Dallas guard Luka Doncic is defended by Killian Hayes of the Pistons’ during the Mavericks’ 131-113 win Wednesday night in Detroit. Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

DETROIT — Luka Doncic had 26 points, 14 assists and eight assists to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a 131-113 win over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.

The Mavericks are 20 games above .500 for the first time since 2011, when they went on to win the NBA title. They’re set up to earn home-court advantage in the playoffs for the first time since Coach Jason Kidd was their point guard during the championship season. The Mavericks need just one more win or one loss by Utah to assure themselves of a top-four finish.

Dallas reached the 50-win mark for the first time in seven years, and just the second since winning their only NBA title.

Jalen Brunson had 24 points for the Mavericks, who have won five of their last six to build momentum going into the playoffs next week.

Rookie of the Year candidate Cade Cunningham had 25 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for the Pistons, who had won three straight to match their longest winning streak of the season.

NETS 110, KNICKS 98: Kevin Durant had 32 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, leading visiting Brooklyn back from a 21-point deficit.


After watching the Nets rally from 28 down while he was hurt in their last visit to Madison Square Garden, Durant scored 23 points in the second half to fuel this comeback that pulled Brooklyn within a game of Cleveland for seventh place in the East.

The Nets host the Cavaliers on Friday night. If they win that and then beat Indiana on Sunday in their regular-season finale, they would finish seventh and need to win one game in two chances at home in the play-in round to qualify for the postseason.

Kyrie Irving added 24 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Nets, who swept the four-game season series and beat the Knicks for the seventh straight time – their longest winning streak in the local rivalry since taking a franchise-record 11 in a row from 1984-86.

HAWKS 118, WIZARDS 103: Trae Young scored 16 of his 30 points in the third quarter to help Atlanta pull away from visiting Washington.

The Hawks are ninth in the Eastern Conference, thanks to Brooklyn’s tiebreaker edge for eighth, and bound for the play-in tournament with two games remaining in the regular season.

Kristaps Porzingis led Washington with 26 points and 18 rebounds.



BULLS: Point guard Lonzo Ball will miss the remainder of the season following another setback in his recovery from surgery for a torn meniscus in his left knee, the team announced. Ball’s final game was on Jan. 14, and he had surgery two weeks later.

The Bulls hoped a recent 10-day shutdown after he experienced discomfort would resolve the issue and allow him to return this season. But he felt pain again when he tried to ramp up his activities.

“I think the biggest thing everybody is trying to do right now is how do we actually get him, from a health standpoint, feeling better, where he can actually start to ramp up and do some things,” Bulls Coach Billy Donovan said Wednesday.

The Bulls acquired Ball from New Orleans in a sign-and-trade deal after agreeing to a four-year, $85 million contract. He played a major role in Chicago’s resurgence when he was healthy.

Ball averaged 13 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.8 steals in 35 games. Besides giving the Bulls a steadying hand on offense, he helped tighten their perimeter defense.


Chicago, which led the Eastern Conference for part of the season, was in sixth place with a 45-34 record entering Wednesday’s game against the Boston Celtics. The Bulls ended a string of four losing seasons and have qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2017.

ALL-STAR GAME: The NBA plans to keep its next All-Star Game in Salt Lake City, despite its opposition to Utah’s ban on transgender youth athletes playing on girls’ teams.

The Utah Jazz are set to host the event next February, but there was speculation the NBA could take it away because of what the team called “discriminatory legislation.”

But Commissioner Adam Silver said Wednesday the event will stay put as planned.

“There was no discussion over the past two days about moving the All-Star Game from Salt Lake City, and we do not anticipate moving the game,” Silver said.

The NBA pulled the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte because of its opposition to a North Carolina law known as HB2 that limited anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people. The game was played in New Orleans before the league returned to Charlotte in 2019.


Silver said the circumstances are different this time, adding that the league didn’t want to be in a position where it risked having to keep moving its events as similar laws were becoming more common. When Utah’s GOP lawmakers pushed through their ban last month, it joined 11 other states with similar legislation.

BUCKS: Milwaukee signed Luca Vildoza, a 26-year-old guard from Argentina.

Vildoza played two NBA Las Vegas Summer League games last year with the New York Knicks, who waived him on Oct. 3.

The 6-foot-3 Vildoza was named the Spanish ACB League Finals MVP in 2020 after helping Baskonia win the league title. He played for Baskonia from 2017-21.

He averaged 10.6 points, 3.5 assists, 1.9 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 24.5 minutes in 62 games across EuroLeague and Spanish ACB competition in the 2020-21 season.

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