Dallas Mavericks

Luka Doncic and Nikola Jokic battle it out in epic OT duel as Mavericks edge Nuggets

In a battle between two MVP candidates in a nationally televised game, Luka Doncic and Nikola Jokic put on a show in an overtime thriller.

Doncic and Jokic traded buckets throughout the contest as the Dallas Mavericks erased a 12-point deficit to edge the Denver Nuggets 124-117 to move to 4-4 on the season.

Doncic = clutch

Fresh off his first triple-double of the campaign, Luka Doncic filled it up again, turning in his best performance of the young season, showing off his poise in pressure situations.

For everything the Nuggets threw at Doncic, the 21-year-old had an answer as he piled up 38 points, 13 assists and nine rebounds on 13-of-22 shooting from the field and 2-of-7 from the 3-point line.

With the Mavs trailing by one point late in regulation, Doncic attracted two Nuggets defenders before finding an open Maxi Kleber for a 3-pointer with 3.3 seconds to go, putting them up 109-107 with 3.3 seconds left.

In overtime, with the Mavs leading 120-117, he calmly got to his spot at the free-throw line, before stepping back for the jumper, which gave them a five-point lead with 33.1 seconds to go.

He then iced the game at the free-throw line, burying a pair with 15 seconds remaining.

Doncic scored nine of his 38 points in the extra period, including the Mavs' final five points as they outscored the Nuggets 15-8.

Not only did Doncic deliver when it mattered most, but he is also showing signs of growth on the defensive end, recording four steals and a block in today's win.

"I think my defence is growing day-by-day," said Doncic of his growth on that end. "I'm just trying harder, not letting anyone affect me, trying my best. I think it's going to grow every game."

Jokic making strong MVP case

While the Nuggets fall to 3-5 on the season, Nikola Jokic continues to show his MVP credentials, with yet another dominant display.

Jokic finished with his second-straight game scoring 35+ points, recording 38 points, 11 rebounds and four assists, with 17 of his points coming in the fourth quarter alone.

After Doncic set up Kleber's late triple at the end of regulation, Jokic pulled out one of his 'I'm playing H-O-R-S-E in the driveway' shots, burying a heavily contested long jumper to send the game to OT.

Mavs big man Willie Cauley-Stein had his hand in his face, but it mattered for little as the Serbian sent the rainbow jumper in for a swish.

Through eight games this season, Jokic is now averaging 25.9 points, 11.6 rebounds and 10.9 assists per game.

What's next?

The Nuggets head East for a three-game road trip, where they'll take on the Philadelphia 76ers (7-2) in a highly-anticipated matchup between Jokic and Joel Embiid.

Meanwhile, the Mavericks return to Dallas to host the Orlando Magic (6-2) on Sunday, before a must-see matchup against Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday (IST).

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