CRAFTY LEFTIE: Irving’s buzzer-beating leftie floater propels Dallas over Denver

Kyrie’s wizardry with the left hand. Poetry in motion (Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

That, ladies and gentlemen, might be one of the craziest and most creative buzzer-beating game-winners in the history of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Tied at 105-all with only 2.8 seconds remaining in the game, the Dallas Mavericks were searching for the game-winning shot to increase their chances of booking a safe spot into the NBA playoffs.

With the game on the line and everyone expecting the ball to land at the hands of Luka Doncic, the Mavericks ran a pin-down screen that freed up Kyrie Irving on the right side of the floor.

As soon as Irving caught the ball, the former NBA champion point guard dribbled to his left, gathered to rise for a shot, and stunned everyone when he hoisted a looping leftie floater in front of the out-stretched arms of Nikola Jokic.

Irving then got the shot in time and made one of the biggest buzzer-beating game-winners in his career as the leather kissed the net that steered Dallas to a 107-105 victory over the Denver Nuggets on March 18, 2024.

After the hard-earned win, Irving capped off his heroic performance with 24 points including the game-winner alongside nine assists, seven rebounds, three steals, and a block.

It wasn’t an easy game for the Mavericks after letting their 13-point lead evaporate in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter.

After Doncic’s breakaway layup that stretched Dallas’ advantage to 98-85, the Mavericks were looking to secure another home game win and were all-systems go against the Nuggets.

Just when Dallas thought they could sustain their firepower, the reigning NBA champions clawed their way back with the help of their superstar duo, Jokic and Jamal Murray.

The duo scored crucial baskets in the final stretch of the ball game. With only 27 seconds left and the score equalized at 102-all, Murray gave the Nuggets a three-point lead when he buried a trifecta from the left elbow, 105-102.

Dallas responded quickly with a Doncic triple that tied the game again at 105-all. Denver had the chance to win the game but Murray’s perimeter jumper from the right elbow missed and the board was secured by the Mavericks.

Irving then weaved his magic in the final moments of the game, cashing in the left-handed floater killer blow that helped Dallas bounce back from their loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Doncic top-scored for the Mavericks and recorded another double-double performance of 37 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, and two steals.

Dallas will take a much-deserved break before they travel to San Antonio, Texas and take on Victor Wembanyama and the Spurs.