LeBron James and Anthony Davis came to town last night to duel with Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis at the AAC. It was a great game, particularly the fourth quarter, its just too bad the refs missed it.
It seemed like it may have been a long night for the Mavericks after Lakers Star Anthony Davis started the night with an easy alley-oop but we really had no idea how long it would be. The Mavs answered with one of their own and quickly took control of the game after that. Porzingis and Doncic scored with efficiency and quickly built a large lead. Doncic had 4pts/7rebs/5assts in what seems like record time in the 1st quarter.
Porzingis also shined, especially after a particularly nasty crossover that almost dropped Anthony Davis, followed with a 3-pointer. The lead they built during this hot streak would only dwindle for a few minutes in the 2nd quarter and then the Mavs bench took over, including a Boban sighting! Boban managed 4pts/7reb in his 11 first half minutes, even showing up Dwight Howard a few times while on the court. At the half the Mavericks led the Lakers 58-48.
The second half didn’t start the way the Mavericks wanted it. After a scoring run led by LeBron James the Mavericks lost the lead. The lead changed on what seemed like every possession for most of the 3rd until the Mavericks took a 7 point lead after back-to-back 3-pointers by Kleber and Finney-Smith which also happened to give Doncic his 2nd triple-double of the season, 10th overall (quickest player to ever record 10 triple-doubles). Tim Hardaway Jr. put the Mavericks up by 9 at 85-76 by ending the 3 quarter with a deep 3-pointer with another assist coming from Doncic.
A little past midway into the 4th quarter (shortly after Alex Caruso dunked all over Maxi Kleber, let’s try and forget that happened) the Lakers tied the game at 92-all with 5:08 left after a 3-ball from Kuzma. A set of Mavericks free throws and an Anthony Davis layup had the teams tied at 94 followed by a Lebron fastbreak dunk that popped the stadium and put the Lakers up by two at 96-98. Doncic was fouled by Avery Bradley and went 1-2 from the line followed by a defensive stop and an alley-oop layup by Powell, assisted by Doncic. Mavs go up by three with a Finney-Smith corner three with 6 seconds left in the clock.
Then Danny Green happened. To be more accurate Dwight Howard got away with holding Seth Curry so Danny Green could be wide open in the corner and Green showed exactly why the Mavericks wanted him in Dallas this offseason. It was a glaring foul, even the terrible NFL officials would be able to tell this was hold. Although it was extremely frustrating, Dallas Mavericks twitter account was able to have some fun with it.
Overtime started with quick and easy layups by Davis followed by some Lebron James daggers. A young Mavericks squad looked crushed to be forced to OT. Doncic and others resorted to panic offense in the last 3 minutes of overtime instead of running the plays that had worked so well in the previous quarters. In the tunnel after the defeat you could hear Tim Hardaway Jr. dropping F-bombs as loud as humanly possible.
In the end, it’s hard not to get a bitter taste in your mouth about this one. The Mavericks two losses this year have come to good teams but they’ve also come after glaring omissions from officials. One no-call in tonight’s game left Doncic with 3 stitches in the back of his head. The other was the aforementioned hold of Seth Curry by Dwight Howard. When asked about tonight’s late game officiating Rick Carlisle said he didn’t think it “was worth $50,000” to comment on it. I think it should be worth at least that to the league though. There needs to be some effort to fix the problem it’s had with poor officiating so far in this young NBA season. The Mavericks already have one league apology this year after the Portland fiasco, they should have a second coming shortly.