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Doncic, Mavericks Suffer Another Costly Loss To The Hornets

CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) — The Charlotte Hornets overcame a 40-point outing from Luka Doncic on Sunday to defeat Dallas 110-104, their second win over the Mavericks in three days and another costly blow to Dallas’ playoff hopes.

Gordon Hayward scored 22 points and PJ Washington added 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Hornets, who have been eliminated from playoff contention.

The Mavericks entered the day tied with Oklahoma City for the 10th best record in the Western Conference but were still outside of the play-in tournament bubble because the Thunder hold the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Doncic picked up his 16th technical foul of the season in the third quarter, meaning he will face a one-game suspension on Monday night against the Indiana Pacers unless the technical is rescinded by the league office.

Kyrie Irving had 18 points for Dallas (36-39).

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A dejected Doncic said after Friday night’s loss to the Hornets he was frustrated over how the season has gone. He added that they’re not just basketball-related, but did not elaborate.

Things didn’t start well Sunday for the Mavericks in the rematch. Dallas fell behind 30–12 in the first quarter after missing 15 of its first 18 shots from the field. Doncic went 0 for 6 in the first quarter.

Down 19 with four minutes left in the first half, Doncic began to turn it up a notch, connecting on four 3-pointers and assisting on another 3 to spearhead a 19-7 Mavericks run to close the half and trimming the Charlotte lead to seven. To install break.

The Mavericks stormed back in the fourth quarter with Tim Hardaway Jr. and Irving draining back-to-back 3s before Doncic nailed a step-back 3 with 5:44 remaining to give Dallas its first lead of the game.

But Dennis Smith Jr., a former Maverick, snuck behind the Dallas defense and dunked off an alley-oop feed from Washington to put Charlotte up by five with 1:05 remaining.

Maxi Kleber responded with a 3 off a feed from Doncic, but Charlotte answered again with a layup by Mark Williams off a pass from Hayward.

Doncic then missed a 3 on the other end, all but securing the Charlotte win. After Doncic missed another late 3-point attempt and the clock expired, he exchanged words with a fan seated courtside and wagged his finger at him.

Mavericks: Doncic has been assessed the third-most technical fouls in the league behind only Memphis’ Dillon Brooks (18) and Atlanta’s Trae Young (17). … Irving asked officials to have a fan removed from in the third quarter.

Hornets: Terry Rozier (right foot discomfort) and Kelly Oubre Jr. (right shoulder sprain) both sat out for the second straight game.

Mavericks: At Indiana on Monday night.

Hornets: At Oklahoma City on Tuesday.

AP NBA: and

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