Doncic leads Mavericks to 102-98 win over Raptors

DALLAS – Luka Doncic scored a season-high 41 points, including a 3-point clutch with 1:01 remaining, and tied his season-high with 14 rebounds as the Dallas Mavericks held off the Toronto Raptors 102-98 Wednesday night.

Kristaps Porzingis had 18 points and seven rebounds to help Dallas earn its fourth straight win and 10th in 11 games. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 16 goals off the bench for the Mavericks, who host the NBA‘s best Phoenix on Thursday.

The Mavericks started this streak ninth in the Western Conference. They are now fifth, three games behind fourth-place Utah.

Doncic, who played the 10th regular season game to 40 points of his four-year career, was pleased with the way the Mavericks shared the ball but gave most of the credit for the recent streak to the efforts of his team at the other end of the floor. .

“We play team defense; that’s where we win,” he said.

Dallas led Toronto 48.7% to 38.5% after coming into play third in the NBA with 102.7 points allowed per game.

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Pascal Siakam scored 20 points, OG Anunoby had 19 and Fred VanVleet added 18 points and 12 assists for the Raptors, who dropped four of five after a six-game winning streak that marked their longest of the season .

Toronto had six double-digit scorers while using just seven players, with starters Gary Trent Jr. and Kham Birch sidelined by injuries.

VanVleet’s 3-pointer gave Toronto a 96-95 lead with 1:55 to go, but Doncic put Dallas back in front with a layup 10 seconds later. After the Mavericks regained possession, Doncic hit a 27-footer from behind the arc to beat the shot clock and give the Mavericks a 100-96 lead.

“It’s an incredible feeling,” said Doncic.

The Raptors shot for the lead seconds later at 100-98. Chris Boucher’s 26-footer bounced off the rim, Dorian Finney-Smith grabbed a defensive rebound and Porzingis added two game-clinching free throws with 5.6 seconds left.

VanVleet, leading Toronto with 21.9 points per game going forward, was 4 of 20 on the ground and 3 of 15 from long range.

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“If I make a few more shots, we’ll probably slip away with a win,” he said.

Doncic was 13 of 24 from the floor, including 4 of 10 on 3-pointers after going 4 of 17 and missing all six attempts from behind the arc in Dallas’ 104-102 win over Oklahoma City on Monday.

“He did a great job from start to finish,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said.

ADVICE

Raptors: VanVleet entered the game leading the NBA with an average of 38 minutes per game. He played 42. … Boucher, one of two reserves to play, had 15 points and 12 rebounds. … Trent missed his sixth straight game with a swollen ankle and remains day to day.

Mavericks: Have won six straight home games, their longest streak since November and December 2018. … Doncic’s 22 points in the first half equaled his most in a half this season. He notched his eighth straight 20-point game with 4:50 left in the second period. … Reserve striker Sterling Brown sat down with a sore foot.

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IT MISSED A LOT

Over the past nine days, the Raptors have beaten defending champion Milwaukee and lost to Phoenix by four points, to Miami by five and now to Dallas by four.

“It’s been an incredible streak of games here against some really good teams, three of four if not four of four with championship aspirations,” coach Nick Nurse said. “It was an incredibly valuable experience.”

FOLLOWING

Raptors: Complete a five-game road trip Wednesday in Washington, which leads Toronto by a half game for eighth place in the East.

Mavericks: Thursday’s game will be the first of three consecutive games against the West’s top teams (followed by No. 3 Memphis at home on Sunday and No. 2 Golden State on Tuesday).

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