NBA: Luka Doncic posts triple-double, Mavericks escape Nuggets

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Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks looks to pass against the Denver Nuggets in the first half at Ball Arena on December 6, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. Justin Tafoya/Getty Images/AFP

Luka Doncic had 22 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds, Tim Hardaway Jr. scored a season-high 29 points and the visiting Dallas Mavericks beat the Denver Nuggets 116-115 on Tuesday night.

Dorian Finney-Smith scored 19 points, Christian Wood added 14 and Spencer Dinwiddie 13 for the Mavericks.

Aaron Gordon had 27 points and eight rebounds to pace the Nuggets. Reserve Bones Hyland scored 20 points, Nikola Jokic had 19 to along with eight rebounds and eight assists, Bruce Brown and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope each had 12 points and Jamal Murray added 11.

Denver trailed 95-90 early in the fourth when Hyland drained a long 3-pointer, Wood answered with a layup and Christian Braun hit a corner 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 97-96.

Maxi Kleber scored the next five points, Hyland answered with a 3-pointer, Hardaway fed Finney-Smith for a dunk and then hit a 3-pointer to make it 107-99 with 5:03 left.

The lead grew to 10 with 4:07 remaining, but Brown hit a 3-pointer, Jokic converted a three-point play and Brown made two free throws to cut it to 111-109.

Doncic missed two fadeaway jumpers and Brown drained a corner 3-pointer with 37.9 seconds left to cap an 11-0 run. Finney-Smith’s 3-pointer with 17.3 seconds left put Dallas back in front, 114-112.

Jokic split a pair of free throws with 12 seconds left, Dinwiddie made two foul shots and Murray sank two with 6.3 seconds left. Hardaway missed two free throws with 4.2 seconds left, but Murray’s desperation heave was off at the final horn.

The Mavericks led by eight in the first half before the Nuggets got within 61-58 late, but Doncic drained a long 3-pointer to give Dallas a 64-58 lead at halftime.

Denver opened the third quarter with an 11-3 run to go up 69-67, but the Mavericks rallied.

Hardaway sank three free throws before Caldwell-Pope answered with a 13-footer, but Hardaway hit a pair of 3-pointers and Finney-Smith added one from the wing to give Dallas a 79-71 lead.

The Nuggets got within 86-84 on two free throws by Brown with 1:24 left in the period and trailed 91-86 heading into the fourth.

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