Luka Doncic Picks Apart Lakers’ Double Teams In Electrifying Mavs Win

Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

Luka Doncic and Tim Hardaway Jr. scored over 30 points in the Dallas Mavericks to a 127-125 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, a game marked by high-scoring performances and dramatic lead changes, with Dante Exum, Grant Williams, and Dereck Lively II also stepping up The victory improved the Mavs’ record to 15-8 on the season, while the reigning NBA In-Season Tournament champion Lakers are now 14-10.

Doncic was exceptional with his 33 points and a remarkable 17 assists, showcasing his all-around skills as a frequent focus of the Lakers’ double teams. His performance was crucial, especially in the absence of Kyrie Irving, who was out with a bruised foot. Despite entering the game with a back injury, he overcame the physical toll of playing heavy minutes in recent performances, including the night before against the Memphis Grizzlies.

“I don’t know how I played,” Doncic said. “I slept very little today, and everything hurts. I am getting older. But we got two back-to-back wins, which is amazing, especially against a team like the Lakers.”

Tim Hardaway Jr., who was dealing with back issues, rose to the occasion in Irving’s absence. He scored a season-high 32 points, exhibiting his scoring prowess. His shooting was particularly effective, hitting 10 of 21 from the field and 5 of 10 from beyond the arc, besides making 7 of 8 free throws. Hardaway’s contribution was vital in filling the void left by Irving’s injury.

“Knowing how they’re defending Luka, I had to just try to put a stamp on the game,” Hardaway said. “When any shooter has any kind of daylight, and you see the first shot go up and it goes in, the basket feels like an ocean.”

NBA SCORES & NEWS: Luka Doncic, LeBron James, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers Updates

The Lakers, despite the loss, had strong performances from their stars. Anthony Davis scored an impressive 37 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while LeBron James added 33 points, nine assists, and eight rebounds. Their efforts, however, were not enough to extend their four-game winning streak.

Exum had an outstanding game, scoring a season-high 26 points, including a career-best seven 3-pointers on nine attempts. His shooting, especially in the fourth quarter, was instrumental in keeping the Mavericks ahead. Austin Reaves also contributed significantly to the Lakers’ effort with 22 points.

“It was definitely impactful,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said of Exum. “In an attempt to put extra bodies in front of Luka, you decide who you are going to play a little bit heavier off of, but these guys are pros.”

The Mavericks were handicapped by the absence of several key players due to injuries, including Derrick Jones Jr. and Josh Green. The team’s depth was further tested when Seth Curry was ruled out at halftime with an ankle injury. Despite these setbacks, the Mavericks demonstrated remarkable resilience, completing the second night of a back-to-back with a victory.

NBA SCORES & NEWS: Luka Doncic, LeBron James, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers Updates

The game was a back-and-forth affair, with the Lakers erasing a 15-point deficit early in the third quarter, setting the stage for an exciting finish. Los Angeles even took a brief lead in the final quarter, but the Mavericks, led by Doncic’s stellar play and strategic assists, regained control.

This victory was particularly significant for Dallas, marking their fourth consecutive win and showcasing their ability to overcome adversity and tight schedules. The Lakers, on the other hand, despite their recent tournament win, couldn’t sustain their momentum against a determined Mavericks team.

NBA SCORES & NEWS: Luka Doncic, LeBron James, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers Updates

Looking forward, the Lakers are poised to face the San Antonio Spurs in a back-to-back game, while the Mavericks will host the Minnesota Timberwolves as both teams continue their pursuit of success in the season.

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