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Hawks fall to Mavericks at the hand of Luka Doncic, 148-143

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Atlanta Hawks Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks welcomed the Dallas Mavericks to town on Friday night.

Jalen Johnson scored the Hawks’ first seven points while off to an early 9-7 deficit. The first non-Johnson bucket was scored by Trae Young with a left-handed floater off the glass.

Luka Doncic was off to an incredible start — which would become an incredible middle as well as finish — with 18 first quarter points. Johnson’s nine led the way for the Hawks, and Young added seven. The Hawks were up 31-27 despite the heroics from Doncic.

The Hawks held onto the lead for most of the second quarter, but Luka Doncic was putting together a masterclass. By halftime, he was up to 41 points, as the Hawks simply had no answer. He was scoring at all three levels, and no one was making his life difficult.

Bogdan Bogdanovic was knocking down shots in one of his better halves this month. He finished the first half with 15. The Hawks seceded their lead at the end of the second quarter, bringing it to a 66-66 game at halftime.

The third quarter proved no different. The Hawks’ defense was, for lack of a better term, atrocious. The offense looked good overall, scoring 36 points. However, they surrendered 42 points in the quarter including 16 scored by Doncic.

Doncic’s 57 points led the game entering the fourth quarter, and the Hawks were facing a six-point deficit. The Mavs secured a double-digit lead, but the Hawks continued to make shots. They were finally able to cut the deficit back to six with 4:32 remaining in the game.

With two minutes remaining, Jalen Johnson hit a floater to cut the lead to four. After a stop, Murray went hit one of two free-throws to trail by three. However, the Luka magic continued and an and-one followed by a three-pointer from Josh Green put the nail in the coffin. Luka Doncic ended with 73 points. Young scored 30 points and 11 assists, Johnson scored 25, Bogdanovic scored 24, and Murray scored 22.