Mavericks Warriors Takeaways: Luka Doncic, Dallas make it rain in Game 4, hold up Golden State to stay alive


Mavericks Warriors Takeaways: Luka Doncic, Dallas make it rain in Game 4, hold up Golden State to stay alive

The Dallas Mavericks aren’t going home just yet. They were eliminated at home in Game 4 and picked up their first win in the Western Conference Finals Tuesday night when they defeated the Golden State Warriors 119-109. The series, now 3-1 in favor of the Warriors, will return to the Bay Area for Game 5 Thursday night.

After a hard-fought first quarter, the Mavericks built a double-digit lead in the second quarter and went into the break with a 15 lead. Then, The game was suspended due to a leak in the roof of the American Airlines Center. When play finally resumed, the Mavericks picked up right where they left off, extending a 29-point lead with incredible 3-point shots. While the Warriors reserve led a spirited comeback that briefly reduced the deficit to single digits late in the fourth quarter, the game was never really in question.

Luka Doncic wasn’t as efficient as him but led with 30 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists. However, the main story for the Mavericks was their 3-point shooting. They went 20 of 43 from downtown to improve to 7-3 in the playoffs if they make 15+ 3s. Reggie Bullock hit six of them en route to 18 points.

It wasn’t a great performance from the Warriors, although their fourth-quarter surge makes some of the overall stats look decent. Steph Curry had a team-high 20 points but shot just 7 of 16 from the field. Jonathan Kuminga was a bright spot in the loss with 17 points and eight rebounds.

Here are some key takeaways as Dallas avoided a sweep:

Mavs have an amazing night from 3 dot land

The Mavericks’ offensive attack is built around the 3-point shot to the extent that they often live and die on whether those shots go in or not. Aside from the first half of Game 2, they don’t have that in this series, which is why the Mavericks were 3-0 down and facing elimination.

In Game 4, they found their shot, taking 20-of-43 from downtown on their way to a series-saving win. They doubled the Warriors from the outside and surpassed them by 30 points from 3-point land, which was too big a lead to even out. The Mavericks are now 7-3 in the playoffs if they make at least 15 3-pointers and 2-4 if they don’t make that mark.

Reggie Bullock, who went off the field on 0 of 10 and didn’t score a single point in the Game 3 loss, led in Game 4 with a team-high six 3-pointers. The rest of the squad also got involved, with eight different Mavericks hitting at least one triple.

Of course, making 20 3-pointers in a game is easier said than done, but the Mavericks will need more power 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 once again confirmed before the game when he was appointed to the All-NBA First Team for the third consecutive season. The only other player with an active three-year streak of first-team appearances is Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo.

If for some reason you were still not convinced of Doncic’s brilliance, he provided further evidence early in the game. While not the most efficient, he did everything for the Mavericks, finishing with 30 points, 14 rebounds, nine assists, two steals and two blocks.

Few players can control a game like Doncic, and he didn’t want to let the Mavericks lose. Perhaps that shouldn’t have come as a surprise given his dominance given the elimination. Doncic and the Mavs are now 3-0 in must-win games this postseason, and for his career Doncic is averaging 36.6 points in elimination games, which is the highest pointing average in such situations in league history.

A crazy basketball night

Overall, this was one of the weirdest basketball nights we’ve seen during the playoffs. Most notably, there was a rain delay that extended halftime to nearly 30 minutes. A leak opened in the roof of the American Airlines Center, causing water to spill onto the plaza directly next to the Warriors’ bench. Arena workers had to climb the catwalks near the roof and set up a tarpaulin system to catch the water.

That alone would have made this a bizarre night, but the oddities didn’t stop there. Midway through the third quarter, Draymond Green went to the free-throw line and his first try bounced around before coming to a full stop on the back of the rim. Everyone laughed, even Green who shared a smile with Doncic at that moment.

After all, from a sheer skill (luck) perspective, Doncic had one of the most impressive marks of the entire postseason, and it didn’t even count. After a stoppage in play, he threw the ball about six yards into the air and as it came down it bounced once, then rattled around the edge and went in.

Strange, strange stuff. Hopefully Game 5 will be more normal; a bit of competitiveness wouldn’t hurt either.

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