Sports

NBA: Mavericks Hails 'Magician' Kyrie Irving After Stunning Buzzer-Beater Downs Nuggets

With just 0.4 seconds remaining in a back-and-forth contest, Kyrie Irving hit a dramatic floating shot with his left hand to stun the reigning NBA champions and end their five-game winning streak

Kyrie Irving's stunning shot handed the Dallas Mavericks victory.
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Kyrie Irving's Dallas Mavericks team-mates heaped praise upon the eight-time All-Star after his incredible buzzer-beater downed the Denver Nuggets on Sunday, with center Daniel Gafford describing him as a "magician". (More NBA News)

With just 0.4 seconds remaining in a back-and-forth contest, Irving hit a dramatic floating shot with his left hand to stun the reigning NBA champions and end their five-game winning streak.

Taking an in-bounds pass from Maxi Kleber after Jamal Murray had misfired at the other end, Irving dribbled to just behind the free-throw line before sinking his stunning left-handed runner.  

That lifted the Mavs to their fifth win in their last six games, improving them to 39-29 as they battle for a playoff spot. 

Irving finished with 24 points in support of Luka Doncic, who had 37 on his return from a hamstring injury, meaning the duo accounted for over half of the Mavs' total.

Asked about Irving's buzzer-beater, Doncic said: "That shot was unbelievable, man. I couldn't believe it."

Gafford added: "He's a magician. He is a very crafty finisher, but finishing somewhere that far around the basket?

"I don't know if he works on something like that, but I know he works on his left hand. It went in and then we just got crazy."

Irving himself, meanwhile, was himself taken aback when watching replays of the shot, saying it was pure instinct.  

"I thought I got a little closer in the paint, but I looked at it after the game and I was pretty far out…" he said. "The majority of it is instinctual and comes from preparation for hours that no one sees.

"I saw [Nikola] Jokic taking away my pull-up going left. I knew that he was going to come up, but I didn't know he was going to commit like that, so he was forcing me inside the 3-point line. 

"As soon as I felt him kind of behind me, I was like, 'oh, I have my left hand. It's wide open, so why not go to it?'"

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