Doncic, Hardaway led Mavs over Lakers 127-125 in LA’s first game since winning NBA Cup


DALLAS (AP) — Luka Doncic had 33 points and 17 assists, Tim Hardaway Jr. scored a season-high 32 points and the Dallas Mavericks beat Los Angeles 127-125 on Tuesday night in the Lakers’ first game since winning the inaugural In-Season Tournament.

Anthony Davis finished with 37 points and 11 rebounds, while LeBron James had 33 points, nine assists and eight boards as the Lakers’ season-best four-game winning streak ended. LA erased a 15-point deficit early in the third quarter to set up an entertaining finish.

Dante Exum scored a season-high 26 points with a career-best seven 3-pointers on nine attempts, going 5 of 7 in the fourth quarter to help the Mavs stay in front. Austin Reaves had 22 for the Lakers.

With Doncic’s All-Star sidekick, Kyrie Irving, sidelined a second consecutive game with a bruised right foot, Hardaway was 10 of 21 from the field, including 5 of 10 from 3, and 7 of 8 on free throws.

Grant Williams scored 19 points for Dallas in his return from a three-game absence with a right knee injury, but the Mavericks were still without two starters in Irving and Derrick Jones Jr., who has a quadriceps injury.

Dallas didn’t have rotation players Josh Green (elbow) and Maxi Kleber (toe), and Seth Curry joined them when he was ruled out at halftime with an ankle injury.

The Lakers took their first lead since early in the first quarter on Davis’ first 3-pointer since Oct. 29 for a 95-93 lead with 0.1 seconds left in the third.

Doncic and James traded go-ahead and tying buckets twice midway through the fourth before James was called for an offensive foul. Doncic’s 14th assist led to Exum’s 3-pointer for a five-point edge.

The Mavs, who won their fourth in a row, led by five before James hit a 3 at the buzzer for the final margin as Dallas held on in the second night of a back-to-back. The Lakers had two days off after their NBA Cup-clinching victory over Indiana in Las Vegas.

Doncic recorded his eighth consecutive 30-point game in his third straight game with at least 40 minutes. The 24-year-old, four-time All-Star hadn’t done that since the 2021 playoffs.


Lakers: At San Antonio on Wednesday to finish a back-to-back in the first of consecutive games against the Spurs, who just set a franchise record with their 17th straight loss.

Mavericks: Minnesota at home Thursday.



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