Mavs, Luka Avoid Sweep And Take Game 4 vs Warriors…

Before Game 4 between the Golden State Warriors and the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night with the chance for the Warriors to return back to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2019, was overshadowed by yet another mass shooting about 350 miles south of the American Airlines arena where Game 4 was scheduled to take place. 

Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas was a scene of tragedy and heartbreak. 

Head coach of the Warriors Steve Kerr who addressed the issues our country unfortunately continues to go through, which now seems like the norm. “When are we going to do something! It’s pathetic and I’ve had enough.” 

Then there was the game.

The hometown fans in Dallas, Texas got good news before the end of the night. The Mavs kept their season alive by defeating the Warriors 119-109. They came in 3-0 in elimination games before Game 4.

Photo By: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks to 20 made 3-pt by eight different players, that helped them lead by as many as 29. They were led by Luka Doncic once again who was one assist from a triple-double. He finished with game-highs across the board: 30 points, 14 rebounds, and nine assist.

Tonight was Doncic’s 17th career 30-point game in the playoffs. He ties Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant for the 2nd-most by a player at age 23 or younger all-time. LeBron James is the only player with more (21)

He did get help from several of his teammates. 

“You never know we have to believe,” Donicic said on trying to be the first team to come back from 3-0. “This is one and we have to think about the next one, it’s going to be really tough in Golden State and we know and we have to stay together.”  

After going 0-7 from deep and not scoring in Game 3, Reggie Bullock played a big part in this win for Dallas knocking down six 3-pt for a big 18 points. Max Kleber, along with Bullock who did not score in Game 3 finished with 13 points and eight rebounds. 

Dorian Finney-Smith had a big game with 23 points (4-7 from 3-pt). “Everybody in that locker room felt like we had more basketball to play,” Finney-Smith said. “We just wanted to get the win any way. … Feel like we came out desperate that first half.”

Jalen Brunson had 15 points (13 in the 1st half) and five assist. 

This Mavs team hasn’t lost four straight all season. 

Photo By: Mercury News

Before this loss the Warriors have won nine consecutive Conference Finals games. They can keep their heads up because teams that take a 3-0 series lead are 146-0 in those series. 

A coach Kerr led team has a 20-2 series record since 2015 (only losses 2016/2019 NBA Finals) and they are returning back to San Francisco for another chance to close out. If they want to finish this series, they are going to have to start faster in Game 5. 

They are going to have to shoot the ball better on their home floor early as they were only 3-16 in the 1st half from 3-pt, and finished 10-28. They only had one player score 20 or more, Steph Curry. He had 15 of his 20 in the 1st half but was just 7-16 from the field. He had a team-high eight assist. 

“It was almost like an ego win (for Dallas). You come out and really have nothing to lose. So that confidence started early,” Curry said. “And we really didn’t do nothing to slow it down, and then that’s when the avalanche starts. You tip your hat to them.”

Andrew Wiggins coming off a big double-double in Game 3 with 27 points and 11 rebounds had just 13 points. Klay Thompson finished with just 12 points (3 in the 1st half). 

The bench for Warriors came on strong late, as they cut the 29-pt deficit to 8 with just over 3 minutes left in the 4th. Led by rookies Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody who combined for 27 points off the bench. Mavs coach Jason Kidd, who intended to sit his starters in the 4th quarter because of his team’s comfortable lead, had to come back with Doncic to close the game.

Jordan Poole, who was in foul trouble most of the game, fouled out late and had 14 points.

“Just made the decision to see if we could pull off a miracle, but it wasn’t meant to be,” coach Steve Kerr said. “Dallas was great tonight. They deserved to win. This is the conference finals. This is how it’s supposed to be.”

The Mavs now 4-0 in elimination games will ride Doncic and the 3-pt shot in San Francisco on Thursday night. It will be a tough task because the Warriors are unbeaten at home (8-0) and the Chase Center will look to cheer their back to the Finals. 

“I still believe we can win. Swept or not swept, if you lose, you lose,” Doncic said. “Got to go game by game.”

Game 5 Thursday

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