LOS ANGELES (AP) – Maxi Kleber drilled the winning 3-pointer at the buzzer on a crosscourt pass. Kyrie Irving scored 38 points in the Dallas Mavericks' dominating 111-110 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night.
By sidelining Luka Doncic, Kleber did a remarkable imitation of the injured superstar who has repeatedly defeated the Lakers with big shots over the years. The German Big Man's teammates celebrated after silencing the Lakers crowd with his only 3-pointer of the night.
Kleber, who shot six out of 10 points in the last 7.2 seconds, said with a smile, “I never made a shot like that before.”
Kleber made the first three free throws Anthony Davis He was inadvertently fouled on a 3-point attempt, and with 6.7 seconds left after Davis was fouled on the ensuing inbound pass, it was just one of two for Los Angeles. Dallas passed the ball to Irving, who drew a double-team and found Kleber just before the horn for an open 3-pointer over Davis' outstretched arm.
“When he passed it, I knew I had to fire it quickly,” Kleber said. “It was a pretty amazing feeling. Once I let it go, I saw the ball in the air, and I was like, ‘Oh, damn it, this has a chance to go in.' All of a sudden it went in, and the next thing I knew, the whole team was running after me. It was a great experience.”
The play was also redemption for Kleber, who threw an inbound pass with 1.8 seconds left in regulation against San Antonio on Wednesday night. The Spurs later tied it up and won in overtime.
“Knowing Ky, he wanted to go for the win,” Mavs coach Jason Kidd said of the final play. “With the double team, he had to give up the ball. It's just trusting his teammates and Maxi being in the right place at the right time.”
Irving scored 13 points in the fourth quarter of his return from a three-game absence for the Mavs, who avoided falling into a three-way tie with the Lakers and Timberwolves in the tight Western Conference standings.
“We fought hard to get back in the game, so it's tough,” said Davis, who also missed crucial last-minute free throws in losses to Boston and Philadelphia. “You have to be able to win a basketball game, whether it's at the free throw line, or I got the right reads defensively.”
Davis had 26 points and 10 rebounds after the Lakers made some mistakes in the final minutes, missing 12 of their 31 free throw attempts and missing a field goal in the final 3:16, giving their playoff run another shot. Shocked. Hopes. Los Angeles led by four points and had the ball with less than 20 seconds to play, but still lost for the third time in four games.
“We Make Our Free Throws, We're Probably Not Having This Conversation,” Lakers Coach darwin ham Said.
Austin Reeves scored 16 points for Los Angeles, and Dennis Schroder added 15. LeBron James looking in street clothes.
James sat out his 10th consecutive game since the Lakers' win in Dallas last month and the Lakers went 5-5 without the NBA's career scoring leader.
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Watch Maxi Kleber's 3-point game winner at the buzzer as the Mavericks beat the Lakers originally appeared NBCSports.com