Luka Doncic nails clutch 3 to sink Clippers in OT
Luka Doncic had one of the best games of his NBA career on Sunday, stepping up in the clutch to lead the Dallas Mavericks past the Los Angeles Clippers.
Doncic drained a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to lift the Mavericks to a 135-133 OT triumph in a first-round playoff series at the NBA bubble at Walt Disney World in Florida.
The Slovenian superstar‘s game-winning shot was one of countless plays he made to put his stamp on the game.
Luka Doncic finished with 43 points, 17 rebounds and 13 assists. He added two steals and a block. He also made 18 of 31 shots from the floor.
Dallas evened the best-of-seven series at two apiece. Game 5 is set for Tuesday.
Doncic, who also had a triple-double in Game 3 (13 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists) despite leaving the game with an ankle injury in the third quarter and seeing limited playing time in the fourth, continues to impress his coach.
“We know this kid has got a flair for the dramatic,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “He’s a guy that lives for these moments.”
With roughly nine seconds left in OT, the Clippers’ Marcus Morris nailed a 3-pointer to give his team the slimmest of leads, 133-132.
Luka Doncic steps up
The seventh-seeded Mavericks didn’t panic.
Instead, they got the ball to Luka Doncic, who delivered a heroic final shot, a long 3 over Los Angeles’ Reggie Jackson.
And what did that play mean to the Dallas dynamo?
“One of the best feelings I’ve ever had as a player,” Doncic said. “Just something special.”
The Mavericks trailed by 21 points in the second quarter, but it didn’t derail them.
They mounted a spirit comeback. Floor leader Doncic ignited Dallas at both ends of the floor. Teammates Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. added 25 and 21 points, respectively.
Kawhi Leonard paced the Clippers, who won the series opener, with 32 points.
When Game 4 was finished, Burke said Doncic had just reminded everyone that he’s one of the game’s elite players.
“Big-time players make big-time plays. He’s a big-time player,” teammate Trey Burke said. “He’s proved it already in this league.”
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