Luka Doncic is a force of nature. His game-winner in overtime draws the Mavericks level with Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers at 2-2.
Luka Doncic is doing things we’ve never seen anyone his age do. He is going toe-to-toe with Kawhi Leonard and not backing down from the challenge. On Sunday afternoon, he hit the biggest shot of his career.
Luka Doncic is a special player. He’s going to be doing stuff like this for a very long time… pic.twitter.com/SRvsLAtVYJ
— ESNY (@EliteSportsNY) August 23, 2020
His 43 points, 17 rebounds, and 13 assists are astronomical numbers for any player to put up, let alone a 21-year-old in his first-ever NBA Playoffs on a bum ankle.
He’s an unreal talent with a knack for the big moment. Kawhi Leonard is as clutch as clutch gets, but even he couldn’t will the Clippers past Luka in Game 4. The Mavericks forced a switch so Doncic was covered by Reggie Jackson instead of Leonard and the rest was history.
The game-winner is going to be the biggest story from this game, but it’s also worth noting that the Mavs erased a 21-point deficit. Down 2-1 in the series and down 21 in the game, it looked like Dallas was on its way out of the bubble.
But Luka just wouldn’t let that happen. To make this performance even more impressive, he was doing it all without Kristaps Porzingis who was out with right knee soreness.
It’s pretty remarkable that Dallas is even in this series right now. Porzingis was ejected prematurely on a couple of bad calls in Game 1, Doncic was in foul trouble in Game 2, and then he left early with an ankle injury in Game 3. The Mavericks have one of the title favorites on the ropes despite all this adversity.
Of course, it helps when the role players pick up some of the slack for the stars. The Michigan men, Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr., combined for 46 points on 18-for-32 shooting and 7-for-13 from three. Meanwhile, Seth Curry added 15 points and Boban Marjanovic chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds.
If Porzingis is healthy, these next three games are going to be a war. Hell, even if he’s not, Luka Doncic looks like he’s on a mission to give Dallas every chance to pull off the upset.
Kawhi and Luka might be the two best players in the bubble and we have the opportunity to watch these two go at it for at least two more games. This is fun.
I said what I said… https://t.co/cuVCxTmScJ
— Danny Small (@dwsmall8) August 24, 2020
Where Is Playoff P?
When Kawhi Leonard recruited Paul George to be his running mate on the Clippers, he probably didn’t expect anything like this. George isn’t disappearing in this series. On the contrary, his mistakes are front and center. He’s been downright awful. George is shooting 20-for-69 from the field and 8-for-36 from deep. Ouch.
Giving yourself the nickname “Playoff P” isn’t a great idea if your game goes in the tank whenever the lights are the brightest.
The Clippers are still the favorites in this series and if they advance, they should improve as the playoffs go on, but they need George to be better than this if they want to win a championship.
PS: That game-winner gave us an incredible “BANG!” from Mike Breen.