Not a lot of things went right for the Mavericks Friday night after its electric start 32-11 start in Game 3. Not only did the team lose for the first time all season when leading after the first quarter (29-0 previously), Luka Doncic suffered an injury to his neck in the process, stating he felt pain down his left arm. Initial reports Saturday listed Doncic as questionable for Sunday’s pivotal Game 4 matchup, but according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Doncic is a go.
Doncic erupted for 44 points on 15/28 shooting from the field, including 7/13 from beyond the arc in Dallas’s 118-108 loss. His next highest-scoring teammate was Jalen Brunson with 14 points off the bench.
Doncic’s usage rate for Dallas is exceptionally high, requiring the Slovenian superstar to do a little bit of everything most nights, but if Dallas’s role players can recapture their Games 1 and 2 forms, the wear on Doncic may soon lead to a drop off in his effectiveness.
Throughout the series’s first three games, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have been exceptional, keeping LA competitive even in Dallas’s two opening wins, whereas Doncic’s star teammate, Kristaps Porzingis, has been far more inconsistent. In Game 1, Porzingis scored 14 points on 4/13 shooting, before following up that performance with an efficient 20 points on 8/12 from the field in Game 2. Unfortunately for the Mavs, Game 3 would be an absolute dud for their second-best player as KP would score just 9 points on 3/10 shooting despite playing 34 minutes.
Game 4 is scheduled for tip-off Sunday at 8:30 PM CST.