Dallas, TX — Luka Doncic’s amazing fourth quarter gave the Dallas Mavericks (13-11) a 107-104 home victory over the Houston Rockets (11-14) and their ninth straight home win.
Tonight’s match-up against the Rockets proved to keep the Mavericks humble from tip-off until the last buzzer. The Mavs decided to start Jalen Brunson at point guard as the team has been plagued with injuries since the beginning of the season with guys such as Dennis Smith Jr., Maxi Kleber and Dirk Nowitzki having to be sidelined.
After two straight road losses, the Rockets were looking for a much-needed win.
The first quarter kept the Rockets and Mavericks close score wise, 32-30 in favor of Dallas. Both teams shot 50 percent from the field, and had some awesome fast action plays. Dallas capitalized on James Harden being in foul trouble early in the game, with three of them being in the first quarter. This created a wrinkle in the Rockets’ offense due to the fact that Harden managed to score 15 points to keep the score within reach.
Houston relied on their bench through the second quarter to close out halftime in the lead, 57-56.
Doncic struggled to find his footing defensively and offensively for much of the ballgame. By the end of the third quarter, he only had 10 as compared to Harden’s 31. Dallas also made a few glaring mistakes between JJ Barea’s turnover in the paint and Dorian Finney-Smith’s foul on a three-point attempt.
Despite those mistakes, Matthews’ key three-point shots gave him 18 points leading into the fourth stanza, and tied the game 84-84.
The American Airlines Center fan’s energy echoed that of a playoff atmosphere going into the final minutes of the fourth quarter. After two missed free throw attempts by Chris Paul and several missed shots, the Mavs were down by two 102-100. Despite a slow start and the fact that Doncic went 3-of-13, he turned up in the fourth quarter to closeout the game on his own personal 11-0 run to win the contest.
Doncic finished the game with 21 points and seven rebounds.
He made the fourth quarter his very own highlight reel in stunning and thrilling form after two three pointers and a jumper. Coach Rick Carlisle credited him with his fourth quarter performance.
“He’s got a flair for the moment,” Carlisle said. “He’s unafraid. You don’t see that everyday… It’s a unique three or four minutes of whatever he put together, and I say he’s a terrific young player who is getting better all the time.”
After winning their ninth straight home game since their championship run in 2010-2011 season, the Mavericks will host the Orlando Magic on Monday (Dec. 10) at 7:30 PM. The Houston Rockets will look to regroup with two days off before they face off against the Portland Trailblazers on Tuesday.
Even though Paul’s team loss, the All-Star veteran shared his positive thoughts after the game about what he saw on the court from Houston tonight.