DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Twice in the final minute with a one-point lead, the Dallas Mavericks committed a turnover, including the last of their 17 miscues on a bad pass from young triple-double phenom Luka Doncic with 10 seconds left.
And twice in the final minute, the Mavericks drew a charge on Aaron Gordon, only to give the Orlando Magic one more chance to win when Seth Curry missed two free throws.
Nikola Vucevic missed an open 3-pointer just before the buzzer after the two calls against Gordon and Curry’s misfires, Doncic scored 27 points and the Mavericks held on for a 107-106 victory Wednesday night.
“They saved me,” Doncic said of the Dallas D after finishing with seven rebounds and seven assists while chasing a third straight triple-double for the first time in the reigning rookie of the year’s career. “I didn’t do the right play on the offense. They saved me on the defense.”
The first call against Gordon came with 34 seconds to go on a drive in the lane against Dorian Finney-Smith, who used to be the primary defensive specialist for the Mavericks before they added Delon Wright in the offseason.
Just three seconds after Doncic’s turnover, Gordon got his sixth foul for pushing off against Tim Hardaway Jr. at the 3-point line. The Magic finally executed what they wanted on offense after Curry’s misses, but Vucevic’s shot from just right of the key bounced off the rim.
“It’s two plays down the stretch,” said Gordon, who led Orlando with 23 points but scored just two after halftime as the Magic dropped their fourth straight game in the 10th consecutive loss for the road team in this series.
“One, I like the way I was being aggressive. The other one, I could have made a better decision. We still got a good shot at the end. It’s what we wanted but executing down the stretch there’s a couple of things we could have done better for sure.”
Vucevic had 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Jonathan Isaac finished with 13 points and 10 boards.
J.J. Barea, a 13-year veteran with a history of bringing energy off the bench for the Mavericks, made his season debut in the second quarter and had 11 straight Dallas points — all of his scoring — while Doncic and fellow Euro star Kristaps Porzingis were struggling.
Three consecutive 3-pointers from Barea helped Dallas get within two at halftime (56-54) after trailing by 10 in the first half. He was considered healthy when the season started but didn’t play the first six games after an Achilles injury limited him to 38 games last season.
“I was playing with my kids and my dog in my house, doing all type of stuff,” Barea said. “But I felt good out there. I think it’s the longer I waited, the better it gets. So I’m not mad about it.”
Porzingis scored 10 points on 4-of-14 shooting with eight rebounds. Maxi Kleber scored 14, and Dwight Powell added 12. Doncic was 1 of 7 from 3, with the only make in the fourth quarter. Porzingis was 1 of 5 from beyond the arc.
The Mavericks will now get ready to host the New York Knicks Friday night at 7:30 p.m.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)