Staying Alive (Warriors-Mavericks, Gm. 4; 05.24.22)

Ross James/ALOST

akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief

DALLAS — The beginning of an impossible comeback in the Western Conference Finals by the Dallas Mavericks officially is underway, although a equally impossible comeback in the fourth quarter by their opponents almost put an end to Dallas’ magical season.

Luka Doncic scored 30 points with 14 rebounds, and he got help from his supporting cast that was absent in Sunday’s defeat as the Mavericks avoided a sweep by taking down the Golden State Warriors 119-109 in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals at American Airlines Center. Five other players scored in double figures for Dallas, who built a 29-point lead after three quarters and made 20 three-pointers in the contest.

The Mavericks found themselves on the brink of elimination after they made just 13 of their 45 three-point attempts in their nine-point defeat in Game 3, with two of their sharpshooters in the team’s long-range attack, Reggie Bullock and Maxi Kleber, combining to go 0-for-15 from the field, 12 of those shots from beyond the arc. They rebounded in dramatic fashion on Tuesday as the Warriors dropped into a zone defense for most of the evening, with Bullock making 6-of-10 from three in scoring 18 points while Kleber made two of his three long-range effort, part of a 13-point performance in which he made five of his six threes overall.

“Yeah, we’ve felt all along we’re getting great looks. Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don’t in this series so far,” Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd said. “It’s a matter about making shots. The biggest compliment we’ve gotten is [the Warriors] got to play zone because they can’t play us one on one, right? This is a championship DNA team. They’re giving you a compliment that they can’t guard you. It’s pretty cool. They’re winning the series. But we believe if we can continue to we keep getting the shots that we got, if we make them, it puts pressure on them.”

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Sunday afternoon’s game, with all photos taken by Dallas-area photographer Ross James. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 17 pictures in total.

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