2024 NBA Finals: Dallas Wins Game 4 To Extend Series

The Dallas Mavericks averted a sweep in the 2024 NBA Finals with a Game 4 victory on Friday night at home, blowing out the Boston Celtics 122-84. It was the worst NBA Finals loss for the 17-time champion Celtics since they were defeated 137-104 by the Lakers in 1984.

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) celebrates a play
Associated Press / Alamy Stock Photo

The loss was Boston’s first in five weeks, snapping the Celtics’ franchise-record 10-game postseason winning streak. It also took away the chance Boston had to become first team in NBA history to win both the conference finals and the finals in 4-0 sweeps.

The Celtics do however have the chance to finish off the Mavericks in Game 5 in Boston on Monday.

Luka Doncic was the best player on the court, scoring 29 points on 12-26 shooting to go along with 5 assists, 5 rebounds and 3 steals. He did however have a poor night from shooting beyond the arc, not making a single three-pointer in eight attempts.

The other Mavs all-star, Kyrie Irving, had a solid performance as well with 21 points on 10-18 from the floor. Both Doncic and Irving only played the first three quarters of the game with Dallas taking a massive lead into the final frame. In fact, the Mavericks never trailed in the game, leading by 13 after one quarter, 26 at the half and by as many as 38 in the third before both sides emptied their benches.

This was by far the worst game of the postseason for the Celtics, as they lost their first road game of the playoffs. Jason Tatum started off strongly but ended up with just 15 points in his 27 minutes, while Jaylen Brown only had 10 points on 3-12 shooting. Jrue Holiday was the only other starter to score in double figures, as the team shot 36.3% as whole.

Celtics center Kristaps Porziņģis didn’t play in Game 4 despite having clearance from the team’s medical staff.  Porziņģis suffered a rare lower leg injury in which he tore his medial retinaculum and dislocated his posterior tibialis tendon in his left leg. Head coach Joe Mazulla had the option to play the big-man but seemed to not want to aggravate the injury in a losing cause.

Although no team has ever comeback from a 3-0 deficit in a NBA playoffs series, Dallas will be hopeful they can be the first. 

Full Game Summary

Dallas came out with energy and from the jump it was obvious that Boston was in for a long night. Doncic and Irving took it upon themselves to get their team off to a good start, scoring first couple buckets for Dallas before getting their teammates involved. By the end of the first quarter, the Mavericks had built up a lead of 13 points, 34-21.

It was more of the same in the second quarter, with Doncic seemingly scoring at will. Going into the break Dallas was up 61-35 after only shooting 5 of 15 from 3-point range and 10 of 16 from the foul line. Doncic had 25 of his 29 points in the first half, marking his playoff high for a half.

It should be noted that teams with a lead of 23 or more points at halftime have been 76-0 this season entering Friday night. Game 4 was no exception, as the Mavericks simply ran away with the game and never looked back. Every time the Celtics thought they could make a bit of a run, Dallas would push back. The Mavs put the game away in the third with a 15-7 run over the first 4:32 of the quarter which pushed their lead out to 76-42. 

With not much hope, Mazzulla pulled his starters, with 3:18 left in the third and Dallas leading 88-52. From there it was garbage time as the Mavericks bench came in to pour on more points, leading to one of the biggest wins by margin in franchise playoff history.

Dallas still has a very steep hill to climb but the huge win will definitely give them some hope going into Game 5.