Maxi Kleber's Game-Winning Shot vs. Lakers Lights Spark Under Mavs: 'Redemption Is A Beautiful Thing'
- Michael Mulford
The Dallas Mavericks avoided a clutch-time loss on Friday night on the back of Maxi Kleber's redeeming game-winning shot at the buzzer. Dallas now has consecutive wins for the first time in over a month.
The Dallas Mavericks getting a win in a clutch situation sounds so foreign, but they did just that on Friday night in a 111-110 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers behind a buzzer beating 3-pointer from Maxi Kleber.
With 6.7 seconds remaining, and the Mavericks down by two, Kyrie Irving got the inbound and drove to his right, where he was met by three Laker defenders, opening up the pocket to find a wide-open Kleber on the left wing to knock down the game-winning shot.
"He's a good teammate, man," Kleber said of Irving. "He lifts everybody up all the time. He found good words for me. He was there all the time. I had a bad stretch the last game at the very game so he lifted me up, helped me as a teammate."
For Kleber, this moment did wonders for his confidence after feeling like he let his team down in San Antonio on Wednesday night with a late turnover in the final seconds, which led to the Spurs forcing overtime.
"The end of the San Antonio game -- just to be able to feel like he let his teammates down but his teammates picked him up," coach Jason Kidd said of Kleber. "But tonight, he picked up his teammates by knocking down the three free throws and then being able to knock down that three."
Following the victory during Kleber's postgame interview, Kleber said that Irving told him 'that's redemption' in light of his late-game blunder in Wednesday's victory against the Spurs.
"I felt like that was a redemption shot for him," Irving said. "He was putting a lot of pressure on himself after that turnover in San Antonio."
Despite all the outside noise of who Irving is as a teammate, the Mavericks have experienced a guy who is a great leader both on and off the court, capable of bringing his team together.
"That's who Kai is -- Kai is a true believer of energy and connection," Kidd said. "Kai says it best, 'redemption is a beautiful thing.'"
Dallas will look to continue their redemption tour on Monday in Memphis.
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