“I don’t know,” Luka Doncic said after the game. “We got kind of lucky.”
Lucky or not, the Dallas Mavericks had a night for the ages at the American Airlines Center on Tuesday, defeating the New York Knicks 126-121 in OT.
It was, again, a night to be written in golden letters inside the history books of Dallas Hoops:
- New York led the game by nine points with 33.9 seconds left on the clock.
- The Mavericks put together a 12-3 run in the final 30 seconds of regulation.
- Dallas was three points down with Luka Doncic going to the free-throw line.
- Doncic made the first freebie, missed the second on purpose, grabbed his own board, hit a jumper to tie the game, and sent the match to overtime after hitting that bucket.
- The Mavs forced the Knicks to miss eight-of-ten shot attempts in OT.
- Luka put together the first 60-21-10 in the history of the Association.
The list goes on and on, but the few bullet points included above are telling enough.
“I’m tired as hell. I need a recovery beer,” said the Man of the Match himself.
Luka Doncic. A man of the people. #MFFL | @dallasmavs on @BallySportsSW pic.twitter.com/dAuhESamk4— Bally Sports Southwest (@BallySportsSW) December 28, 2022
Jalen Brunson missed the game with a hip injury—his first DNP after controversially joining the Knicks last summer—and couldn’t face his former squad in Dallas, and RJ Barrett was forced out less than two minutes into it due to a finger laceration.
Doncic scored 10 points in the last minute of regulation alone on his way to hitting 60 on the night. It’s the first 60-piece in Dallas history, and Luka’s performance included a career-high 21 boards and an unheard-of 60-21-10 stat line.
“I’m just enjoying the sport,” Doncic said. You bet.
Meanwhile, the Knicks are surely not having much fun after dropping four consecutive games and counting. The Mavericks last defeated New York right before the Knicks put together eight consecutive wins, but that positive run feels like it happened ages ago with no victories in NYC’s column for the last week and change.
“We gave up and-ones. We gave up uncontested shots. We missed some free throws. So it was a compilation of things,” Tom Thibodeau said after the game. “So you give a team a second crack at things. And then you foul and give and-ones up. It doesn’t make sense.”
Quentin Grimes led the Knicks with 33 points, six rebounds, and four dimes. Julius Randle added 29 points and 18 rebounds, Mitchell Robinson hit 20 pops to go with 16 boards, and Immanuel Quickley shot a wild 5-of-21 for 13 points hitting just 1-of-10 three-point shots through a team-high 51 minutes of play.
Grimes was also the man who fouled Doncic with four seconds left on the clock, helping him and the Mavericks earn a far-fetched win.
Before Tuesday’s game, asked if the Knicks had been playing to their best level through their three-game losing skid, Randle answered, “offensively, yes; defensively, no,” before adding that “we’ve got to get back to that, for sure.”
It didn’t happen yesterday on their first of three road games in the Texas Triangle.
Spencer Dinwiddie dumped 25 buckets on the Knicks with Christian Wood adding 19. No reserve on the Mavs scored more than five points, nor grabbed more than three rebounds, with McKinley Wright IV the only one notching a dime. Kemba Walker scored one free throw in five minutes.
“I’m sure if you look at the probability of us winning the game with 20 seconds left, I’m pretty sure it’s like 99-point-something (percent),” Quickley said after the loss. “We just made too many mistakes and they capitalized on it.”
Neither Randle, Brunson, nor Barrett was made available to the media after the game.
The Knicks (18-17) remain sixth in the East, seven games behind the first place Celtics and one game above .500. New York owns the longest losing streak in the NBA (four) among teams outside of the lottery race (Detroit, six).
Next on the schedule are the San Antonio Spurs (11-23) on Thursday evening. The Spurs currently boast the fourth-worst record in the L-column but are 5-5 in their last 10 games. It will be the first meeting between both teams this season, with the second coming soon on January 4 at MSG.