Doncic Carries Mavericks to Victory with Breathtaking Performance in the Clutch
With his team down 2-1 in their first-round playoff series, Luka Doncic put on a performance for the ages as he put his team on his back and carried them to a much-needed victory to tie the series against the Los Angeles Clippers at 2 games apiece.
It was unknown if Doncic would even be available for Sunday’s game due to a serious ankle injury he suffered in Game 3. However, Doncic was in the starting lineup for the Mavericks as he put up astronomical statistics with 43 points, 17 rebounds to go along with 13 assists. With 3.7 seconds left in overtime down by 1 point, everybody knew who the ball was going to, but there wasn’t anybody who could stop the inevitable. The ball was inbounded to Doncic as he was defended by Clippers guard Reggie Jackson. After a few dribbles and a step back behind the three-point line, Doncic released a high-arching shot and connected for the game-winning basket.
With the Clippers up as much as 21 points in the 1 st half, it seemed like the game was slipping away from Doncic and company early, but the Mavs didn’t panic and were able to keep their composure while going on an 18-4 run to get back into the game. It’s even more impressive how Doncic played despite Kristaps Porzingis sitting out with knee soreness, and it will be interesting to see how much damage the duo can do once he returns and how the Clippers will adjust. With Porzingis on the floor, Doncic is less likely to see double teams and opponents will be forced to guard him straight up allowing him to become an even more dangerous threat due to him having the ability to create his own shot in isolation.
It’s hard to believe that Doncic is only 21 years old and only his second season in the NBA. He already plays like a seasoned veteran and is a special player who we can look forward to dominating the league with his MVP-like performances for tears to come. He already has shown his ability to take control of a game and how his great decision making with the basketball in his hands explains his high assist totals as he averaged 8.8 on in the regular season. Once Doncic gets going, he is difficult to contain as he has shown that he understands how to beat double teams and how to effectively use the pick-and-roll to his advantage. He has this “refuse to lose” attitude about him and a winner’s mentality that was on display Sunday, and if his ankle was bothering him at any time, he didn’t let it show.
What will Doncic do for an encore? He already has recorded 2 triple-doubles of at least 40 points, 15 rebounds, and 10 assists, something that only Hall of Famers Oscar Robertson and Charles Barkley has accomplished, and Doncic has only played 4 postseason games so far. He is very consistent and he rarely has bad games. If Doncic can end up leading the Mavericks to the 2nd round, he should very well be in the conversation of being recognized as a top 3 player in the league.