DALLAS – Trae Young’s last match against Luka Doncic was his first match with Dejonte Murray.
Atlanta’s backcourt teammates maintained their winning streak against the MVP contender.
Murray had 30 points, Young had 18 points and 12 assists as the Hawks beat the Dallas Mavericks 130-122 on Wednesday night.
John Collins added 19 points as Atlanta won a season-best fourth game in a row, batting over .500 at 23–22.
Doncic scored 30 points but had only three in the fourth quarter and fell to 4-3 head-to-head with Young. They were traded to each other as the top five in the 2018 draft, with Doncic coming in third overall and Young coming in fifth.
Murray and Collins together hit 7-of-11 from three-point range, with the Hawks hitting 57% from deep and 50% overall.
Dallas was down by one when Murray, acquired in the off-season with multiple first-round draft picks, scored 3 points in a 124-120 lead just past the 2-minute mark in the fourth quarter. Young extended the lead to six with 41 seconds left on a highly curved float.
“This is what we were looking for or looking for with (Murray) and Tray,” said coach Nate McMillan. “Trey did a good job… understanding that Murray had a hot hand, he felt it and was on the rhythm, and we tried to milk it.”
Dallas shot 52% overall and 38% from long range with 16 triples, but failed to make a stoppage, scoring at least 130 points for the third consecutive game.
“It’s a shootout,” said Mavs coach Jason Kidd. “In this league, you do it, whether you have Luka or Kareem or LeBron, you will lose.
“Until we put more effort into defending and understanding what we have to do, then we’re going to score 120, but we’re going to give 130, 140. One night we might give up 150.”
Christian Wood had 22 points and nine rebounds for the Mavericks, who went 1-4 out of the game and lost six of eight after a seven-game winning streak that was their longest since the franchise’s only championship season in 2010-11.
Murray gave Atlanta the lead for good with a jumper, starting 7-0, which broke 110-110 in the fourth quarter.
Dallas took a 75–73 lead for the first time in the third quarter thanks to a three-pointer from Doncic to start the series 11–0. Murray responded by scoring the next eight points to win back the Hawks for two.
Atlanta’s Clint Capela had 16 points and six rebounds in Game 2 after missing 13 of the previous 14 games with right calf strain. McMillan said that Capella still has a time limit off the bench. He played 23, two more than in his comeback, and found himself on the floor late with the action at stake.
THE TWO MAVERICS ARE RETURNING
Dorian Finney-Smith started Dallas after missing 14 games with a sprained right adductor, while Josh Green returned after a 20-game absence with a sprained right elbow. Finney-Smith had nine points and nine rebounds in 35 minutes. Green scored nine points in 20 minutes.
Hawks: Eight of nine Atlanta players hit double figures. After Capella, Bogdan Bogdanovich had 12, while De’Andre Hunter and Onyeka Okongwu had 11 each. AJ Griffin scored 10 points. … The Hawks last hit over .500 on December 27.
Mavericks: Spencer Dinwiddie scored 11 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter. … Reggie Bullock scored 18 goals on 4 out of 7 out of 3 shots.
McMillan said the original goal he set for the team in the table he recently showed the players was to finish in the top six in the Eastern Conference, which would avoid a tournament play-in.
Last season, the Hawks won two play-in games to finish eighth. They lost to top-seeded Miami in five games in the first round after advancing to the East Finals in the 2020–21 season.
“We need to start winning some games because we’re in the second half of the season and that usually happens pretty quickly,” McMillan, whose team entered the game with number nine, said before the game.
Hawks: Knicks arrive Friday as New York try to win a fifth straight game in Atlanta.
Mavericks: Miami at home on Friday. The Heat have won nine of their last 11 games in Dallas.
Copyright 2023 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed without permission.