Looking to avoid complete embarrassment of being swept in the Western Conference Finals, the Dallas Mavericks came out and played one of their best offensive games of the entire year against the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 on Tuesday night.
Not only did Luka Doncic lead the way with 30 points, 14 rebounds and 9 assists, but the Mavericks shot the lights out from three-point range, going 20-43 (46.5%) from deep.
The question all series long has been revolving around the Mavericks’ secondary talents and if they would be able to give Luka Doncic, Jalen Brunson and Spencer Dinwiddie the help they needed to beat Golden State, especially since these three combined to score 86 points in Game 3, only to lose by nine points to the Warriors.
Reggie Bullock, Dorian Finney-Smith and Maxi Kleber all stepped up on Tuesday, giving Dallas exactly what they needed to at least win one game in this series.
As for the Warriors, they could have done some things better on both offense and defense, but at the end of the day, you just have to applaud the Mavericks for their display of shooting.
It may not sound hard, but making 20 three-pointers as a team in a single game is difficult to achieve and in the Western Conference Finals facing elimination no less, this was quite the response for Dallas.
The Warriors still lead this series 3-1 heading back to San Francisco for Game 5 on Thursday, but could Game 4 be exactly what the Mavericks needed?
After all, Dallas came from behind in their previous two playoff series, so they are definitely capable of winning the next game against Golden State and suddenly making this series interesting. The Mavericks looked strong in their Game 4 victory, so let’s take a look at some of the biggest takeaways from this game.
Dallas’ three-point shooting had been held in check for most of this series up until Game 4. With their backs up against the wall and really having nothing to lose, the Mavericks let it fly from three-point range all game long and the basketball gods were with them in this one.
Hitting 20 of the 43 shots they took from deep, the Mavericks could not seem to miss from three-point range in this one and they were +30 from deep in Game 4.
When it rains, it pours in Dallas and this was not only true for the game, but the weather outside of American Airlines Center as well!
All day long, the sky was opening up over Dallas and the city had been on a flood watch. The Mavericks’ arena has had some leaky roof issues in the past and even earlier this season.
Just about the start the second-half of this game, play was quickly halted by the officials and the arena staff since there seemed to be a pretty decent sized leak near the Warriors’ bench that was beginning to expand onto the court itself.
The start of the second-half was delayed for close to 20 minutes as the roof leak was stopped and the arena crew mopped up the floor to make sure nobody would get hurt.
The Mavericks and the sky over Dallas was raining down on Tuesday night and we not only learned that this team lives and dies by the three-point shot, but that Mavs’ owner Mark Cuban has some work to do with his arena’s roof in the summer!
We see “wedgies” happen all the time in basketball when the ball gets stuck in between the rim and the backboard, but something you hardly see is the ball just stop on the back of the rim and not move an inch.
One of the most improbable things happened in Game 4 on Tuesday night, as Draymond Green not only got the ball to balance on the back of the rim, but he did so on a free-throw attempt!
In the past, we have seen this happen on some three-point shots that continuously bounce on the back of the rim and on layup attempts, but I think this is the first time that I have ever seen the ball balance on a free-throw!
The NBA never ceases to amaze and in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals, many people saw something new for the first time watching the game of basketball.
Physics? Gravity? None of that matters here because if there is one person that can find a way to break both, it is Draymond Green!
At the end of the day, Game 4 of this Western Conference Finals series comes down to two things.
The first is that Dallas had nothing to lose and the second is that the Mavericks wanted to do everything they could to avoid being embarrassed in this conference finals series.
Making either the Eastern or Western Conference Finals is a very tough thing to do, especially in today’s NBA, and while the Mavericks did beat the Phoenix Suns to get here, none of that would have mattered if they got swept.
Many would have been quick to say they did not deserve to be there and that they were lucky to have advanced as far as they did in the postseason.
Dallas is a really good basketball team and they have every right to be where they are right now in the postseason. Unfortunately, the Warriors are just a better team than them and will very likely close out this series in Game 5.
Giving their fans one last thing to appreciate and celebrate from this season means everything and winning Game 4 was just a pride thing for the Mavericks at this point.
Of course there is a sense of belief now amongst this organization and the coaching staff full heartedly believes that their guys can come back to contend with the Warriors, but based on the body language of the Mavericks; players in this one and the way they collapsed in the fourth quarter, it is clear to see that this was a “one-and-done” mentality for Dallas.
Maybe I will be wrong and Dallas will shock the NBA world by winning Game 5, but experience and depth matters at this point in the playoffs. The Warriors have both of these things, plus the best home court advantage in the playoffs with an NBA Finals berth on the line heading into Game 5.
Brett Siegel joined FastBreak on Fan Nation in April 2022 after previously covering the NBA for NBA Analysis Network and working with Louisville Basketball, aiding in daily operations, scouting and recruiting. From playing to coaching to covering the game as a credentialed NBA media member, Brett has been involved with the game of basketball from many different perspectives. Breaking the news of Andre Drummond signing with the Lakers in 2021, as well as other key stories around the league, Brett is always on the phone, getting the latest news and rumors around the NBA. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @BrettSiegelNBA.