Luka Doncic He scored 35 points, including the clutch Three pointers With less than 30 seconds left, to give the Dallas Mavericks a 103-101 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers despite leading by 25 points.
The Slovenian superstar was so elated after dropping the game-winning bucket that he accidentally celebrated by sticking a finger in his mouth and “gagging” his Mavericks support.
“I wanted to celebrate,” Doncic said after the match. “I wouldn’t silence our fans, so I don’t know why I did that.”
It may not have been his best celebration, but his performance was worth a shout out. Luca Magic also grabbed 11 rebounds, five assists and three steals, making each of his 11 free throws along the way.
But were it not for the heroics of the 23-year-old, the Mavericks could have lost the game, which they led for nearly the entire game before chipping away at their advantage.
Faced with an injured Clippers team – including Kawhi Leonard who has a knee injury – the Mavericks led by 15 points in the first quarter. Doncić’s dominance in the paint, coupled with Dorian Finney-Smith’s – who finished with 21 points on 7-of-13 from the three-point line – gave the home team a 54-32 halftime lead.
But the Clippers fought back. John Wall, who finished with 17 points and six rebounds, started the second half and assisted on the comeback. Combined with Paul George, who finished with 23 points, and Nicholas Batum — who hit all three of his throws — the Clippers finished a 30-point swing with eight minutes on the clock to take a five-point lead.
Inspired by Reggie Bullock—who hit all four of his triples in the final quarter—the Mavericks held the game within one point before Doncic pulled ahead.
With 30 seconds left on the clock, Doncić caught a loose ball and, under pressure, drained a fading 29-foot triple to give the Mavs a 102–98 lead.
Batum ran up the other end and fouled, scoring his first free throw and intentionally missing his second, but was unable to collect the rebound as the Mavericks cruised to the win pushing them to 8-5 of the season.
“We’re giving up a lot of great offers, just like we put them out,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said after the game.
“That third quarter – we missed shots and didn’t defend. Give the Clippers credit. They came out in the second half and put a lot of pressure on us. I thought the group handled it gracefully in the sense that things weren’t going our way. But we didn’t destroy ourselves. We stuck together and found a way.” .
Elsewhere, the Sacramento Kings pulled off an impressive tally as they crushed the Brooklyn Nets 153-121 for their fourth consecutive win.
Terrence Davis scored 31 points and nine rebounds off the bench and starters Domantis Sabonis, Harrison Barnes, Dearon Fox and Kevin Hurter hit double figures as the Kings humiliated the net.
Brooklyn was again playing without Kyrie Irvingwho was suspended by the team after he doubled down on his decision to share a link to a documentary film decried as anti-Semitic to his millions of social media followers.
Nets star Kevin Durant lost 27 points to the visitors, but the visitors were weak defensively, and allowed the most points in a regulation game in Nets history.
“They shot,” Durant said as the Nets fell to 6-9 on the year. “It’s frustrating when you see teams shooting. It’s not like we didn’t try. They were better than us.”