Rozier hits key shots as Hornets top Mavericks 123-120 in OT

DALLAS (AP) — Miles Bridges flexed his muscles at the crowd when Luka Doncic’s potential winning three-pointer over him bounced off the rim at the end of the fourth quarter.

Then the Charlotte forward escaped trouble in overtime with a pass to wide-open Terry Rozier for a three that put the Hornets up for good.

Rozier scored 29 points, including the go-ahead shot from long range in the extra period after his tying basket in regulation, and the Hornets beat Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks 123-120 last Saturday night.

Devonte Graham had 27 points and 13 assists as the Hornets erased a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter after leading by 20 in the first half of their second straight win after a season-worst six-game losing streak.

“We just stayed resilient,” said Bridges, who had 11 points and 11 rebounds. “We could have given up when they went up by 12. We didn’t give up. We needed that win.”

Doncic set a Dallas season record with his NBA-leading 10th triple-double, scoring 39 points with 12 rebounds and 10 assists. But the 2019 Rookie of the Year had a turnover and two missed threes late in regulation.

Charlotte Hornets guard Devonte’ Graham (4) and centre Bismack Biyombo (8) react after a win over the Dallas Mavericks in overtime in an NBA basketball game in Dallas on January 4. PHOTO: AP

“We should have won it in the fourth quarter,” said Doncic, who had just two points in overtime after scoring 10 each in the third and fourth quarters. “I messed it up. I didn’t make great decisions. Terrible decisions.”

Maxi Kleber scored a career-high 24 points after getting his season high of 18 in the previous game for Dallas.

Kleber hit a tying three with 1:02 remaining in overtime to top his previous career best of 21. But Rozier, who was 10 of 15 overall and five of eight from long range, answered with a three-pointer at the other end on a pass from Bridges for a 117-114 lead.

“I give our group a lot of credit to come out and get up whatever it was, double digits early, play with poise, play with urgency, play with force,” Charlotte coach James Borrego said. “And then to lose that lead, how do we respond? That’s all we talked about in the timeout, how are we going to respond?”

The Hornets scored the final six points of regulation to force overtime. After a turnover by Doncic, PJ Washington drove for a dunk and Rozier hit a leaning layup for a 103-all tie with 19 seconds left after Doncic missed a three at the other end.

Dallas tried Doncic again at the end of regulation, but his three over Bridges missed, and Bridges celebrated with his silent flex as he went to the bench.

Washington scored 19 points on 9-of-12 shooting, and Bismack Biyombo had 11 points and 13 rebounds.