Basketball: Late clutch plays lift Dallas Mavericks over Oklahoma City Thunder 105-103

Luka Doncic's three-pointer gave Dallas Mavericks a 93-90 lead in the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Dec 30, 2018.
Luka Doncic's three-pointer gave Dallas Mavericks a 93-90 lead in the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Dec 30, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS) - Harrison Barnes turned a last-minute steal into a pair of free throws and Dennis Smith Jr hit a go-ahead shot with 24.8 seconds remaining to rally hosts Dallas Mavericks to a 105-103 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday (Dec 30) night.

Paul George saved 13 of his game-high 36 points for the final 3:54, but missed a potential go-ahead jumper with four seconds left as the Mavericks held on for just their second win in their last nine games.

The clubs will meet again on Monday night at Oklahoma City.

Luka Doncic's three-pointer with 5:30 remaining gave Dallas a 93-90 lead before George almost single-handedly won the game for the Thunder with two three-pointers, a two-point hoop and five free throws, pushing Oklahoma City to a 103-99 lead with just 1:22 to go.

DeAndre Jordan got Dallas within three with a free throw with 1:12 to play before Barnes' steal on a Russell Westbrook pass 15 seconds later turned the game in the Mavericks' favour and Smith followed with the difference-maker.

Westbrook missed two late three-pointers for Oklahoma City, including a buzzer-beating, desperation attempt after another Jordan free throw put Dallas two points ahead with 2.0 seconds remaining.

He finished four-of-22 from the field for nine points, the first time in his career that he has failed to reach double digits in scoring while attempting at least 20 shots.

Doncic had 25 points to lead the Mavericks, who were coming off a home-and-home split with New Orleans on Wednesday and Friday.

Jordan recorded a 12-point, 17-rebound double-double while Barnes totalled 16 points, with Smith 14 and Dorian Finney-Smith adding 10 off the bench for Dallas.

George's 36 points came on 12-for-24 shooting.

Westbrook nearly recorded a triple-double with nine points, nine rebounds and eight assists, and also added six steals but committed five turnovers.

Dennis Schroder had 19 points while Jerami Grant and Patrick Patterson added 10 apiece for the Thunder, who lost for the third time in their last four games.

The Mavericks outshot the Thunder 45.7 per cent to 43.0.

After Oklahoma City led by as many as nine in the first half and 59-57 at halftime, the Mavericks hit four consecutive three-pointers to open the third quarter on a 12-0 and take a 10-point lead. Smith had two of the three-pointers.

Dallas was up 13 late in the third quarter and 84-73 at period's end before the Thunder used a 13-2 burst at the start of the fourth quarter to draw even at 86-86. Raymond Felton hit a three-pointer and Hamidou Diallo completed a three-point play to highlight the rally.