DALLAS - The Dallas Mavericks beat the Atlanta Hawks, 118-117, at home on Wednesday night in an All-Star affair that came down to the final four seconds. The win marks only the Mavs second win (2-12) when trailing by 10-plus points this season. It's the Mavs third straight victory.
However, nationally the news buzzed around what Dallas would do before the game would begin.
As expected, the national anthem was played tonight at the American Airlines Center for the first time this season prior to a Mavs game. (More on what owner Mark Cuban has to say about the anthem here.) It is the second game the Mavs have had a handful of fans in attendance - all COVID-19 vaccinated essential workers (medical professionals, police officers, food services, firefighters.)
Also anticipated, two All-Stars dueling... which lived up to the hype. Dallas star Luka Doncic entertained with step-backs, spins, cuts, no-look passes and how-did-he-make-that? buckets. Doncic finished with a triple-double, 28 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists (league-leading seventh of the season.)
Said Luka: “We’ve got three in a row, but we’re just getting started. We keep improving with every game ...''
Hawks star Trae Young nailed dee(eeee)p threes and thrilled with between-the-legs assists. Young totaled 25 points, seven rebounds and 15 assists. Mavs-slayer John Collins continued his Dallas torment, finishing with 33 points. Last week vs. the Mavs, Collins tied a career-high 35 points.
The game was close throughout the first quarter, with the Mavs earning a 33-32 lead thanks to a hot 50-percent shooting percentage from the field. The Mavs then went cold from beyond the arc, missing 13 of 15 before the half ended and falling to a 10-point halftime deficit.
Dallas shot 27 percent from beyond the arc through the first three quarters and trailed most of the game.
Then, Tim Hardaway Jr. exploded with a 7-0 run to start the fourth quarter to close the Hawks' lead to 90-88. Off the bench, Hardaway Jr. kept the Mavs in the game, scoring 13 points in the final quarter and igniting the Mavs three-point shooting.
Jalen Brunson cooked in the clutch as well, finishing as the Mavs' second-leading scorer behind Doncic with 21 points. Atlanta had the ball last with 4.7 seconds left in the game but Danilo Gallinari misfired from 20 feet.
Next up, the Mavs continue their home stand as the New Orleans Pelicans fly to town for a Friday night matchup at 6:30 pm CT.