In the fifth seeding game in the bubble, the Mavericks were tasked with a tough matchup against MVP finalist Giannas Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks were 2-2 in the bubble coming into the game versus Dallas and had already clinched the number one seed in the eastern conference. The Mavs were coming off a 15 point loss to the Clippers in which Kristaps Porzingis had a great game with 30 points and nine rebounds.
The Mavericks started the game off hot again leading by as many as 11 points midway through the quarter. Luka Doncic was controlling the game for most of the quarter making shots and some great passes. Doncic finished the quarter with seven points and six assists. Kristaps Porzingis also had a good start throwing down a big jam and scoring nine points along with seven rebounds. The Bucks made a run at the end of the quarter and finished down by only three points, mostly because of Giannas Antetokounmpo. He finished the quarter with 10 points. Dallas had a 35-32 lead over Milwaukee at the end of the quarter.
Dallas got their 11 point lead back four minutes into the quarter because of an 12-2 run from the Mavs causing the Bucks to take a timeout. Milwaukee went on a run of their own right after the timeout making it a three point game, that caused the Mavericks to take a timeout. The game stayed pretty close for a lot of the quarter until Milwaukee went on another run at the end of the quarter giving them a nine point lead at halftime—their biggest lead in the half. Brook Lopez lead the way during the quarter and in the run at the end of the half scoring 21 points in the second, a career high for Lopez, giving him a total of 24 points in the half. The Bucks scored 39 points in the quarter giving them a 71-62 lead at halftime.
Milwaukee kept their lead in the first part of the third quarter but Dallas came back and cut the Bucks lead to three midway through the third. After a few baskets from Pat Connaughton the Bucks took a seven point lead. Thanks to Kristaps Porzingis the Mavs made it a one possession game again with four minutes to play in the quarter before the Bucks called a timeout. Dallas ended the quarter on a high note taking a two point lead into the final quarter of the game after some more great plays by Doncic and another big slam by Porzingis.
Dallas went on a 14-2 run which spanned from the end of the third to the first few minutes of the fourth quarter. The run gave Dallas an eight point lead with nine minutes to play in the game. During the run Doncic had five points and two assists. Because of a Brook Lopez four point play the Bucks tied the game up midway through the final quarter. On the next possession Lopez hit another three to give the Bucks a three point lead. A Doncic three point shot gave Dallas the lead with about four minutes remaining. The Bucks tied up the game right after the Doncic three and then took the lead on a George Hill three pointer. At the two minute warning, the Bucks had a seven point lead after going on a quick run.
With just under a minute left the Mavs were only down by two after a three and some free throws from Porzingis where he was fouled by Antetokounmpo for his fifth foul of the game. After a foul on Milwaukee which was originally on Antetokounmpo which would have fouled him out, but was changed to a foul on Khris Middleton. Doncic hit both of the clutch free throws to tie the game with 20 seconds left. After a missed three pointer by George Hill in the closing seconds and a scrum on the backboard. The game was tied at the end of regulation 119-119.
Tim Hardaway Jr. made the first overtime basket nailing a three. On the next two possessions, Dorian Finney-Smith hit two three-pointers giving them 16 straight points and a nine point lead with three minutes to go in overtime. After the Mavericks’ run, the Bucks went on a run of their own scoring seven straight and making it a two point game with 1:42 left in the game. Porzingis hit a jumper to end the run and give the Mavs a four point lead—his night was over with 1:23 to go after getting his sixth foul.
Antetokounmpo made both free throws making it a two point game once again. Doncic had another beautiful pass, this time to Maxi Kleber who made the basket and got fouled to give the Mavs a five point advantage. A dunk by Giannas made it a one possession game with about 30 seconds left. Doncic then hit a clutch layup to give Dallas their five point lead back with 11 seconds left. Antetokounmpo ran down the court and scored with 5.6 second to go to make it a three point game once again. The Bucks fouled immediately after to send the Mavs to the line where they clinched the game after sinking the second free throw. The game finished with the Mavericks taking the win 136-132 to make their record 42-30.
Luka Doncic was the star of the game putting up MVP level statistics. Doncic had 36 points, 14 rebounds and an outstanding career high 19 assists. This season Doncic lead the league in triple doubles with 17 of them. Kristaps Porzingis had 26 points while Dorian Finney-Smith also had a great game putting up 27 points and six threes. For the Bucks Brook Lopez and Giannas Antetokounmpo were tied for the leading scorer dropping 34 each. Khris Middleton had 21 points also for the Bucks.
Whats Next for the Mavericks?
The next time the Mavs will take the court will be against the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday, August 10th. The Trail Blazers are fighting for a playoff spot and will need wins even more now after losing in a close game to the Clippers. The Mavs still hold the seventh seed in the west and are now two games back from the Jazz and the six seed.