Mavericks Win Game 4

The Dallas Mavericks staved off elimination and prevented a series sweep by the Boston Celtics with a resounding 122-84 victory in Game 4 of the NBA Finals on June 14, 2024.  The Mavericks’ dominant performance was spearheaded by Luka Dončić, who scored a game-high 29 points, and Kyrie Irving, who chipped in 21 points.

The Mavericks seized control of the game from the outset, leading by 13 points after the first quarter and extending their advantage to 26 points at halftime. Their lead ballooned to a staggering 38 points in the third quarter, marking the third-largest margin of victory in NBA Finals history. The Celtics, who had been aiming to become the first team to sweep both the conference finals and the NBA Finals, struggled mightily on the offensive end. They managed a meager 35 points in the first half, their lowest-scoring total in any half under coach Joe Mazzulla’s tenure.   The 26-point halftime deficit was the Celtics’ second-largest of the season and their largest ever in an NBA Finals game.

With the game effectively out of reach, Mazzulla substituted all of his starters simultaneously with 3 minutes and 18 seconds remaining in the third quarter, as the Mavericks led 88-52.  Jayson Tatum scored 15 points for the Celtics, while Sam Hauser contributed 14, and Jaylen Brown and Jrue Holiday each finished with 10 points. The Mavericks’ bench also played a crucial role, with rookie Dereck Lively II contributing 11 points and 12 rebounds, and Tim Hardaway Jr. scoring 15 points in the fourth quarter.

Despite the lopsided loss, the Celtics maintain a 3-1 series lead, with Game 5 scheduled for Monday in Boston.  The Mavericks, however, have shown that they are not ready to relinquish their championship aspirations, and they will undoubtedly look to carry the momentum from their Game 4 triumph into the next contest.  While the Celtics’ hopes of securing their 18th championship were temporarily derailed, they remain in a favorable position to claim the title on their home court.  The Mavericks, on the other hand, face an arduous task, as no team in NBA history has ever come back to win a best-of-seven series after falling behind 3-0.

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