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Luka Doncic dazzles as Mavs rout the Celtics, 122-84

Lawrence Dow, Fort Worth Star-Telegram on

Published in Basketball

DALLAS — Facing elimination and the end of their NBA title hopes, the Dallas Mavericks delivered their best game of the NBA playoffs, demolishing the Boston Celtics, 122-84, in Game 4 of the NBA Finals.

Luka Doncic was the subject of much conversation about his defense, maturity and leadership following the team’s loss in Game 3 and Doncic responded with a statement game, scoring 29 points with five rebounds and five assists without playing a minute of the fourth quarter.

Head coach Jason Kidd said Doncic’s game was its normal excellence and again critiqued the media for their takes.

“He was Luka ... he wasn’t anybody different tonight, there was not a different Luka out there,” said Kidd, “He played at a high level, he’s great, he’s been great, he’s one of the best players in the world, as much as we want to criticize him, he’s a hell of a player. “

Doncic’s defensive intensity was the best it’s been in the Finals with him sticking with defenders on drives and making Celtics players work to score on him and notching three steals.

“Luka, as we know, can play defense, we saw that tonight. Some of the criticism that he’s had here of late for whatever reason talked about his defense and I think he stepped up and was there and he knows in Boston he’s gonna be right back there in the pick and roll and so he’s gonna have to compete and then play defense again,” Kidd said.

 

Doncic’s offense was near perfect besides his struggles from behind the arc (0 for 8), going 12 for 18 otherwise scoring off turnaround jumpers, bludgeoning drives into the paint and repeated trips to the line.

As he has in this series, Doncic got off to a quick start in the first half with 25 points, three rebounds and four assists. Doncic and Kyrie Irving combined for 36 of the Mavs’ 61 first-half points while the Celtics mustered 35, their worst first-half offensive performance under coach Joe Mazzulla.

The Mavs led by 13 at the end of the first quarter and never looked back, taking a 26-point lead by halftime. The Celtics never trailed by less than 26 points for the remainder of the game and both coaches emptied their benches with around two minutes remaining in the third.

The Mavs will attempt to stave off elimination again when they play the Celtics at 7:30 on Monday at TD Garden.


©2024 Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Visit star-telegram.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

 

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