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Wesley Matthews, what did you do?

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We have that and more in Thursday’s NBA newsletter.

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Lakers Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks, facing the Lakers in Los Angeles on Halloween, mounted an inspiring fourth quarter comeback behind 19-year-old franchise player Luka Doncic. The Slovenian had a slow start to the game, but came alive late, scoring 10 in the fourth on 3-for-3 shooting.

Down two with 17 seconds left, Rick Carlisle drew up a play for the kid. He drove left on Josh Hart in that funky way he does, and hit a funky floater on the baseline to tie the game with seven seconds left.

The Mavericks had no fouls to give. The Lakers, without a timeout, ran the ball up. And cagey veteran Wesley Matthews — who had a good game overall — just fouled LeBron on the perimeter for no apparent reason.

LeBron hit one of two (whew) for the ballgame.

This game is weird. You’d expect the less experienced, bright-eyed kid to goof up an endgame scenario before you’d expect the grizzled winner to do it. But here we are. Tough loss for the Mavericks. But at least they have Doncic for the next 7-20 years.


Pistons 119, Nets 120
Pacers 107, Knicks 101
Nuggets 108, Bulls 107 (OT)
Jazz 125, Timberwolves 128
Pelicans 121, Warriors 131
Mavericks 113, Lakers 114
Spurs 120, Suns 90


A rare six-game Thursday.

On National TV:
Bucks at Celtics, 8 p.m. ET, TNT
Pelicans at Blazers, 10:30 p.m., TNT

Best League Pass Options:
Thunder at Hornets, 7 p.m. ET
Clippers at Sixers, 7 p.m. ET

Full schedule here.


The second episode of Spencer Hall’s storytelling podcast It Seemed Smart is out. It’s about Cannonball Run. It’s hilarious, and you should listen to it and subscribe to It Seemed Smart. Holly Anderson Hive!

Paul Flannery has six important, under the radar trends at the start of this season.

Seerat Sohi with a clutch piece on the scripted chaos of Steph Curry.

I offered up three reasons not named Mike Budenholzer the Bucks are super real.

There was some weirdness involving Jimmy Butler sitting out of the Wolves’ win over Utah. Initial reports claimed it was part of Butler’s strategy to force a trade. But the team, and later Butler, claimed he was just sore from missing training camp. Weird. This whole thing is weird.

A Timberwolf credibly accused of gang rape in civil court scored a bunch of points. It’s not worth celebrating, because he’s not worth celebrating in any way, no matter how many knee surgeries he’s had or how many times he considered retiring. To suggest said player has overcome so much as a nod to both his injuries and his gang rape trial (during which he was not found not liable before signing autographs for jurors) is disgusting. I am not a media critic and I don’t pretend to have all the answers. But fawning over a credibly accused, remorseless rapist for doing a cool sports thing is gross. That much should be obvious.

Anyways, this two-year-old piece by the incredible Katie Baker is (unfortunately) always relevant.

I had a bad link to a Ricky O’Donnell piece on the best NBA prospects in high school the other day. Here is that correct link. Sorry.

The Nuggets brought back the rainbow skyline for their city edition jerseys. One Murray in XL, please. And Jokic, too. And, hell, a Barton and a Harris while I’ve got my credit card out.

How DeMar DeRozan got over being traded and embraced the Spurs.

Dan Devine’s most interesting teams of the week.

The Sixers are finding out just how much Markelle Fultz can hurt their spacing in the starting lineup.

As it turns out, excellent human Boban Marjanovic is substantially larger than excellent human Kristin Chenoweth.

The Spurs finally got an easy win! They are 5-2, by the way. San Antonio is magical.

The Kings are tiring opponents out.

Chris Herring on Frank Ntilikina’s upside-down development.

And finally: here are the best athlete Halloween costumes. But no one is beating Iman Shumpert and Teyana Taylor’s daughter, who dressed up AS A LOOFAH. Parents of the year.

Be excellent to each other.