Mavs video: Luka Doncic shakes off and drops James Johnson then converts the easy bucket
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Mavs’ Luka Doncic shakes off and drops James Johnson then converts the easy bucket

Luka Doncic, Mavs

Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic was a bad man in one play on Thursday night. He floored one defender during a showdown with the Miami Heat at the American Airlines Arena.

Doncic, the third overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, put James Johnson into his highlight reel collection this season. The rookie sensation leaned on a crossover and a spin move to put Johnson down to the floor, drawing oohs and aahs from Heat fans inside the arena.

It was just one of several highlights for Luka Doncic on Thursday night. He had another impressive all-around performance for the Mavericks. He finished with 19 points along with eight rebounds and seven assists for Dallas.

However, Johnson and the Heat had the last laugh, as they battled for a 105-99 victory. Goran Dragic had a huge night for Miami, finishing with a triple-double. The veteran point guard racked up 23 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists against Dallas.

Bam Adebayo also had a productive night, tallying 11 points and 16 boards for Miami. Hassan Whiteside posted 12 points and nine rebounds, while veteran guard Dwyane Wade ended up with 11 points, four steals, two rebounds, and two assists in 28 minutes off the bench. Doncic wasn’t able to do enough to change the equation in this game. Miami bounced back from a loss to Orlando which imperiled its playoff situation.

Speaking of that playoff situation:

With the win, the Heat stayed in the hunt for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with their 37-38 record. However, they are only half a game ahead of the 37-39 Magic, and 1.5 games ahead of the 35-39 Charlotte Hornets with just seven games left to play in the regular season.

The playoff picture is more complicated than the race for the No. 8 seed in the East. Miami is just half a game behind the 38-38 Brooklyn Nets for seventh place and one game behind the 38-37 Detroit Pistons for sixth place. Getting the No. 6 seed would mean avoiding the first-place Milwaukee Bucks and the second-place Toronto Raptors in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.