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Dallas guard Luka Doncic erupted for a franchise-best 73 points, the most scored in the NBA this season, and helped the visiting Mavericks end their three-game losing streak with a 148-143 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday, January 26 (Saturday, January 27, Manila time).
Doncic’s point total ties for fourth-most in NBA history. Wilt Chamberlain twice scored 73 and David Thompson also had 73.
Chamberlain holds the record with 100 points, followed by Kobe Bryant with 81. Chamberlain, who scored more than 70 six times in his career, also owns the third spot with 78.
Doncic was 25-of-33 from the field, 8-of-13 on three-pointers and 15-of-16 at the line, with 10 rebounds and 7 assists.
It was the second 70-point game in the league this season and 15th all-time. Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers scored 70 on Monday, January 22.
Doncic recorded the most points ever scored against the Hawks, eclipsing the mark of 67 set by Chamberlain in 1962 against the St. Louis Hawks.
Doncic put on a show in the first half, scoring a franchise-record 41 points on 16-of-21 shooting, including 5-of-8 on three-pointers.
He scored his 51st point, topping his previous season-high of 50 points on a three-pointer with 4:48 left in the third quarter. He set a franchise record by scoring his 63rd point on a three-pointer with 10:58 remaining in the game.
Dallas also got 21 points from Josh Green. Dallas played without Kyrie Irving, who sat out his second straight game with a right thumb sprain.
Atlanta guard Trae Young returned after missing two games because of a concussion and was on an unspecified minutes restriction. He finished with 30 points and 11 assists.
The Hawks also got 25 points from Jalen Johnson, 24 points from Bogdan Bogdanovic and 22 points from Dejounte Murray.
Atlanta lost its fourth straight game and dropped to 8-13 at home.
Dallas led by 8 points early, with Doncic scoring 8 of the team’s first 13 points. But Atlanta, behind Johnson’s 9 first-quarter points, took a 31-27 lead after one quarter.
The Hawks had a six-point lead in the third quarter, but could not stop Doncic, who hit two free throws with six seconds left to tie the game at 66 at halftime.
Despite Doncic’s efforts, the Mavericks could not distance themselves from the Hawks and took a 108-102 lead into the fourth quarter.