LOS ANGELES, United States, Jan 2 – Luka Doncic scored 27 points to outduel fellow Slovenian Goran Dragic as the Dallas Mavericks took advantage of some woeful three-point shooting by Miami to beat the Heat 93-83 on Friday night.
Doncic also tallied 15 rebounds, outperforming compatriot Dragic who finished with 10 points and seven assists at American Airlines Center arena in Dallas, Texas.
This was the first time in three career meetings that Doncic had beat guard Dragic, as Dallas snapped a six-game losing skid to Miami.
Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said Doncic is beginning to get into game shape.
“Luka’s going to get there,” Carlisle said. “He’s busting his tail. He’s working hard. Everything for him now is trending in a good direction conditioning wise.”
In what appears to be a growing trend in the NBA, Miami was undone by poor shooting from the three-point range.
On Thursday, the New York Knicks shot three for 36 from beyond the arc in a 100-83 loss to the Toronto Raptors.
Miami missed their first 14 three point attempts, making a total of just seven of 33. The Heat didn’t hit their first three pointer until the third quarter when Duncan Robinson finally sank one.
Dallas was 12 of 37 on three-point attempts.
Heat star Jimmy Butler, who returned after missing two games due to a sprained right ankle, scored just two points, three rebounds and two assists in 27 minutes. Miami’s Bam Adebayo produced his second straight double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds. He also had a game-high four steals.
Tim Hardaway scored 18 points, and ex-Heat players Josh Richardson (11 points) and James Johnson (eight points) also contributed. Dorian Finney-Smith scored 12 in the win.
Elsewhere, De’Andre Hunter scored 23 points, and Trae Young chipped in 21 as the Atlanta Hawks bounced back from giving up 145 points in their last game to beat the cold-shooting Brooklyn Nets 114-96 in New York.
The win comes two nights after Atlanta lost one of the highest scoring games in recent NBA memory, a 145-141 defeat to the same Nets. The Hawks also snapped a six game losing skid to Brooklyn.
John Collins added 20 points and eight rebounds, Clint Capela and Cam Reddish contributed 12 points apiece as Atlanta drained 16 of 39 three-pointers.
“This really helps our growth to see the mistakes we made (in the last game) and play the same team, which is going to do similar things, and really learn from it,” Collins said. “I feel that was it. We locked into the small things.”
The Nets hit just seven of 37 three-point attempts as they lost for the third time in their last four games. They got off to a roaring start to the new season with impressive victories over Boston and Golden State before this latest wobble.
Kevin Durant paced the Nets with 28 points on 10 of 21 shooting, while starting point guard Kyrie Irving struggled by making just eight of 32 shots from the field.
“We were scrambling,” said Joe Harris, who scored 12 points for the Nets. “We know what we have to clean up.”
In Texas, LeBron James finished with 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists and Anthony Davis had 35 points and 11 rebounds as the Los Angeles Lakers rallied to beat the San Antonio Spurs 109-103.
The Lakers recorded their second win over San Antonio in three days, closing the contest with a 9-0 run.
Keldon Johnson had a career-high 26 points and added 10 rebounds and DeMar DeRozan had 23 points and nine rebounds for San Antonio.