The Dallas Mavericks were in a battle for the 10th place in the Western Conference, which would secure their spot in the NBA play-in. With their 123-119 victory over the Sacramento Kings, the Mavericks equalized their wins with the Oklahoma City Thunder, setting the stage for a thrilling showdown for the final play-in spot.
Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving finally shared the court and left their mark on the game, with Doncic posting 29 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists, while Irving scored a game-high 31 points, 19 of which came in the final quarter.
"He made it rain. Uncle Drew," said Mavericks' coach Jason Kidd, referring to Irving's impressive performance. "His difficulty of shots, he makes look easy. But that was a big 3." The Mavericks' victory ended a three-game losing streak and was just their second win in their past nine games.
Tim Hardaway Jr. also contributed with 24 points and two critical 3-pointers during the Mavericks' run to victory. "We've been feeling the sense of desperation for the last couple of games now," said Hardaway. "Just happy that we were able to come out on top for one of them, at least.
Now it's picking up where we left off." Irving was on fire from beyond the arc in the final quarter, going 4 for 5 from 3-point range and 7 for 11 overall. "Not every fourth quarter is like that for me," Irving stated. "You look back to the last few games, I wish I could have played as well as I did tonight.
Just desperation basketball. It's not like it's the first time I've been in a must-win game, so it felt good." The Mavericks have two crucial home games against the Chicago Bulls and the San Antonio Spurs before the end of the season, while the Oklahoma City Thunder will visit the Utah Jazz and host the Memphis Grizzlies.
Kyrie Irving's Heroics in the Fourth Quarter
Kyrie Irving stepped up in the clutch for the Mavericks, scoring 19 of his 31 points in the final quarter. He was a force from beyond the arc, going 4 for 5 from 3-point range and 7 for 11 overall.
"Not every fourth quarter is like that for me," Irving stated. "You look back to the last few games, I wish I could have played as well as I did tonight. Just desperation basketball. It's not like it's the first time I've been in a must-win game, so it felt good." Irving's heroics helped the Mavericks secure a crucial victory in their quest for the play-in.
Other results from the night include:
Detroit Pistons 108-123 Brooklyn Nets, Indiana Pacers 129-138 New York Knicks, Atlanta Hawks 134-116 Washington Wizards, Boston Celtics 97-93 Toronto Raptors, Milwaukee Bucks 105-92 Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Pelicans 138-131 Memphis Grizzlies, LA Clippers 125-118 LA Lakers.
• Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic: Stars in the National Spotlight• Luka Doncic Leads Mavericks to Victory over Lakers, Timberwolves Continue Hot Streak• What a Game: Luka Doncic "Destroyed" the Los Angeles Clippers• Dallas Mavericks Vs. LA Clippers: Key Battle Ahead• Luka Dončić's Top Gifts to NFL's Mahomes & Brittany• Luka Doncic's Spectacular Performance Leads Dallas Mavericks to Thrilling Victory