Mavericks rally for win over Blazers
DALLAS (AP) — Luka Doncic was summoned back to the court for a very brief speech to a group of about 100 Slovenians who made the 24-hour trek to see their countryman, the teenage rookie sensation for the Dallas Mavericks.
The bigger thrill for the visitors came a little earlier when Doncic helped engineer a fourth-quarter comeback against the playoff-contending Portland Trail Blazers.
Doncic scored 13 of his 28 points in the fourth, Tim Hardaway Jr. finished with 24 and the Mavericks erased a 15-point deficit in the final 10 minutes for a 102-101 victory Sunday.
"I don't normally play him the whole quarter, but when we began to make the push early in the fourth it was just one those times where he was going to have to finish for us to have a chance," said coach Rick Carlisle, whose team matched its biggest comeback of the season.
Damian Lillard scored 21 of his 30 points in the last half of the third quarter to help the Blazers build a lead that grew to 96-81 early in the fourth before the Mavericks mounted their rally.
Lillard made eight straight shots and in one stretch scored 16 straight Portland points in the third, but the All-Star guard missed his last four attempts as the Blazers went 10:10 without a field goal in a nine-point fourth quarter.
The last miss from Lillard was a driving layup in the final seconds after Doncic had missed at the other end, and Dallas' Maxi Kleber hunched over with the rebound and hung on long enough for time to expire.
"Some missed opportunities, some turnovers, some poor decisions, and you have got to give Dallas a lot of credit," Portland coach Terry Stotts said. "They play with a lot of energy."
There is plenty of debate over whether the Mavericks still want to make the playoffs after trading the other four starters around Doncic in a pair of deals that were clearly about the future over the present.
Three of the starters went to New York, and the Mavericks have decided not to play the centerpiece of that deal. They instead plan to let 2018 All-Star Kristaps Porzingis continue his recovery from a knee injury sustained about a year ago with the Knicks.
76ers 143, Lakers 120
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Joel Embiid had 37 points and 14 rebounds, Tobias Harris scored 22 points in his second game with Philadelphia and the newlook 76ers beat LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers 143-120 on Sunday.
JJ Redick added 21 points and Jimmy Butler finished with 15 points in front of a packed crowd that brought a playoff-like feel to the nationally televised game. The 76ers have won two straight after acquiring Harris and four others at Thursday's trade deadline.
Kyle Kuzma led the Lakers with 39 points, and James had 18 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.