Luka Doncic, Mavs avert sweep with Game 4 blowout

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DALLAS — Luka Doncic scored 25 of his 29 points in the first half, Kyrie Irving added 21 points and the Dallas Mavericks avoided a sweep with a 122-84 rout of the Boston Celtics in Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Friday.

The series shifts back to Boston for Game 5 on Monday as the Celtics will look to close it out at home. However, Dallas showed life in extending the series after Boston was the dominant team while winning the first three games of the best-of-seven series.

The script flipped in Game 4. Doncic and the Mavericks got off to a fast start and didn’t look back. Doncic started a 10-0 spurt in the first quarter with a floater and closed it with a driving layup as Dallas took a 25-14 lead with 3:19 left in the period. That early run was a sign of things to come.

Dallas had a 34-21 lead by the end of the first quarter, scoring the final six points on 3-pointers by Irving and P.J. Washington.

The Mavericks kept pouring it on. They doubled up the Celtics 50-25 on a layup by Irving at the 5:16 mark of the second quarter. To close the half, Maxi Kleber drilled a corner 3-pointer off an assist by Doncic. That gave Dallas a 61-35 lead at the break.

The Mavericks shot 52.3 percent from the field compared to the Celtics’ 29.7 percent in the opening half. Dallas also won the rebounding battle 29-13 over the opening 24 minutes.

Dallas turned it into a full-on rout in the second half, leading by as many as 48, taking a 115-67 lead on a 3-pointer by Jaden Hardy with 5:58 left in the game.

The Mavericks reached the 100-point mark several minutes before that on a 3-pointer by Tim Hardaway Jr. Dallas didn’t reach the 100-point mark in any of the first three games against Boston.

Hardaway finished with 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting from 3-point range.

For Boston, it was a letdown for a team that remains in control of the Finals. NBA teams are 156-0 when taking a 3-0 lead in a best-of-seven series.

The Celtics were led by Jayson Tatum’s 15 points. Sam Hauser added 14 points, and Payton Pritchard had 11.

–Drew Davison, Field Level Media

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