Luka Doncic has scored 30 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as his Dallas Mavericks beat the Golden State Warriors 119-109 to avoid being swept in the NBA’s Western Conference finals.
It was the 10th double-double in his 14 games this postseason for Slovenian superstar Doncic, who also had nine assists and got some help from his supporting cast in Game 4 in Dallas on Tuesday night as they reduced the series deficit to 3-1.
Dorian Finney-Smith had 23 points for the Maverick and Reggie Bullock had 18 on 6-of-10 shooting — all 3-pointers. Jalen Brunson had 15 points. The Mavs were 20 of 43 on 3-pointers.
The loss snapped the Warriors’ nine-game winning streak in Western Conference finals games, though they are still firmly in control heading back to California for Game 5 on Thursday night.
No NBA team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a series. Only three of the 146 teams to fall in that deep hole have even been able to force a seventh game.
Warriors sharpshooter Stephen Curry had 20 points and returned to the game with 3:22 left – his first appearance in the fourth quarter – after the Warriors had cut a 29-point deficit to 110-102. But they never got closer even with Curry and other starters returning to the floor.
Jonathan Kuminga had 17 points and Andrew Wiggins 13 points for the Warriors, who had seven players score in double figures.
“We weren’t alert defensively; we weren’t sharp,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “We let them get into a groove; and, once a team like that gets into a 3-point groove, it’s tough to get them out of it.”
Mavericks coach Jason Kidd was heartened by his team’s turnaround.
“The biggest compliment we’ve gotten is they have to play zone because they can’t guard us one-on-one,” Kidd said. “This is a championship-DNA team, and they’re giving you a compliment that they can’t guard you. That’s pretty cool.
“We believe we can continue to make the shots that we’ve gotten and put pressure on them.”
The match even had a 16-minute rain delay, when the start of the second half was held up because of rain leaking through the roof at American Airlines Center.
There was heavy rain outside, and there were at least two leaks. One was dropping water near the Golden State bench, and at the other end of the court water appeared to be falling in the stands.