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Mavs Keep Hopes Alive In Game 4 Blowout Win

In a game that was filled with surprises, the Dallas Mavericks finally find their groove on both sides of the ball for a full 48 minutes, as they blowout Boston in Game 4 by 122-84, to keep their slim championship hopes alive.

The Mavericks started game 4 as they did game 3, showing a lot more energy and desperation on the defensive end, which resulted in an early lead and a slow start for Boston. The difference in this game, however, was that they managed to maintain that energy for longer than the first 12 minutes, in particular Luka Doncic.

Whole team effort on defense pays dividends

Luka Doncic stepping back for 3

After tragically fouling out in Game 3, Doncic was dialed in on BOTH ends of the floor in this one, and it was incredible to see the difference it made for the team as a whole. Being a star player of Luka’s caliber, to finally lock in on the defensive side of the ball is crucial. It really makes the whole team want to do the same, and that was proven by the Celtics shooting just 36.2% (!!) from the field. 

Certainly, Boston didn’t help themselves as they couldn’t hit many open shots either, but the paint defense in particular that had been a staple of their playoff run thus far was elite. 

Dereck Lively III was sensational in this game, particularly on the defensive end. But also out of absolutely nowhere, pulled and absolutely swished a corner three, the first 3-point FG of his career. After seeing that, it was hard trying to see Dallas lose this one, they had momentum the whole 3 quarters before Joe Mazzulla pulled his starters with 13 minutes left in the game.

Not too much to be said about this game for the Celtics, other than I certainly wouldn’t expect them to shoot that poorly again in this series, even with the Dallas defense at its best. Jrue Holiday had an uncharacteristically poor game in particular, finishing with 5 turnovers and the single worst +/- in NBA finals history at -38.

Mavericks Bench Provides Huge Spark

Offensively for Jason Kidd’s team, it was again the Luka and Kyrie show scoring wise, but enough can’t be said about the Dallas role-players finding their shot and finishing well. PJ Washington and Derrick Jones Jr only played 13 and 16 minutes respectfully, due to early foul trouble and extended garbage time, but were both visibly impactful on both ends.

rking out instructions

The Mavs have been sorely lacking bench productivity in this series, but they came to play today, Lively and Dante Exum in particular were awesome in their minutes, Josh Green was everywhere on the offensive rebounds, including a massive putback jam.

Tim Hardaway Jr finally comes to play

Despite it coming in the 4th quarter when the game was already over, THJ finally got on the board in these finals, much to the delight of the home crowd. Not only did he score, but he also caught fire, railing off 5 threes in a 6-minute stretch. While it didn’t impact the result of this game, the Mavericks will be hoping their regular season’s third leading scorer will keep this shooting up should he get any opportunities in the rest of the series.

Game 5 back in Boston, the Mavericks will need another massive performance to steal it on the road, and the C’s will be looking to close the season out in front of their home crowd.

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