Dallas star Luka Doncic posted a 35-point triple-double, twice forcing overtime with three-pointers as the Mavericks edged the Lakers 119-115 in a bruising NBA clash in Los Angeles on Thursday.
Doncic added 14 rebounds and 13 assists in his 10th triple-double of the season.
His step-back three-pointer with six seconds left in regulation — his only basket of the fourth quarter — knotted the score at 101-101 and they went to overtime when Troy Brown missed at the buzzer.
Doncic hit an almost identical shot to tie it up at 108-108 with 47.8 seconds remaining in the first extra session, and after two misses by LeBron James and one by Dallas’ Tim Hardaway Jr. they went to a second OT.
“It was very physical,” said Doncic, who was sent sprawling by a hip check from Russell Westbrook.
“Two overtimes, a lot of minutes, you had to stay focused. Energy was a little low after two overtimes, but we came through it.”
Christian Wood added 24 points, Hardaway had 22 and Spencer Dinwiddie scored six of his 17 points in the second overtime for Dallas.
Westbrook led the Lakers with 28 points off the bench. James, back in action after missing a game with a sore ankle, scored 24 and grabbed 16 rebounds but the Lakers dropped their second straight.
In Portland, Cleveland’s Donovan Mitchell scored 26 points as the Cavaliers withstood a 50-point performance from Damian Lillard in a 119-113 come-from-behind victory over the Trail Blazers.
Mitchell’s jump shot with 4:40 to play put Cleveland up for the first time in the game and they held on for the victory.
Jarrett Allen added 24 points and 10 rebounds for Cleveland and Ricky Rubio scored nine points in his first game in more than a year.
Rubio had been sidelined since suffering a torn left knee ligament in December of 2021.
“I think it gave us an extra boost,” Allen said of Rubio’s return. “To finally see him back out here… it’s a joy for us all.”
The Cavs strengthened their hold on fourth place in the Eastern Conference, moving a game ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers, who were beaten 133-114 on their home floor by the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Celtics keep rolling
The Boston Celtics, meanwhile, clawed out a 109-98 victory in Brooklyn that pushed their lead over the Nets atop the Eastern Conference to three games.
Celtics star Jayson Tatum endured a tough seven-for-22 shooting night on the way to 20 points and 11 rebounds.
Marcus Smart and Malcolm Brogdon added 16 points apiece for the Celtics, who learned shortly before the contest that Jaylen Brown — coming off a 41-point performance in Boston’s win over New Orleans on Wednesday — would be sidelined with a right adductor muscle strain.
The Nets were playing their first game since superstar Kevin Durant limped out of a win over Miami with a sprained right knee ligament, which is expected to sideline him for several weeks.
Brooklyn, led by 24 points from Kyrie Irving, coped admirably through the first three quarters, leading the back-and-forth battle by as many as nine points in the first half and by as many as five in the third quarter before Boston pulled away.
The Celtics connected on 10 of 25 shots from the field in the fourth quarter and clamped down defensively, holding the Nets to 16 points in the period on six-of-19 shooting.
“We get out and run, it’s hard for people to stop it,” Smart said.
The Nets remained half a game ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks, who fell to the Heat 102-108 in Miami.
Gabe Vincent scored a career-high 28 points, Bam Adebayo added 24 points and 12 rebounds and Jimmy Butler chipped in 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Heat in a clash of injury-depleted teams.
The Bucks, whose multiple absentees included two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Giannis Antetokounmpo, led by 15 in the second quarter.
One night after they set an NBA record by making all 40 of their free-throw attempts, the Heat made 15 of their 16 attempts from the foul line — running their streak of free throws made to 55 before Butler missed one with less than 30 seconds remaining.
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