(Basketball news) Los Angeles lost two games in a row as the Dallas Mavericks beat them with the final shot of the match 111-110. For the Mavericks, Maxi Kleber drilled the winning 3-pointer at the buzzer on a crosscourt pass from Kyrie Irving, who scored 38 points as Kleber scored six of his 10 points in the final 7.2 seconds. For the Lakers, Davis had 26 points and 10 rebounds before making a handful of enormous last-minute mistakes as he missed 12 of their 31 free throw attempts while Austin Reaves scored 16 points and Dennis Schröder had 15.
The Lakers overcame a nine-point deficit to begin the fourth quarter, but choked down the stretch with LeBron James watching in street clothes. James sat out his 10th straight game since the Lakers’ win in Dallas last month, and the Lakers fell to 5-5 without the NBA’s career scoring leader.
“I never had a shot like that before,” said a grinning Kleber,
“When he passed it, I knew I had to just quick-fire it,” Kleber said. “It was a pretty amazing feeling. Once I let it go, I saw the ball in the air, and I was like, ‘Oh, damn, it has a chance to go in.’ All of a sudden it went in, and the next thing I knew, the whole team was running at me. It was a pretty cool experience.”
“Knowing Ky, he wanted to go for the win,” Mavs coach Jason Kidd said about the final play. “With the double team, he had to give the ball up. That’s just trust with his teammates, and Maxi was at the right place at the right time.”
“We fought hard to get back into the game, so that’s a tough one,” said Davis, who also missed crucial last-minute free throws in losses to Boston and Philadelphia. “You’ve got to be able to win basketball games, whether it’s at the free throw line, or me making the right read defensively.”
The Boston Celtics defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 126-112. For the Celtics, Jayson Tatum had 34 points and 12 rebounds as Jaylen Brown added 27 points, who have won four of their last five after a three-game losing streak while AL Horford finished with 12 points and 11 assists. Boston sits behind NBA-leading Milwaukee in the Eastern Conference.
For the Blazers, Damian Lillard finished with 41 points including 25 in the fourth quarter as they have lost five straight games. The Blazers are 13th in the West as they haven’t yet been eliminated from the playoffs but time was running out with just 12 games remaining.
“This is the time of year where teams, you know, you can’t wait until the next step,” said Al Horford. “But you have to play these games. You have to. We need to continue to play good basketball and get better.”
“The game is never going to be perfect. It’s the NBA, they’re going to make shots, make runs. I tell you guys all time, it’s how you respond,” Tatum said.
“We haven’t had many games where we don’t give it our all. Game like tonight, we played a team that’s let’s face it, better than us. That’s one of the elite teams in the league,” Blazers coach Chauncey Billups said. “When you play against teams like that, you can’t shoot yourself in the foot, because you’ve got to play pretty much an outstanding game to have a shot. But we kept fighting, we kept scrapping.”