Led 3-0 in the series by the Warriors, the Texans avoided a “sweep” and maintain hope after their victory on Tuesday.
Saved from the water, despite leaks from the roof of their room, the Mavericks, thanks to a big collective effort around Luka Doncic and a rediscovered three-point address, won (119-109) a first victory against the Warriors on Tuesday in the NBA playoffs. Back to the wall, Dallas had to win to avoid a sweep in this Western Conference final. It’s done, and rather well done, because, apart from a jump in the last quarter, Golden State did not really exist in this game 4, for which it certainly had the right to misstep.
The Texas team led 3 to 1, its mission “ascent“Nevertheless remains impossible in terms of history, because never a team beaten in the first three games has then managed to win the last four of a series in the NBA play-offs. But she will sell her skin dearly on Thursday in California, bearing in mind her ability to thwart the odds, as in match N.7 won in Phoenix in the previous round (4-3).
«We know it will only be one game at a time. We found a way to win tonight. It will have to be done on the move. We know that in Golden State, it’s difficult to win, but we have already won there (in the regular season, editor’s note). We just have to keep taking care of the ball, making good shotssummed up coach Jason Kidd.
After the three defeats conceded at the start of the series, Dallas star Luka Doncic had in turn called on his teammates to weigh more in attack, to defend better too. He was heard and welcomed it: “Our defense was incredible today. When we play like that, we are a dangerous team. It’s gonna be hard, we know it, but we gotta stick together».
With 11 winning baskets out of 23 attempted in the first period, the Mavs widened the gap at the break (62-47). And their lead peaked at 29 units in the third quarter – started a quarter of an hour late due to a water leak from the ceiling of the room – during which the Warriors usually accelerate the pace, either to fold the case, or to reverse compromised situations, as in Game 2 after Dallas had led by 19 points.
No “miraclethis time, in the words of Steve Kerr, for whom “Dallas deserved to win“, even if the substitutes (51 points in total) that he launched in the last quarter, returned to -8 points with more than three minutes remaining, before Doncic took things in hand.
Doncic, from soloist to conductor
Imperial (30 pts, 14 rbds, 9 assists, 2 interceptions, 2 blocks), the Slovenian prodigy first rushed to dunk, before insisting inside, to offer caviars to Reggie Bullock (18 pts), author of the 20th and last banderilla of the match behind the arc (on 43), and to Dorian Finney-Smith (23 pts, 6 rebounds) in the racket, then to finish the job on free throws.
The soloist has thus become a conductor, impeccable in the score, and his musicians have not made a false note, as evidenced by this 50% overall success in shooting. Jalen Brunson brought 15 points (5 assists) and the substitutes also contributed, like Maxi Kleber (13 pts, 8 rebounds) and Frenchman Frank Ntilikina (5 pts, 1 assist, 1 interception), very active in defense.
Opposite, certainly without demerit, Stephen Curry (20 pts at 7/16, 8 assists), Andrew Wiggins (13 pts), Klay Thompson (12 pts) have never given the impression of being able to force things in their favor , as if they accepted somewhere to lose this round and kept it under the sole for Thursday’s game N.5 at home in San Francisco.