Dallas, TX – October 28, 2023
In an electrifying showdown between the Dallas Mavericks and the Brooklyn Nets, Luka Doncic emerged as the hero of the night, sinking a breathtaking 3-point buzzer-beater that secured a 125-120 win for the Mavericks. Doncic, in spectacular fashion, scored 49 points, with the game-deciding shot leaving fans at the American Airlines Center in awe.
The defining moment of the match occurred with just 26.3 seconds left on the clock. Doncic, tightly guarded by his former teammate Dorian Finney-Smith, found himself near the right sideline, approximately 25 feet from the basket. With the shot clock winding down, he launched a right-handed heave that miraculously banked in, sealing the victory for Dallas. Doncic’s late-game heroics included the last four field goals for the Mavericks, all from beyond the arc.
Doncic, always humble in victory, commented on the remarkable shot, saying, “I work on that. I work off the backboard.” In addition to his impressive scoring, Doncic also contributed 10 rebounds and seven assists, further solidifying his status as a basketball phenomenon.
Mavericks coach Jason Kidd praised Doncic’s penchant for clutch performances, stating, “That’s a Luka special. He likes the ball late, and he loves those situations, and he finds a way.” Indeed, it’s Doncic’s ability to shine in high-pressure moments that sets him apart.
Nets coach Jacque Vaughn acknowledged the impact of players like Doncic, emphasizing that the ability to make challenging shots is what distinguishes special teams. He referenced Donovan Mitchell’s performance against the Nets and Doncic’s heroics as prime examples of this.
Cam Thomas, in just his seventh NBA start, led the Nets with an impressive 30-point performance, following his record-setting 36-point game off the bench in the season opener. This promising young talent is undoubtedly a player to watch.
The game marked the first meeting between the two teams since a significant trade in February, which saw 10-time All-Star Kyrie Irving moving to Dallas in exchange for Finney-Smith and Spencer Dinwiddie. Following the final buzzer, Doncic and Finney-Smith shared a moment of rekindled camaraderie.
In a humorous exchange, Doncic claimed to have called “bank” in Slovenian for his game-winning shot, a statement that Finney-Smith couldn’t comprehend. Jason Kidd, the Mavericks’ head coach, admitted that he wanted to call a timeout but was unable to do so in the heat of the moment.
The match also featured a jovial exchange between Doncic and Dinwiddie at center court before tip-off. Dinwiddie showcased his skills, scoring 23 points and nailing six 3-pointers in the first three quarters, demonstrating the depth of his talent.
Two Nets players achieved double-doubles in the game—Royce O’Neale, with 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Ben Simmons, who contributed 10 points and 10 rebounds. The Nets showed their proficiency from long range, sinking 21 of 43 shots from behind the arc, a marked improvement from their previous performance against the Cavaliers.
Tim Hardaway Jr. made a significant impact for the Mavericks, adding 19 points off the bench, while Kyrie Irving finished the game with 17 points.
Dorian Finney-Smith and Spencer Dinwiddie were recognized with videos for their contributions to both teams. Finney-Smith, starting in place of the injured Nic Claxton and Cam Johnson, made his presence felt with 12 points.
Spencer Dinwiddie was the standout performer in the first half, amassing 15 points, with three of his four 3-pointers coming in the closing minutes to give the Nets a narrow 59-57 lead at halftime.
The matchup between the Mavericks and the Nets delivered a thrilling night of basketball, leaving fans on the edge of their seats until the final buzzer.