US basketball

Mavericks escape Lakers as Luka, LeBron briefly battle

JR Isaga
Mavericks escape Lakers as Luka, LeBron briefly battle
The NBA scrimmages continue with the Mavericks slipping past LeBron James and the Lakers

The Dallas Mavericks pulled off a 108-104 escape act against the Los Angeles Lakers as NBA scrimmages continued at Disney World Orlando on Thursday, July 23 (Friday, July 24, Manila time).

Young superstar Luka Doncic tallied 14 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists in just 17 minutes of play while 35-year-old MVP candidate LeBron James had 12 points, 3 boards and 5 dimes before sitting out the entire second half.

It was a dominant opening half for the Western Conference’s top-seeded Lakers as they erected a 13-point lead at the 1:47 mark of the 2nd quarter off a three-pointer by Anthony Davis.

However, Dallas’ deeper bench soon caught up with the LA’s second unit as German stretch forward Maxi Kleber drained a go-ahead bucket from downtown, 75-72, with 1:28 remaining in the 3rd period.

The Mavericks actually led by 9, 103-92, at the 2:39 mark of the final frame before newly-signed Laker JR Smith cut the lead to two, 102-104, off a long bomb capping a 10-1 run with just 23.9 ticks left on the clock.

LA guard Quinn Cook then sank a clutch layup off the Delon Wright free-throws before Mavs prospect Justin Jackson drove home the dagger dunk, 108-104, in the final 3.1 seconds of regulation.

Super sniper Seth Curry led the balanced attack with 23 points off a perfect 6-of-6 clip from three-point land while fan favorite big man Boban Marjanovic chipped in a 17-point, 13-rebound double-double.

Davis added 12 points and a rebound while Cook and JaVale McGee poured in 13 points apiece in the Lakers’ losing effort.

In other games, the Milwaukee Bucks led by MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo blasted the San Antonio Spurs, 113-92. The Indiana Pacers held off the Portland Trail Blazers, 91-88, while the Phoenix Suns made quick work of the Utah Jazz, 101-88. –