Doncic dazzles in vain as Mavs downed by Pelicans

Agence France-Presse
Doncic dazzles in vain as Mavs downed by Pelicans
Dyson Daniels (No. 11) and Larry Nance Jr. (No. 22) of the New Orleans Pelicans steals the ball from Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks during the first quarter at the Smoothie King Center on October 25, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Sean Gardner / Getty Images / AFP

LOS ANGELES – Luka Doncic scored 37 points but it was not enough to stop the Dallas Mavericks from slipping to defeat against the depleted New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday (Thursday, Manila time).

Slovenian star Doncic dragged the Mavs to within one point of the Pelicans with four seconds remaining after a driving lay-up made it 112-111.

The 23-year-old was left shaking his head in disappointment after a 3-point effort on the buzzer that would have snatched victory bounced off the rim to hand New Orleans a 113-111 win.

Doncic finished with 11 rebounds and seven assists in addition to his 37-point haul, with Spencer Dinwiddie providing support with 24 points and Christian Wood 23 points.

But Dallas were ultimately pipped by a balanced New Orleans line-up that saw eight players finish in double figures.

The victory was made all the more impressive given injuries that deprived New Orleans of regular starters Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram.

Trey Murphy III scored 22 points — making 8-of-8 from the field — while C.J. McCollum made 14 points with 11 assists.

McCollum later admitted he could barely watch as Doncic launched his last-gasp 3-point attempt on the buzzer.

"When he shot it I just thought 'Please don't go in, please don't go in'," McCollum told an on-court interviewer.

"I didn't shoot the ball well but a lot of young guys stepped up tonight and that's what we're going to need all season long.

"We're a solid team. Guys work hard, get in early and stay late and they relish these kind of opportunities to come out and put on a show."

The Pelicans improved to 3-1 with a win to move into second in the Western Conference behind leaders Portland. Dallas fell to 1-2 with the loss.

In other games on Tuesday, the Washington Wizards took their season record to 3-1 with a 120-99 romp against the Detroit Pistons at home.

Kyle Kuzma led the Washington scorers with 25 points with Kristaps Porzingis adding 20. Will Barton added 16 from the bench, including four 3-pointers.

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