3 Duds, 2 studs from Mavericks' painful Game 3 loss to Celtics

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Tim Heitman/GettyImages
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The Dallas Mavericks were expected to win Game 3 of the NBA Finals by some optimistic fans who thought the team could turn the tide of the series. The team was 5-3 at home in the playoffs and all signs pointed toward Dallas bouncing back at home.

Another factor on Dallas' side was the injury to Kristaps Porzingis. The former Mav was diagnosed with a torn medial retinaculum.

The injury was expected to do wonders for the team considering how effective Porzingis had been in the series. It was supposed to open up the paint, as Mavs centers like Daniel Gafford were expected to step up. That however hasn't been the case for the Mavs' starter. Gafford had six points and three rebounds in 16 minutes of action on Wednesday.

3 Duds, 2 studs from Mavericks' painful Game 3 loss to Celtics

All-Star Kyrie Irving has not been much help either. He combined for 28 points and seven assists in Games 1 and 2. The biggest statistic was his shooting. Irving had gone 0-8 from the 3-point line in the first two games.

His numbers changed in Game 3 though, as Dallas fell to the Celtics 106-99. Irving scored 35 points, knocking down 66 percent of his attempted 3-pointers.

Irving's tremendous game was not enough though. Star Luka Doncic scored 27 points and had six rebounds. However, most of his points came in the first half, as he had 16 points at halftime.

The biggest highlight though was Doncic's foul trouble. The Mavs guard fouled out with 4:12 left in the game after being called for a blocking foul on Jaylen Brown.

Other Game 3 issues included the team's inability to play consistent defense and struggles to maintain leads. The Mavs were up 13 in the first quarter but saw the lead evaporate towards the end of the quarter.

So, what went right and what went wrong for the team Wednesday?

Here are three duds and two studs from the Dallas Mavericks' Game 3 loss to the Boston Celtics.

5. Dud - Maxi Kleber

One player who had been playing well at the start of the NBA playoffs was Maxi Kleber. The Mavs forward averaged 5.2 points per game against the LA Clippers and shot 55.6 percent from the 3-point line. He, however, went down in Game 6 of the Clippers' series after suffering a dislocated AC joint in his right shoulder.

Mavs fans were anticipating his return for the longest time. They believed he would give the team an extra big who could stretch the floor and provide lethal shooting.

Kleber though has yet to return to his old form since his return. Against the Minnesota Timberwolves, he averaged 2.5 points per game and shot 33.3 percent from the field.

His struggles have continued in the NBA Finals. Defensively, he had trouble containing players on the wing, as the Celtics had no problem shooting over Maxi.

Kleber has also been a no-show on the offensive side. He shot 0-2 on Wednesday and missed his only 3-point attempt.

This is nothing new, as the Mavs veteran had shot 20 percent in the first two games combined. Kleber seems lost at times and lacks confidence when in the game.

It seems as though the injury has limited his ability to adapt to his old self.