Mavs news: Gregg Popovich, Lonnie Walker IV on defending Luka Doncic
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Gregg Popovich, Lonnie Walker IV speaks on defending Mavs’ Luka Doncic

Mavs, Luka Doncic, Spurs, Gregg Popovich, Lonnie Walker IV

The Dallas Mavericks further bolstered their record to 36-23 after rallying past the San Antonio Spurs 109-103 on Wednesday night. Mavs All-Star Luka Doncic put on his usual numbers, recording a triple double in the matchup.

Now, speaking to reporters after the game, Spurs guard Lonnie Walker IV acknowledged the defense’s focus on Doncic. Long-time head coach Gregg Popovich further noted how guarding Doncic is a “great lesson” for Walker IV, who has recently been getting more consistent minutes.

Walker talked about trying to make Luka uncomfortable with his shots, albeit in a wasted effort as the Mavs star still played great. He also credited Dallas’ capable role players who knocked down key open shots.

Pop echoed Walker IV’s praise of the first-time All-Star, adding that guarding Doncic was part of Lonnie’s journey of becoming more solid on both ends of the court.

Luka Doncic, an All-Star in only his sophomore year, is putting up almost unbelievable numbers. At only 20 years old, the 6-foot-7 guard is averaging 28.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 8.6 assists per game. Wednesday night’s matchup against the Spurs saw him rack up 26 points, 10 rebounds, and 14 assists.

The Slovenian Wonderboy, in fact, tied the franchise record for most triple-doubles with 21.

Walker, meanwhile, plays an average of 14 minutes this season and has started in only three games prior to Wednesday. The young guard was once again inserted into the Spurs’ starting lineup due to LaMarcus Aldridge’s absence.

Playing a rare 27 minutes against a capable scorer in Doncic did not phase Walker offensively though, as the Spurs youngster put up 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting.

The game was important for both Texas teams, with the Mavs seeking to overtake the Thunder and Jazz for a higher playoff seed and the Spurs still chasing the last playoff spot.