HomeViralMavericks' Luka Doncic and Tim Hardaway Jr. Blossom in Epic Clutch Battle...

Mavericks’ Luka Doncic and Tim Hardaway Jr. Blossom in Epic Clutch Battle against Magic!

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Tim Hardaway Jr. certainly caught Luka Doncic and the Mavericks’ attention on Monday vs. the Magic.

The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Orlando Magic 131-129 on Monday night at the American Airlines Center. It was a competitive game that saw Dallas erase a 16-point deficit after half-time. Luka Doncic was performing at an elite level again, finishing with 45 points, 15 assists, and nine rebounds, but he certainly had some help on Monday.

Jaden Hardy and Dereck Lively II stepped up. Lively recorded a 20-point, 11-rebound double-double, while Hardy added 20 points and seven assists. However, Tim Hardaway Jr. was Dallas’ second star in the game.

Hardaway is inconsistent at times, but he features the ability to completely change the dynamic of the game. Make no mistake about it, Doncic’s presence was felt in Monday’s contest. But Hardaway’s 36 points on 11-17 shooting from the field and 5-9 shooting from beyond the arc, with many of his shots helping to change the momentum of the game, proved to be a pivotal factor in the Mavs’ victory.

“Amazing,” Doncic said of Hardaway’s performance. “He played amazing. Didn’t force anything, was very aggressive, hitting shots… Amazing play by him.”

When Tim Hardaway Jr. performs well, the Mavericks seem to feed off his energy. Doncic explained how Hardaway impacts the Mavericks when he’s consistently shooting the ball well.

“I mean, it’s very tough to guard us I think we he’s got it going. It’s harder to double,” Doncic said. “So we just swing it to him and let him make a shot. So it’s really hard to guard us when he’s that hot.”

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Tim Hardaway Jr.’s immense impact on Mavericks

Mavericks' Tim Hardaway Jr. looking serious in image.

With Kyrie Irving out due to injury, Dallas needed someone to step up alongside Doncic. On Saturday, it was Grant Williams, who scored a career-high 27 points in the Mavs’ 120-115 loss to the Sacramento Kings. In previous games, though, Hardaway has been a player capable of performing at a high level in big moments.

Sure, he will take some questionable shots. But one thing you can count on is that Tim Hardaway Jr. will not back down in clutch moments. He’s always ready to shoot, and he hit a three-pointer on Monday that catapulted Dallas’ moment.

With the Mavs trailing 86-84 late in the third quarter, the Mavs grabbed an offensive rebound. Doncic took the ball up the court before making a pass from beyond half-court to a wide-open Hardaway in the corner. Hardaway found the bottom of the net, giving the Mavericks an 87-86 lead.

The energy at the American Airlines Center was electric after the shot went in, video via Bally Sports Southwest.

 

Prior to the game, head coach Jason Kidd said other Mavs players needed to step up alongside Doncic. Luka had played more than 90 minutes between Friday and Saturday’s games, and Dallas couldn’t afford to risk his long-term health by continuing to give him limited rest.

And no, it couldn’t just be one player. Dallas wanted to see multiple role players perform well. Jaden Hardy started the game strong, contributing at a high level on offense. Dereck Lively II provided his impressive rim-protecting prowess while helping out on the glass.

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Hardaway praise continues

But the Mavericks probably wouldn’t have won Monday’s contest without Hardaway’s effort. Kidd addressed Hardaway’s performance after the game.

“Yeah, I think Tim has played at a high level for us,” Kidd said. “I wish it was that easy, that we could mark him down for 30 so we can get the win total. We’ve asked him to come off the bench, we’ve asked him to start, we’ve asked him to guard bigs. He’s a true pro. He played a great game for us, stepping into the starting role and flip-flopping with Hardy and I thought Hardy gave us a big spark too in that first.

“But Tim was great tonight, Tim was really good.”

Jaden Hardy also shared his thoughts on Hardaway.

“Big game tonight,” Hardy said. “Knocking down big shots for us late in the game, keeping us in there. I feel like it was great. Just feeding off of his energy. And I feel like with the fans out there, you know, screaming… We were feeding off their energy too so I feel like it was good for us.”

Tim Hardaway Jr., again, can be inconsistent at times. But when the 31-year-old is on his game, the Mavericks become incredibly difficult to contain. It forces defenses to think twice before double-teaming Luka Doncic. Additionally, the Mavs seem to feed off his energy when he’s hitting big shots.

Sure, the Mavericks have endured their share of ups and downs. Monday’s performance should leave fans feeling hopeful, though. And we have to remember that the Mavs were without star Kyrie Irving and two impactful players in Derrick Jones Jr. and Dante Exum in this game. Once they return, Dallas has the potential to surprise people in the Western Conference.

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