Luka Doncic’s historic 60-point triple-double, Mavericks’ Knicks in brutal OT loss

DALLAS – The Knicks collapsed and surrendered to the mighty Luka Doncic.

The Knicks squandered a nine-point lead with 33.9 seconds left in the game, and it was either an epic meltdown or an epic comeback — depending on your fundamental interest. Doncic’s stat line looked like something out of a video game, and he tied the game with one second left to cap off the drama.

That sent the game into overtime, and the Knicks, predictably, went cold under tired legs. Doncic finished with (protect your eyes, Knicks fans) career-high 60 points, 21 rebounds and 10 assists.

Luka Doncic put on a show on Tuesday night.

How bad is the crash?

According to ESPN, NBA teams have gone 0-13,884 over the past 20 seasons and trailed by at least nine points with 35 seconds or less left in a game.

“We gave up 1s, we gave up uncontested shots. We missed some free throws. So it’s a compilation of stuff,” Tom Thibodeau said. “So you give a team a second try. Then you foul and give up and -1s. It doesn’t make sense.”

For the Knicks, the 126-121 overtime loss was devastating and heart-wrenching, but also commendable under the circumstances.

After all, only Julius Randle is left in New York’s Big Three.

Jalen Brunson and RJ Barrett injured Puts the Knicks in a seemingly impossible position on the road against Doncic. However, as Randle continued to shine in his hometown — after career nights for Quentin Grimes and Emmanuel Quickley — they were out for much of the game. Being in the lead almost ended the upset.

Instead, the Knicks (18-17) couldn’t close and were destroyed in the final 30 seconds of regular play. It also snapped their five-game winning streak in Dallas since 2017.

“I’m sure if you look at our odds of winning the game with 20 seconds left, I’m sure it’s like 99 points,” Quickley said. “We just made too many mistakes and they took advantage of that.”

Barely a minute later, Barrett left the game bleeding from his index finger, the result of an inadvertent scratch from Doncic swinging the ball. Barrett was rushed to the locker room and never returned.

Brunson was ruled out with a hip contusion before kickoff. It left Quikley with a starting role and 51 minutes in which he racked up a career-high 15 assists but shot just 5-for-21 from the field, including 1-for-10 from beyond the arc. Grimes also made up for it with a career-high 33 points.

But the hero until the late collapse was Randle, who had 29 points and 18 rebounds in 45 minutes.

Randle, a Dallas native and resident, has been solid at the American Airlines Center, averaging more than 30 points in his past five games. On Tuesday, he had a double-double at halftime and planted what looked like a dagger — a layup that gave the Knicks a 110-101 lead.

Then the Mavericks (19-16) finished the regular season with a 14-4 score in just 44 seconds. Neither Randle, Brunson nor Barrett spoke to the media after the game.

Meanwhile, Brunson’s big comeback game never happened. There was a nice video tribute in the second quarter and a standing ovation for the former Mavericks guard, who is still in civilian clothes due to a hip setback he suffered two days ago.

It was Brunson’s first game of the season.His proclaimed goal of being able to play every game “as long as I can walk” gave him hope of at least trying to start, but then Brunson didn’t take part in morning shootarounds or pregame warmups.

“You trust your medical team,” Thibodeau said. “Obviously Jalen has a lot of say in that, but you have to bring everyone together to make a good decision.”