Crazy moment between Doncic and Cancar leads to a game-changing shot

2022-11-21 13:28

Luka Doncic stepped out of bounds before hitting a buzzer-beating shot in the second quarter. After the teams returned from locker rooms, Vlatko Cancar hit a buzzer-beating halfcourt shot.

Credit: AFP-Scanpix

Last night's game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Denver Nuggets featured a wild series of events at the end of the second quarter that could not be repeated even if the players wanted.

The Mavericks inbounded the ball with 7.7 seconds to go on the clock.  Luka Doncic had the ball as usual. As usual, he hit a stepback three-pointer to beat the buzzer. However, the story doesn't end here.

NBA Rules require reviewing each buzzer-beating shot, regardless of the quarter during which it was made. As the referees watched the episode closer, it was discovered that Doncic stepped on the sideline when attempting the triple.

Player of the Game
Nah'Shon  Hyland
Nah'Shon Hyland
Points 29
Accuracy 10-21
Rebounds 3
Assists 6

The officials left 2 seconds on the game clock for the Nuggets' offensive possession. With the teams already having left for locker rooms, both squads had to return to play the remaining time.

Vlatko Cancar was subbed in for those two remaining seconds of the first half. Coincidentally, he received the ball and put up a heave from half-court, making it with the buzzer.

Instead of leading by seven (59-52), the Mavs suddenly were up by just a point (56-55). The game was won by the Nuggets by just a single point as well - 98-97.

"It's a big momentum [shift], but you can't say that decided the game," Doncic commented on the episode after the game.

"I didn't think I was out of bounds, so I don't know," the Slovenian superstar continued. "I saw some videos and it doesn't seem like I even touched the line, and my heel was up, so I don't know."

Meanwhile, Cancan himself was very happy and full of confidence commenting after the match.

"He said, 'Vlatko, I'm putting you in. I want you to shoot a half-court shot,'" Vlatko told ESPN about his head coach's decision. "As soon as he said that, my eyes went green. I was just waiting to shoot it."

"[Spencer] Dinwiddie and Luka were kind of trying to guard but I guess they just didn't think I was going to shoot it," he explained. "Nobody really shoots that in the NBA. They always want to shoot after the buzzer because they don't want to ruin their percentages, but I don't care about that."

NBA Insider Marc Stein later reported that Cancar takes roughly 50 halfcourt shots during each practice to stay ready for moments like this.

This was the only three-pointer Cancar attempted during the game. He ended up not missing a single shot in 11 minutes of play, recording 7 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals.

The two shots:

The episode with commentary:


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