Kyrie Irving hit three late 3-pointers and teamed with Luka Doncic and Tim Hardaway Jr. for 84 points Wednesday night, helping the host Dallas Mavericks move into a tie for 10th place in the Western Conference with a 123-119 victory over the Sacramento Kings.
Irving finished with a game-high 31 points, Doncic 29 and Hardaway 24 for the Mavericks (38-42), who snapped a three-game losing streak. Dallas caught the Oklahoma City Thunder (38-42) for the West’s last play-in spot with just two games remaining.
“It’s not over until it’s over,” Irving said. “We’ve just got to keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep maintaining the poise and mentality and the results will come.
“We don’t control our own destiny but we can control our effort out here right now.”
Kyrie Irving’s second half was special.
🔥 25 PTS (19 in 4Q)
🔥 6-7 3PM
🔥 5 AST@dallasmavs overcome a 13-point deficit to secure the HUGE win! pic.twitter.com/XldPC5zFQ1
— NBA (@NBA) April 6, 2023
Four clubs advance to the play-in mini-tournament to determine the final two teams that join the top six finishers in each conference.
The Thunder, who own the head-to-head tiebreaker advantage, close out the season at the Utah Jazz and at home against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Mavericks conclude with home games against the Chicago Bulls and the San Antonio Spurs.
De’Aaron Fox had a team-high 28 points and Domantas Sabonis a 19-point, 11-rebound, 11-assist triple-double for the Kings (48-32). Sacramento failed to pick up a game on the Memphis Grizzlies (50-30), a loser at New Orleans, in their duel for the No. 2 seeding in the West.
The Grizzlies have road games against the Milwaukee Bucks and the Thunder remaining on the schedule. The Kings will host the Golden State Warriors before visiting the Denver Nuggets.
After the Mavericks used two 3-pointers apiece from Doncic, Irving and Hardaway in the third quarter to erase a 13-point deficit, the clubs entered the fourth period tied. The teams traded leads 10 times before Irving hit consecutive 2- and 3-point hoops for a 111-107 advantage with 6:10 to go.
The imported star then almost singlehandedly held off the Kings down the stretch, hitting two more threes and a free throw, helping Dallas go up by as many as nine in the final minute.
Irving shot 6-for-10 from 3-point range, Hardaway 5-for-8 and Doncic 3-for-11 as the Mavericks beat the Kings at their own game, making 20 of their 44 3-point attempts (45.5 percent). The visitors went just 12-for-37 (32.4 percent).
Irving also found time for a team-high eight assists.
Doncic completed a double-double with a team-high 10 rebounds, while Christian Wood and Josh Green chipped in with 14 and 10 points, respectively, off the bench.
Harrison Barnes (16 points), Kevin Huerter (14), Malik Monk (13) and Keegan Murray (11) also scored in double figures for the Kings, who split games on a trip that began Tuesday night with a win at New Orleans.
Field Level Media/with reports from Agence-France Presse
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