Dallas Mavericks Dominate 4th Quarter To Take Big Series Lead

Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic

The Dallas Mavericks lead 3-0 in the Western Conference Finals against the Minnesota Timberwolves. With home-court advantage in Game 4, Dallas has a greater potential to sweep the Timberwolves. History and the odds are against the Timberwolves, as no team in NBA history has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in a playoff series.

However, last season, the Boston Celtics forced a Game 7 after being down 0-3 in the Eastern Conference Finals. While it is unlikely, the Timberwolves might pull off a comeback. After all, a series is not over until a team wins 4 games, so there is always a chance. The Mavericks need to show up and secure another win. Now, let’s look at how they showed up and won Game 3.

1st Half Summary: How The Dallas Mavericks Kept Their Lead

Dallas Mavericks

The Dallas Mavericks started the game strong in the 1st quarter, making five three-pointers while shooting 50%. They shot 57% on 19 shots from the field, compared to the Timberwolves’ 50% on 20 shots. The Mavericks held the lead for most of the 1st quarter, with their largest lead being 8 points. The first quarter ended with the Mavericks up by 5 points.

The Dallas Mavericks dominated the 2nd quarter, extending their lead to 12 points, the biggest of the game. A key player on the Mavericks, Dereck Lively, suffered a neck sprain in the 2nd quarter. This injury forced the Mavericks to make many adjustments to matchups and rotations. The Timberwolves made adjustments as well to take advantage of this situation. Despite this, the Mavericks managed to end the half with an 8-point lead.

2nd Half Summary: How The Dallas Mavericks Dominated

Luka Doncic

While the 1st quarter had only four lead changes, the 2nd half had a staggering nine lead changes. The Mavericks maintained their lead for most of the 3rd quarter. Then, with under 4 minutes left in the 3rd quarter, something switched on for Anthony Edwards. This switch fired up not only him but his entire team. He scored eight straight points. He not only tied the game but also gave his team the go-ahead bucket. 

This performance was reminiscent of his spurt in Game 7 against the Nuggets, where he tied the game and made a late comeback possible. However, the Dallas Mavericks refused to suffer the same fate as the Nuggets. For the rest of the 3rd quarter and most of the 4th quarter, the game seesawed, with each team either tying the game or taking at most a one-possession lead.

In the last 2 minutes of the game, the Mavericks extended their lead to 4 points, then to 6, and finally to 9 for the win. They accomplished this with spectacular defense but, most of all, with clutch shots from both Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic. They are not only the stars of the Mavs but also prove to the world time and time again that they are two of the best closers in the NBA today.

Honorable Mentions

Luka Doncic

Despite the loss, Anthony Edwards played much better than he had before. This could be due to the fact that he didn’t guard Kyrie Irving tonight, allowing him to conserve more energy on the offensive end of the floor. Regardless of the cause, he scored 26 points while shooting .458 from the field. He fell just one rebound and assist short of a triple-double. Not only that, but he also stepped up and gave his team a real chance at a comeback by playing more aggressively in this game. However, it wasn’t enough to secure the win.

Daniel Gafford stepped up with the absence of Dereck Lively. While these two players have a similar role on the Mavs and are usually in constant rotation for each other, Gafford had to step up and adjust to Lively’s absence. While he only scored 5 points, they came in critical moments. More importantly, it was his defense that came into play, as he recorded a total of 3 blocks in clutch moments.

Last but not least, Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving both scored 33 points. Luka shot 50 percent from the field, while Kyrie shot 60%. Luka also stepped up on the defensive end and had five steals, which is the most he has ever had in a playoff game. 

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Hunter is a lifelong sports fan. His main interests are in professional tennis and NBA basketball,  he is a fan of almost every sport. He is a creative/technical writer who also tutors people in English.

To stay up to date with our content and the sports world. follow him on Twitter @HunterJPurivs, and follow us @TotalApexSports.

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