The Dallas Mavericks beat the Boston Celtics Saturday night 107-104. The Mavericks led most of the way until the Celtics took the lead with a little more than two minutes left in the fourth. Dallas pushed back to tie it up, and with a few seconds left in the game, Luka Doncic hit a high-arcing fade away for three to win it all.
Doncic led all scorers with 33 points to go along with nine rebounds. Kristaps Porzingis chipped in 21 points and 7 rebounds in his return. Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 32 points and 11 rebounds.
Here are three numbers from what ended up being a crazy game:
33: The Mavericks’ 3-point shooting percentage.
The Mavericks continue to struggle from behind the arc. Shooting percentages are down league-wide, but the Mavericks’ misses just seem bad. They get plenty of wide open shots generated by Luka. It’s just that the Dallas shooters aren’t hitting them. One thing that would help is Porzingis making his shots. He’s only shooting 24% from deep through nine games. One good sign is that Dorian Finney-Smith finally woke up, making 3-of-5 of his 3-point attempts. And of course, Luka hit the most important 3-pointer of the game.
2: The number of assists from Jayson Tatum.
Tatum was able to match Doncic point for point throughout the game, but he can’t compete with Luka as a playmaker. Tatum plays an isolation heavy game and he seems to get tunnel vision often. He only averages 3.4 assists per game this year. The Mavericks were able to draw him into plenty of one-on-one matchups on the perimeter where he just dribbled while his teammates watched. Even when Tatum started getting hot and the Mavericks sent double teams, Tatum couldn’t make them pay with passes to the open man. He’s a great player, but he’s got a way to go before he’s on Luka’s level.
2: The number of buzzer beaters Luka Doncic has hit against the Celtics in the last two years.
The Celtics really must hate coming to Dallas. For the second time in three trips, they’ve lost to the Mavericks on a Luka buzzer beater. It must be getting old. It’s definitely weighing on this fan:
In the future, you should probably plan on making it to the AAC whenever the Celtics come to town. They’re evidently magnets for Luka magic.
Here’s our lastest episode of Mavs Moneyball After Dark. If you’re unable to see the embed below, click here to be taken to the podcast directly. Or go to your favorite podcast app and search Mavs Moneyball Podcast.