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NBA Wrap February 4th



IMAGE: Houston Chronicle




DONCIC, PORZINGIS HELP MAVERICKS SNAP SIX-GAME SKID


Fed up with recent lacklustre performances as a team, Luka Doncic made sure everyone was held accountable when the momentum was against them.


Once 48 minutes elapsed, the Mavericks breathed a sigh of relief.


Doncic had a team-high 27 points to go with 8 rebounds and 14 assists, while Kristaps Porzingis had 24 points and 11 assists as the Dallas Mavericks ended a six-game slide with a 122-116 win over the Atlanta Hawks.


John Collins posted a career-high 35 points pulling down 12 rebounds and Trae Young posted 21 points and 9 assists for Atlanta.


Unlike in the previous six games where they trailed for the majority by double-digits, Dallas played as a cohesive unit with its full strength lineup back only trailing 56-53 at intermission.


With Doncic putting up excellent numbers once again this season, was the orchestrator of the Mavericks’s offence finding his teammates in all different sections of the floor as the Dallas reversed a three point deficit into an 88-83 lead heading to the fourth.


Dallas seized its late third quarter momentum tide into the last stanza using a 20-11 run capped off by Porzingis scoring seven points in that span, including a one-handed flush over shot-blocker Clint Capela.


Trailing by 15 when Doncic assisted Dorian Finney-Smith for a three with 3:47 left, Atlanta began its rally behind the destructive youthful one-two tandem of Young and Collins who combined for 15 of the final 20 Hawks points.


Young scored five successive Hawks points to give Atlanta a fighting chance, but Dallas coolly hit five free throws late in proceedings to secure an all-important win.


FOX, BARNES AND BLAZING KINGS EDGE CELTICS


Coming off a successful four-game trip where they went 3-1, the Kings built on momentum created in recent wins to topple the Boston Celtics.


De’Aaron Fox on a tear averaging 28 points in his last 8 games led Sacramento with 26 points and 11 assists, while Harrison Barnes had 24 and Sacramento won for the fifth time in six games defeating the Celtics 116-111.


Tyrese Haliburton who was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month for January put up 21 points.


Superstar Jayson Tatum led the green team with 27 points and 9 rebounds but missed the game-tying three in the final seconds, while Jaylen Brown scored 21 for Boston who have spilt a pair of games on their five game Western swing.


With up-tempo offence from the teams Boston took a narrow 52-51 lead at the half. The Celtics grasped the momentum applying a zone defence in which Sacramento missed seven of its next eight shots as Boston built a 74-63 lead all part of a 23-11 run which Brown scored seven points in that span.


Sacramento clawed back into the contest with the scorching Tyrese Haliburton catching fire scoring 10 points including back to back threes including a buzzer-beater tip-in off a wild Buddy Hield missed three as the Kings used an 18-8 run to close the period.


Riding the blazing Fox who strung six points in a three-minute span Sacramento went up by three with 52.8 seconds to go.


The contest went into the final minute as Sacramento missed two golden chances to ice it after grabbing two offensive boards. The Kings would foul Grant Williams, who missed the crucial first foul shot, he then deliberately missed the second. Though he instinctively grabbed his own miss passing it to Tatum running to the three point line where Fox met him to brilliantly contest his corner three clanking the back iron to end an enthralling game.

In other results around the Association:


Joel Embiid returned from a one-game absence due to back tightness to deliver 34 points and 11 rebounds, while Tobias Harris scored 26 and Aussie Ben Simmons posted 15 points and 9 assists as the Philadelphia 76ers controlled the majority of the contest to defeat the Charlotte Hornets 118-111.


Gordon Hayward and LaMelo Ball in his second career start each had 22 for the Hornets who saw its three game winning streak broken.


Giannis Antetokounmpo bulldozed his way to triple double number 21 of his career finishing with 21 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists as the Milwaukee Bucks led by as much as 40 on route to belting the Indiana Pacers 130-110.


Domantas Sabonis finished with 33 points and 12 rebounds for Indiana making it his 20th double-double of the season.


Paul George was scorching from all sections of the floor scoring 36 points including hitting eight of nine triples as the Los Angeles Clippers ended its four-game Eastern trip beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 121-99.


The Cavaliers rising young backcourt of Collin Sexton and Darius Garland had 27 and 23 points each as Cleveland failed to reach the 100 point mark for the 11th time this campaign.

Tyler Herro missed a game-tying triple for the Miami Heat as the Washington Wizards minus Russell Westbrook won 103-100 with 2-time All-Star Bradley Beal scoring a team-high 32 points.


Julius Randle posted 27 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists as the New York Knicks nullified a Chicago Bulls fourth quarter comeback to spilt its two-game mini series winning 107-103.


Zach LaVine top-scored for Chicago with 24 points.


Although playing without leading-scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander with a left knee sprain the Oklahoma City Thunder smothered the Houston Rockets to record a comfortable 104-87 victory led by Kenrich Williams with 19 points.


Eric Gordon led Houston with 22 points who played without John Wall as he sat out the game on a back-to-back concluding tomorrow against the Memphis Grizzlies.


DeMar DeRozan had 30 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists as the San Antonio Spurs stormed home in the fourth to beat the reeling Minnesota Timberwolves 111-108.


Zion Williamson posted 28 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists while Brandon Ingram had 23 points and 6 assists and the New Orleans Pelicans fuelled by a late third term run, powered past the Phoenix Suns 123-101.


By Juri Bilcich




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