Los Angeles Lakers’ sophomore Talen Horton Tucker outplayed Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic on a couple of plays in Saturday’s vital head-to-head matchup between both teams. THT’s most solid play so far was this filthy pass to the cutting Wesley Matthews, who scored a bucket out of it. 

The Lakers, who dropped to the fifth seed in the Western Conference standings, led the Mavericks 58-46 at halftime at that point. These two teams battled last Thursday as the Mavericks went on to win. The winner of Saturday’s game will not only stay afloat in the standings but also have the tie-breaker between both teams—which could be big down the line. 

The Lakers’ have been derailed by injuries this season but have managed to tread water especially while both Anthony Davis and LeBron James out. One of the players that has gotten more playing time in Davis and James’ absence is THT, who is averaging 8.9 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. 

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Aside from THT’s signature drive and reverse layup move, the sophomore has shown improvement in his jump shot and passing. This is certainly a good sight for the Lakers, who didn’t want to give up THT during the trade deadline. If THT continues to stand out in the next few games left in the regular season, he might make the defending champions’ playoff rotation down the road. 

THT and the Lakers have exceeded expectations as they continue to play competitive basketball with their captain out. They remained pesky on defense and have showed resilience every game—the true depiction of a championship team.