Kyrie Irving finished with 28 points and drained the go-ahead three-pointer with 22 seconds left to play as the Dallas Mavericks fumbled a 20-point lead in the fourth period only to close out a 104-101 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday evening at Crypto.com Arena.
The Mavericks (10-5) snapped a two-game losing streak with the victory after falling to the Bucks and Kings. The Lakers (9-7) lost at home for only the second time in nine games, coming in having won their last six of seven games to start the season.
Luka Doncic led all scorers with 30 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists for Dallas. Josh Green added 15 points off the bench for the Mavericks, who missed 16 of their 19 shots in the fourth quarter.
“When you have quarterbacks like Luka and Ky, trust is high,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said. “A lot of times they’re going to get double-teamed, but Luka makes a heck of a pass, and Ky does what he does. No panic, and he makes a big shot to win.”
The Mavericks entered the fourth with a commanding 91-71 lead but LeBron James scored 16 of his 26 points in the period and converted the tiebreaking tip-in with 1:16 to play to give the Lakers a 101-99 lead.
“We gave ourselves a fighting chance, but it’s kind of tough when you go down that many points,” James said as his team started the fourth quarter on a 21-4 run. “I liked our defense in the last 12 minutes. We’ve just got to be better for the first 36.”
James brought Los Angeles back in the game but also uncharacteristically threw a turnover with four seconds left and then missed a tying three-point attempt at the buzzer.
Austin Reaves had 17 points off the bench and D’Angelo Russell finished with 15 for the Lakers. Anthony Davis tallied just 10 points and 14 rebounds in 36 minutes and did not score in the fourth quarter.
Los Angeles ultimately outrebounded Dallas (51-48) and had more assists (26-21) but it was the Lakers who had 13 turnovers that turned into 18 points for the Mavericks.
“We had a shot to win the game,” Davis said. “We got back in it with our defense in the fourth quarter, and (we) made some big-time shots. … We don’t celebrate moral victories, but we’re a resilient team that will be fighting ’til the end.”