No team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in NBA history, but that did not dissuade the Dallas Mavericks from delivering a historic blowout versus the Boston Celtics in Game 4 of the NBA Finals.

The Mavericks came out of the gates with a pep in their step as it was evident that head coach Jason Kidd wanted his team to play at a faster pace to get their offense going. This freed up Doncic, who scored 13 of his game-high 29 points in the opening period, which helped them build a 13-point lead by the end of the first quarter. They would not relinquish the lead for the rest of the game, building their advantage to 26 points by halftime before it hit a high of 48 midway through the fourth quarter.

Dallas was so dominant that Boston head coach Joe Mazulla decided to throw in the towel as early as the third quarter. Mazulla pulled out all of his starters with 3:18 remaining in the third period as the Mavericks led by 36, 88-52.


The game was so lopsided that both teams were able to field their entire rosters during the game, save for the Celtics’ Kristaps Porzingis who was available only for “very specific instances”.

The Mavericks wound up winning by 38, 122-84, to keep their season alive. Their winning margin was the third highest in NBA Finals history and the only teams who have won a game by more on this stage are the 1998 Chicago Bulls (42 points) and Boston (39) back in their title-clinching Game 6 win in 2008.

Aside from scoring 29 points, Doncic also recorded five rebounds, five assists, three steals, and just one turnover in Game 4. He entered the game with an average of five turnovers per game in this series and the extra attention that he paid to taking care of the ball was a major difference-maker for Dallas.

Kyrie Irving added 21 points on 10-of-18 field goal shooting, four rebounds, and six assists, while their sixth man Dereck Lively II tallied 11 points on five shots, a three-pointer, 12 rebounds (Including seven on the offensive end), and a steal.

Lively changed the tone of the game with his energy when he checked in for the Mavericks early in the game at the 9:30 mark of the first quarter where the Celtics were leading, 7-4. By the time he was subbed out of his first stint with 2:18 left in the opening period, Dallas was up by 10, 26-16.

Over the course of his first seven minutes on the floor, the 12th overall pick of last year’s NBA Draft grabbed three offensive and two defensive rebounds.

The 20-year-old center swung the game in Dallas’ favor when he hit the first three-pointer of his NBA career with 6:14 remaining in the opening period which gave them the lead for good, 13-11. On the ensuing possession, Lively successfully contested Xavier Tillman’s shot at the rim then made his way down the court to complete an alley-oop off a pass from Irving.

The Mavericks still have a long way to go if they are to win the NBA championship as they still face a 3-1 lead in this best-of-seven match-up. The series is now returning to Boston where the Celtics have only lost six times–Four in the 82-game regular season and twice in these playoffs–in the ‘23-’24 campaign.

Dallas is facing what seems like an impossible task as no team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in the NBA, but if they continue to take this one game at a time, anything is possible.