying to win games,” Doncic said. “Whoever scores more, you’re going to win the games. I think (Wednesday) was one of the best games I’ve played — just not forcing a lot, sharing the ball. I think we shared the ball great (Wednesday).”
The Mavericks will be facing a Raptors team that plays disruptive defense. Toronto had 16 steals and forced 23 turnovers in San Antonio and had 13 steals and forced 18 turnovers against the Hawks.
“That’s our identity,” Siakam said. “That’s what we have to be. We have to be that team that disrupts the other team, that gets them away from what they do best, period.”
O.G. Anunoby, who had six steals against Atlanta, added five steals in San Antonio.
“I’ve always wanted to be defensive player of the year,” Anunoby said. “I’ve always thought I was the best defender in the league. I’ve thought that for I don’t know how many years.”
“As long as he focuses on that every single day and doesn’t take days off, he’s already special,” Siakam said. “So I think he can continue to get better at it. He can do it in his sleep, it feels like. It doesn’t look like he’s really trying out there.”
Otto Porter Jr. (hamstring) played his first game of the season for Toronto and had five points, three rebounds and two steals in 10:31 of game time as a reserve.
With a third consecutive strong game on Wednesday, Dallas’ Dwight Powell might have earned consideration for a starting spot at center on Friday.
He had nine points on 4-for-5 shooting from the field with five rebounds, one blocked shot and one steal in 18:36 as a reserve against Utah.
Kidd said that Powell “has earned it” when asked about a possible start and confirmed that his staff would consider a lineup adjustment for Friday.
–Field Level Media