The Dallas Mavericks aren’t going home just yet. Faced with a home elimination in Game 4, they responded and picked up their first win of the Western Conference Finals by beating the Golden State Warriors 119-109 on Tuesday night. The series, now 3-1 in favor of the Warriors, will return to the Bay Area for Game 5 on Thursday night.
After a hard-fought first quarter, the Mavericks took a double-digit lead in the second quarter and led by 15 points in the first half. Then,. When play finally resumed, the Mavericks really picked up where they left off, building a 29-point lead with an amazing 3-point shooting. While the Warriors’ reserves led to a blistering comeback that briefly reduced the deficit to single digits in the late fourth quarter, the game wasn’t really in question.
Luka Doncic wasn’t the most efficient, but he led with 30 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists. The main history of the Mavericks family was three-point shooting. They went downtown 20 of 43 to improve to 7-3 in the playoffs as they hit 15-3. Reggie Bullock hit six of them on her way to 18 points.
That wasn’t a great performance from the Warriors, although the fourth-quarter surge makes some of the overall stats look good. Steve Curry had 20 points on the team but shot 7 of 16 from the field. Jonathan Kominga was a bright spot in the loss with 17 points and eight rebounds.
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The Mavs have a great night from 3 Points on Earth
The Mavericks’ offensive line is built so much around the 3-point shot that they often live and die whether those shots are fired or not. Aside from the first half of Game 2, they don’t feature in the series, which is why the Mavericks are down 3-0 and face the disqualification.
In Game 4, they find their punches and move 20 of 43 downtown to win the series’ saves. They doubled the Warriors on the outside, outpacing them by 30 points from a 3-point earth, a lead too big to even out. The Mavericks are now 7-3 in the playoffs if they make at least 15 three-pointers and 2-4 if they don’t go that far.
Reggie Bullock, who went off the field 0-of-10 and failed to score a single point in losing Game 3, led in Game 4 with six three-pointers. The rest of the team also participated, with eight different Mavericks achieving at least a triple.
Obviously, saying 20 three-pointers in a game is easier said than done, but the Mavericks will need more performance like this if they want to continue this streak.
Doncic continues to excel in elimination matches
Luka Doncic’s status as one of the best players in the league was confirmed ahead of the game when he was appointedFor the third time in a row. The only other player to have played in the first team for three consecutive years is Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo.
If for some reason you’re still not convinced of Doncic’s brilliance, he provided further evidence early in the game. Despite not being at his best, he did everything for the Mavericks, finishing the game with 30 points, 14 rebounds, nine assists, two possessions and two blocks.
There are few players who can control a game like Doncic, and he won’t let the Mavericks lose. Perhaps that wasn’t surprising given his dominance in the elimination. Doncic and the Mavs are now 3-0 in must-win games this postseason, and in his career Doncic has averaged 36.6 points in elimination games, the highest scoring in such situations in league history.
Strange basketball night
Overall, this was one of the weirdest basketball nights we’ve seen during the playoffs. Notably, there was a rain delay that extended half the time to nearly 30 minutes. A leak opened on the roof of the American Airlines Center, allowing water to drip into the space next to the Warriors seat. Circle workers had to climb platforms near the surface and set up a tarpaulin system to catch the water.
That alone would have made this an odd night, but the oddities didn’t stop there. Midway through the third quarter, Draymond Green went to the free-throw line and rebounded on his first try before fully stopping on the back of the rim. Everyone laughed, even Green who just shared a smile with Doncic.
After all, from a sheer skill (luck) perspective, Doncic had one of the most impressive designs of the entire postseason, and it didn’t even count. After a break in play, he shot the ball about six yards into the air and as it came down it bounced once, then shook around the edge and entered.
Strange Strange Things. Hopefully Game 5 will be more natural; A little competitiveness wouldn’t hurt either.