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DALLAS – The Detroit Pistons had the opportunity to achieve a key victory on the road Friday night.

But the Pistons who scored a late drought ended their chances of taking two games on the three-game trip.

Rookie Luka Doncic was as good as he was announced with 32 points, eight rebounds and eight assists to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a 106-101 victory at the American Airlines Arena.

The Pistons struggled to contain the possible rookie of the year, so coach Dwane Casey was forced to play with Stanley Johnson late.

Johnson did a good job of limiting Doncic, but he is not a scoring threat since he was 0 out of 6 at night.

Windsor: Blake Griffin is tired of the lack of concentration of the Pistons. He should be

Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic (77) leads the basket against forward Stanley Johnson (7) of the Detroit Pistons during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Dallas on Friday, January 25, 2019 . (Photo: LM Otero, AP)

And when the Doncic Bridge with 1:20 remaining gave the Mavericks a 104-97 lead, the Pistons finished.

Blake Griffin scored 35 points. Andre Drummond returned to the lineup after missing three games in the NBA's concussion protocol.

He finished with 23 points, 15 rebounds and three steals.

The Mavericks (22-26) were 14 of 36 in the 3-point range.

Dennis Smith Jr., who has been linked to the Pistons in exchange rumors, finished with 19 points and five assists.

Reggie Jackson scored 12 points and added nine assists for the Pistons (21-27).

Score table

Blues of the second trimester

January 25, 2019; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic (77) laughs during the second quarter against the Detroit Pistons at the American Airlines Center on Friday, January 25, 2019. (Photo: Kevin Jairaj, USA Today Sports)

The Pistons bench gave up a 28-13 run to start the second quarter.

The race was fueled by Doncic.

Doncic scored 11 points and added three assists in the second quarter, as the Mavericks went 6-for-10 from the 3-point range.

The Pistons lost by 13 after a Smith layup after a rotation.

But the Pistons reduced the deficit to 62-54 behind Griffin's seven points to close the quarter.

Quick start

With Drummond's return to the starting lineup, the Pistons jumped to a quick start.

Each opener scored for the 5:26 mark of the first quarter when Reggie Jackson hit a 3-pointer to give the Pistons a 14-8 lead.

The movement of the ball was clear, and everyone touched the ball in possessions with Bruce Brown scoring five starting points.

The Pistons stretched the lead to 17-8 with a triple from Brown.

Six Pistons scored when they settled for a 28-23 after a quarter.

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Contact Vince Ellis: vellis@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @ vincent_ellis56.