The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Brooklyn Nets in overtime by a score of 129-125 Thursday night in Brooklyn, securing their second win of the season and their first on the road. Luka Doncic notched his first triple double this season, putting up an astounding 41 points, 11 rebounds, and 14 assists. Tim Hardaway Jr. chipped in 18 points and Maxi Kleber added 15. The superstar duo of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving led the way for Brooklyn, scoring 37 and 39 points, respectfully in a losing effort.
For much of the night, Dallas and Brooklyn traded punches; the lead changed hands 13 times. Dallas had a great opening quarter and led 30-23 at the break. Brooklyn took advantage of the non-Luka minutes in the second quarter, pulling ahead by as a many as seven before Doncic returned and steadied the ship, and the Mavs were able to to see-saw back in front and take a two-point lead into the half.
Dallas came out of the locker room looking sluggish and confused to open the third quarter, as the Nets scored five points in less than 40 seconds. But again, Luka Doncic calmed things down and took over the game, carving up the Nets’ defense and helping Dallas enter the fourth quarter up by six. The Nets and Mavericks went back-and-forth throughout the fourth, and Brooklyn was able to pull ahead by 4 with about 3:30 remaining. It was beginning to look like the Mavs would blow it again, but they were able surge back in front, and led by two with under 30 seconds left. An untimely Doncic turnover led to a Kevin Durant fast-break dunk to tie the game with eight seconds left. After Reggie Bullock missed a potentially game-winning three pointer, the game headed to overtime.
The Nets, on the second night of a back-to-back, ran out of gas in overtime. Dallas’s role players hit some huge threes and established a nine-point nine lead that would not be relinquished. It was a desperately needed win for the Mavericks, who now sit at 2-2 on the young season.
Luka Doncic does it all
The brilliance of Luka Doncic is something that I hope Mavericks fans never take for granted. He simply would not let them lose tonight and took over the game when it mattered the most. His playmaking really stood out; he had 14 assists and could have easily had at least five or six more. There was a lot of criticism directed at Doncic after the New Orleans game after he went 2-of-13 from the three-point line. Tonight, he didn’t settle, attempting only six threes and relentlessly attacking the rim. Doncic has also shot free throws brilliantly so far this year; he’s currently hitting them at an 86% clip. He’s really good at basketball and I’m glad he’s on this team!
The role players stepped up in winning time
For much of the night, it seemed like Luka against the world. No one else could get anything going against the Nets’ defense, and it looked like another one of those games where the role players just couldn’t contribute. But the much-maligned Tim Hardaway Jr. had an excellent fourth quarter and overtime, securing some huge rebounds, hitting clutch free throws, and draining dagger threes in overtime. Maxi Kleber had his best game of the season, scoring 15 points on 4-of-5 shooting and playing excellent defense against a very good Nets offensive attack. Josh Green had a great game, hitting three timely threes and looking confident. Even Reggie Bullock hit an extremely important three in overtime. It was nice to see those open looks finally go down in clutch moments.
Christian Wood has his first hiccup
It wasn’t a great game for Christian Wood, who spent much of the contest in foul trouble and never really established a rhythm. Brooklyn started the game with Ben Simmons guarding Wood, discouraging Luka from running any kind of pick-and-roll action with him. Wood was never able to really assert himself for the rest of the night. In fact, coach Jason Kidd made the decision to pull Wood down the stretch in favor of Hardaway for the end of the fourth quarter and the entirety of overtime. I’m willing to bet Wood would tell the media that he doesn’t care since they go the win, but it’s definitely something to keep an eye on. Wood wasn’t gonna score an efficient 25 points every night, and it’s good that his first off game still resulted in a win.
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