Basketball / NBA

Rookie Luka Doncic lifts Mavs past Pelicans in final minute


Devin Harris faked once, twice, three times before making a 3-pointer in a big fourth quarter for the Dallas Mavericks.

There was no such hesitation from 19-year-old Luka Doncic on the decisive play in the final minute.

Doncic scored 21 points, including the tiebreaking free throws with 30 seconds left, and the Mavericks ended a six-game losing streak with a 122-119 victory against the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night.

The rookie sensation drove down the right wing past Julius Randle, and after shaking off his anger over not getting the continuation call when he made the layup, Doncic connected on both free throws for a 121-119 lead.

Doncic did get to the line plenty. The Slovenian guard made his first 11 before missing his final free throw after rebounding a miss on a 3 from New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, who had 32 points and 18 rebounds.

Davis missed another 3 with a chance to tie in the final seconds, and Doncic got the rebound again to finish one rebound shy of a triple-double. He had 10 assists in the first of two straight games between these teams.

All five losses on New Orleans’ current skid have been by single digits.

“The same stuff. We can’t close out a game,” Davis said after his 23rd double-double. “I thought we were fighting on the road. Things just weren’t going our way.”

Harris and fellow backup guard J.J. Barea carried the Mavericks through most of the fourth quarter.

The 3 from Harris after faking the shot twice and a pass once was part of his 10-point quarter on the way to 16 for the game, while Barea went 3 of 3 from deep and scored 11 of his 18 points in the fourth. Barea had seven assists and five rebounds.

Dallas ended a streak of five straight games of allowing at least 120 points while stopping a losing skid that had matched their season high.

“Every little thing that happened positively for us has to happen for us to win that game,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “When you have lost six and are desperate to get a win, this is the kind of win you have to have.”

Jrue Holiday scored 25 points for New Orleans, and Julius Randle had 23 points, including 11-of-13 shooting on free throws, against his hometown team.

In Other Games

Raptors 106, Heat 104

Nets 134, Hornets 132 (2OT)

Pistons 106, Wizards 95

Suns 122, Magic 120 (OT)

Timberwolves 119, Bulls 94

Pacers 129, Hawks 121

Grizzlies 95, Cavaliers 87

Spurs 111, Nuggets 103

Clippers 127, Kings 118