NBA: Luka Doncic carries Mavs to 93-83 win over Heat, Lakers victorious at Spurs again

LOS ANGELES (AFP, REUTERS) – Luka Doncic scored 27 points to outduel fellow Slovenian Goran Dragic, as the Dallas Mavericks took advantage of some woeful three-point shooting by Miami to beat the Heat 93-83 in the NBA league on Friday (Jan 1) night.

Doncic also tallied 15 rebounds, outperforming compatriot Dragic who finished with 10 points and seven assists at American Airlines Centre arena in Dallas, Texas.

This was the first time in three career meetings that Doncic had beaten guard Dragic, as Dallas snapped a six-game losing skid to Miami.

Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said Doncic is beginning to get into game shape.

“Luka’s going to get there,” Carlisle said. “He’s busting his tail. He’s working hard. Everything for him now is trending in a good direction conditioning wise.”

In what appears to be a growing trend in the National Basketball Association, Miami was undone by poor shooting from the three-point range.

On Thursday, the New York Knicks shot three for 36 from beyond the arc in a 100-83 loss to the Toronto Raptors.

Miami missed their first 14 three-point attempts, making a total of just seven of 33. They did not hit their first three-pointer until the third quarter when Duncan Robinson finally sank one.

Dallas were just 12 of 37 on three-point attempts.

Heat star Jimmy Butler, who returned after missing two games due to a sprained right ankle, scored just two points, three rebounds and two assists in 27 minutes. Miami’s Bam Adebayo produced his second straight double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds. He also had a game-high four steals.

Tim Hardaway scored 18 points, and former Heat players Josh Richardson (11 points) and James Johnson (eight points) also contributed. Dorian Finney-Smith scored 12 in the win.

Elsewhere, De’Andre Hunter scored 23 points and Trae Young chipped in 21, as the Atlanta Hawks bounced back from giving up 145 points in their last game to beat the cold-shooting Brooklyn Nets 114-96 in New York.

The win comes two nights after Atlanta lost one of the highest scoring games in recent memory, a 145-141 defeat by the same Nets. The Hawks also snapped a six-game losing skid to Brooklyn.

John Collins added 20 points and eight rebounds while Clint Capela and Cam Reddish contributed 12 points apiece, as Atlanta drained 16 of 39 three-pointers.

“This really helps our growth to see the mistakes we made (in the last game) and play the same team, which is going to do similar things, and really learn from it,” Collins said. “I feel that was it. We locked into the small things.”

The Nets hit just seven of 37 three-point attempts as they lost for the third time in their last four games. They got off to a roaring start to the new season with impressive victories over Boston and Golden State before this latest wobble.

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Kevin Durant paced the Nets with 28 points on 10-of-21 shooting, while starting point guard Kyrie Irving struggled by making just eight of 32 shots from the field.

“We were scrambling,” said Joe Harris, who scored 12 points for the Nets. “We know what we have to clean up.”

In Texas, LeBron James finished with 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists and Anthony Davis had 35 points and 11 rebounds, as the Los Angeles Lakers rallied to beat the San Antonio Spurs 109-103.

The Lakers recorded their second win over San Antonio in three days, closing the contest with a 9-0 run.

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Keldon Johnson had a career-high 26 points and added 10 rebounds and DeMar DeRozan had 23 points and nine rebounds for San Antonio.

Meanwhile, Bradley Beal scored 31 points to lift the Washington Wizards to their first win of the season, 130-109 over the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis.

He became the first player in franchise history to start a season with at least 25 points in the team’s first six games. Washington’s Thomas Bryant finished with 18 points after making all seven of his shots from the floor.

The sharp-shooting performance came one day after Bryant went 10 of 11 from the field for 28 points in the Wizards’ 133-130 loss to the Chicago Bulls. Wizards star Russell Westbrook was rested.

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Elsewhere, C.J. McCollum led an early barrage of three-pointers with four in the first nine minutes, helping Portland build a big early lead en route to a 123-98 victory over Golden State in San Francisco.

Damian Lillard led all scorers with 34 points and McCollum totalled 28 as the Trail Blazers improved to 2-1 on their four-game California road trip. The clubs will meet again on Sunday night, also in San Francisco.

Stephen Curry had a team-high 26 points for the Warriors, who were making their season home debut.

And Mike Conley scored 33 points and hit a career-high-tying seven three-pointers to lift Utah to a 108-100 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers in Salt Lake City.

Paul George scored 25 points to lead the Clippers, who had won four of their previous five games.

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