Luka Doncic, Mavs overcome Hornets

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) shoots against Charlotte Hornets forward P.J. Washington (25) and guard Theo Maledon, right, in the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023, in Dallas.
Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) shoots against Charlotte Hornets forward P.J. Washington (25) and guard Theo Maledon, right, in the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023, in Dallas.AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez

DALLAS— Luka Doncic didn't have quite the fourth quarter that LaMelo Ball had.

The Dallas superstar did plenty to lead a bounce-back win for the Mavericks.

Doncic scored 23 points after a rare scoreless first quarter and the Mavericks overcame Ball's first 30-point triple-double in a 124-118 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday night.

Ball scored 23 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter while finishing with 13 assists and 10 rebounds. But the Hornets couldn't hold a 15-point first-half lead a night after rallying in the fourth for a one-point victory at Indiana.

“Just trying to win, really. Trying to do as much as I could,” said Ball, who was 8 of 9 from the field and 5 of 6 from 3-point range in the fourth, the highest-scoring quarter of his career. “Didn’t really go our way at the end.”

Grant Williams added 18 points, including a trio of 3s in the fourth quarter, and rookie Dereck Lively II had 15 points, 14 rebounds, and a big fourth-quarter block for the Mavericks, who were coming off their first loss of the season.

The Hornets had a chance to tie after Dallas was called for a shot-clock violation with 8.4 seconds left. But rookie Brandon Miller couldn't get the ball in before a 5-second call, and Ball fouled Kyrie Irving before Dallas inbounded.

Irving's free throw gave the Mavs a 120-116 lead and they kept the ball, then he hit two more free throws with 7.7 seconds to all but seal Dallas' fifth victory in six games.

“I’m not going to say anything about that,” Charlotte coach Steve Clifford said about the late inbound play. “I didn’t see it. I have nothing to say about that.”

Doncic, who had just one scoreless first quarter last season, went 8 of 15 after his 0-for-4 start — but was just 1 of 9 from long range — while finishing with 12 rebounds and nine assists.

Irving had 18 points and 10 assists. AP

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