Luka Doncic, Mavericks hand Nets fourth straight loss – Reuters

Luka Doncic ended up with 24 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists to lead the host Dallas Mavericks to a 113-109 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night.Doncic shot just 7-for-22 from the field, however he went 5-for-13 from 3-point range, helping Dallas (38-28) secure another crucial win in its quote to protect among the leading six playoff areas in the Western Conference and avoid needing to take part in the play-in tournament.The Mavericks won their second in a row and fifth in their previous six video games. Dallas preserved at least a share of 5th place with the Los Angeles Lakers, who were playing late Thursday night, and moved a full video game ahead of seventh-place Portland.Brooklyn (43-24) lost its fourth in a row despite Kyrie Irvings season-high 45 points. The Nets stayed in 2nd location in the Eastern Conference, however was up to 2 1/2 video games behind first-place Philadelphia and are now only half a game ahead of third-place Milwaukee.Kevin Durant tallied 20 points and nine rebounds while Blake Griffin taped a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Jeff Green added 11 points and Bruce Brown had 10. The Nets lacked James Harden (right hamstring strain) for the 16th successive game, although he stated prior to the video game that he is “extremely confident” he will return before the playoffs begin.Doncic didnt make his very first 2-point shot until a drive to the hoop with 3:11 left in the fourth gave Dallas a 106-99 lead. Doncic and Jalen Brunson, who finished with 15 points, each hit shots in the last minute to assist the Mavericks hang on for the win. Tim Hardaway Jr. ended up with 23 points and 6 rebounds and made one of two complimentary throws with 5.8 seconds left after the Nets pulled to within three.Dorian Finney-Smith totaled 17 points and 8 rebounds. Dwight Powell tallied 12 points and 10 rebounds off the Mavericks bench and Josh Richardson included 10 points.Dallas won despite missing Kristaps Porzingis (best knee soreness) for the 4th consecutive video game and Maxi Kleber (best Achilles soreness) for the second video game in a row.– Field Level Media