The Dallas Mavericks faced one of the hottest teams in the NBA on Sunday afternoon as they took on the Boston Celtics at TD Garden arena. Superstar Luka Doncic was looking for his fifth straight 30-point game, but things looked bad early on.
Doncic was grabbing his hamstring and limping up and down the floor in the first quarter before exiting with 39 seconds left in the period. Fans feared for the worst as he went directly back to the locker room, but he returned to the bench after a few minutes and went back into the game.
Nothing was stopping Luka on Sunday afternoon as his fans back in Europe were watching in primetime. He willed his way through the injury and a slow start by the Mavericks to a 26-point performance as he helped Dallas win over the Celtics in Boston. Here is a closer look at the Mavs impressive 95-92 win.
Luka Doncic shakes off stiff hamstring for 26 points in Dallas Mavericks win over Celtics
Sunday’s game was a playoff dress rehearsal for both teams. The two teams were tied for the second-best record since the calendar flipped to 2022 coming into the contest, and the referees let them play physically. It had a playoff feel in front of a packed house as the Celtics retired Kevin Garnett’s number five jersey after the contest.
Boston was aggressive in switching and doubling Luka. They wanted to take the ball out of his hands, especially in the fourth quarter as the team’s traded the lead down the stretch. As always, Doncic made the right reads, while still finding his shots. He finished with 26 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, and three steals. Luka made eight of his 16 field goals as the Mavericks outscored the Celtics by seven in his 39 minutes on the floor.
He had seven in the opening quarter before coming out with a hamstring injury and just two in the second after returning before coming alive in the second half. Doncic had 11 in the third quarter and nailed a massive 3-pointer in the fourth to help the Mavericks pick up the win.
Spencer Dinwiddie nailed game-winner 3-pointer with nine seconds remaining on the clock after Doncic drove and drew the defense. Head coach Jason Kidd decided to start all three guards on Sunday afternoon with Reggie Bullock out, and Dinwiddie produced 18 points and four dimes in 37 minutes of action.
Dorian Finney-Smith and Jalen Brunson both returned from one-game absences and played key roles in the win. Brunson had 14 points on six of 12 shooting, and Doe-Doe finished with 19 points, four rebounds, three assists, two steals, and one block in 38 minutes.
Luka Doncic led the way, but it was a total team effort by the Dallas Mavericks to pick up the impressive comeback win in Boston on March 13. The Dallas Mavericks continue their five-game road trip on Wednesday night in Brooklyn against Kevin Durant and the Nets. Expect another monster performance from Doncic as the Mavericks look for their third straight win. Do not miss it.