Luka Doncic’s circus shot helps Mavericks beat Nets 125-120

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Luka Doncic scored 49 points and had a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 26.3 seconds remaining on a right-handed heave that banked in as the Dallas Mavericks beat the Brooklyn Nets 125-120 on Friday night in their home opener.

Doncic was standing near the right sideline, about 25 feet from the basket while being tightly guarded, when he sent a hook shot with the shot clock about to expire. He scored the last four field goals for Dallas — all on 3-pointers.

Cam Thomas led the Nets with 30 points in his seventh career NBA start, a game after setting a league record by scoring 36 points off the bench in a season opener.

Friday’s game was the first between the teams since the February trade that sent 10-time All-Star Kyrie Irving to Dallas in exchange for Dorian Finney-Smith and Spencer Dinwiddie.

Dinwiddie scored 23 points, hitting six 3-pointers in the first three quarters. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 19 points off the bench for the Mavericks, and Irving finished with 17.

Finney-Smith and Dinwiddie were honored with videos.

Finney-Smith made his first start of the season with Nets starters center Nic Claxton (ankle sprain) and forward Cam Johnson (left calf contusion) out with injuries.

Dinwiddie led Brooklyn at the half with 15 points. Three of his four 3-pointers in the opening periods came in the final three minutes, helping the Nets to a 59-57 lead at the break.

Before the game, both coaches downplayed the effect of the traded players facing their previous teams for the first time.

“I’ve been fortunate to be around some talented individuals, and (Irving) is definitely at the top of that list,” Nets coach Jacque Vaughn said. “But with that said, I think we’re ready to move on and everyone else is ready to move on, and I don’t want to do a disservice to the team that I’m coaching right now.”

“It’s the home opener. There’s always juice, the atmosphere no matter who the opponent is,” Dallas coach Jason Kidd said. “I don’t think there’s anything added.”

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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