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Hawks lose nail-biter to Mavericks, 118-117

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Just short.

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Dallas Mavericks Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks took on the Dallas Mavericks from Texas Wednesday evening, looking to avenge the loss they took at the hands of Luka Doncic & Co. a week ago in Atlanta.

The Hawks ultimately fell short in what turned out to be a tight contest, losing in the final seconds by a score of 118-117.

The first quarter was fast-paced, with Dallas leading 33-32 after one. Doncic was rolling early with nine points, three rebounds and two assists heading to the second quarter.

John Collins had eight first quarter points, getting inside at will.

Trae Young was rolling in the first half, tallying 19 points and six assists before the break as the Hawks led 62-52 at the break.

The double-digit halftime lead was attributed to a strong second quarters for the visitors, as the Hawks outscored Dallas 30-19 in the period. Young had 12 second quarter points, including two three-pointers.

Doncic finished the half with 17 points, doing as much as he could to keep the Mavericks hanging close. The only other Dallas player with double-digit points in the first half was Kristaps Porzingis with ten.

The third period much resembled the first in that it was evenly played. This obviously favored Atlanta, who held an nine-point lead heading to the final period.

Young put on quite the passing display, executing a couple of nutmegs on Porzingis in a matter of seconds.

Collins was however the best player for the Hawks in the third, scoring 12 points in the quarter. The Dallas frontline was unable to find a solid matchup for him, as he had 26 points (10-for-11 from the floor) and seven rebounds heading to the fourth quarter.

Dallas did not waste time with the comeback effort in the fourth, starting the period on a 7-0 personal run by Tim Hardaway Jr. to get back within two points of the lead before Kevin Huerter silenced the run momentarily with a three-pointer.

Atlanta led by five inside the seven-minute mark, looking to close out what would be a solid road victory. Dallas however went on a quick 5-0 run, tying the score at 101 with 6:33 to go.

Doncic hit a three to give the home team a 104-101 lead, then Jalen Brunson hit one of his own after another empty Atlanta possession to push the run to 11-0, with the Hawks calling a timeout down 107-101 at the 4:59 mark.

The Hawks would battle back out of the timeout, with Young getting to the line for three free throws to cut the lead in half. Baskets by Huerter and Tony Snell would tie the score at 109 a few moments later.

The teams exchanged buckets heading towards the finish, and a big three from Young cut the Mavericks lead to just one with 1:05 to play. Huerter missed a potential go-ahead layup with 30 seconds left, but after a stop and a rebound, Atlanta called timeout, still down by 1, with 4.7 seconds to play.

On somewhat of a controversial final possession, Danilo Gallinari wound up taking the would-be game winner from mid-range on the left side of the floor, but came up empty. Young was seemingly ran over on the final play attempting to set a screen, but did not get the call.

Collins led all scorers with 33 points in the loss, while Young added 25 points and 15 assists. Huerter had a season-high 23 points to go with eight rebounds, proving to be a much needed weapon down the stretch.

Doncic had 28 points, ten rebounds and ten assists in the win, but it was Hardaway Jr. who helped carry the offense in the fourth. Hardaway Jr. finished with 16 points, most of which came in the final period. Jalen Brunson was also crucial for Dallas, scoring 21 points with some gigantic baskets in the waning moments.

The Hawks will return for Atlanta for a back-to-back this weekend, which opens up with a contest vs. the San Antonio Spurs Friday evening.