LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Luka Doncic scored 42 points and Kyrie Irving added 40 as the Dallas Mavericks thwarted the Philadelphia 76ers’ late comeback bid Thursday, March 2, in a wild 133-126 NBA victory.
Offensive fireworks were expected in a game featuring the top two scorers in the league in Doncic and 76ers center Joel Embiid.
But the seamless blend of Doncic and Irving was a revelation after the Mavs had gone 1-4 with the two on court since Irving’s arrival via a trade with Brooklyn last month.
The two combined for 18 assists. Doncic made 13 of his 22 attempts from the floor, draining seven of the Mavs’ 25 three-pointers.
“Luka was ready for the party, I was ready for the party tonight,” Irving said. “It was one of those games where we had some special performances and I’m just glad the work translated, because it could have gone either way.”
Irving made six of his eight three-pointers, scoring 11 points in the fourth quarter to help the Mavericks respond after the Sixers cut a 25-point deficit to four with a 15-0 run to open the final quarter.
The Mavericks had seized control with an explosive third quarter in which they opened on a 20-4 tear and outscored Philadelphia 39-24.
The 76ers’ late push, however, recalled Dallas’ collapse from a 27-point lead in a loss to the Lakers on Sunday.
“It was a hard-fought game, and we did everything to make sure we were focused down the stretch,” Irving said after he and Doncic became the first Dallas teammates to score at least 40 points in the same game.
“I mean, two guys had damn near 100 points on us,” said Philadelphia’s Tobias Harris. “It was tough with one wizard with the basketball in Luka and now they got two of them out there so it was a tough matchup.”
Embiid scored 35 points in his return after sitting out the 76ers’ victory Wednesday in Miami.
He and three-time scoring champion James Harden were on the bench as the 76ers stormed back early in the fourth, with a Tyrese Maxey basket pulling Philadelphia within 110-106 with 9:22 to play.
An Irving bucket, off a feed from Doncic, then gave Dallas their first points of the period. He was fouled on the play and converted the free throw, then he and Doncic hit back-to-back three-pointers to push the lead back to double digits.
Harden, who had 19 points and 10 assists in the first half, was limited to eight points after the interval and gave up two turnovers in the fourth.
Poole paces Warriors
The Golden State Warriors, still awaiting star Stephen Curry’s return from knee and leg injuries that have sidelined him for 10 games, erupted for 42 points in the third quarter on the way to a 115-91 home victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.
Jordan Poole scored 22 of his 34 points in the third period as the defending champion Warriors erased an 11-point halftime deficit to notch a fourth straight victory.
Klay Thompson and Jonathan Kuminga scored 19 points each for the Warriors.
Kawhi Leonard led Los Angeles with 21 points but the Clippers never recovered from the third quarter, in which they scored just 16.
In Washington, Kyle Kuzma’s big night propelled the Wizards to a 119-108 victory over the Toronto Raptors in the first of two games between the teams in three days.
Kuzma set the tone by scoring the first 10 points of the contest, draining a pair of three-pointers and throwing down a dunk to stake the Wizards to a quick lead.
He was still going strong in the fourth, capping a 12-2 Wizards run with a three-pointer and a layup that pushed Washington’s lead to 19 points.
Kuzma finished with 30 points and Kristaps Porzingis added 25 as the Wizards narrowed the gap on the Raptors in the race for ninth place in the Eastern Conference.
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