Just hours before Game 4, Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic was cleared to play and he delivered a historic performance to help his team even the series against the Los Angeles Clippers to two games apiece. Doncic sprained his left ankle in a Game 3 loss and Mavericks medical staff was putting up major effort to put the Slovenian in position to play Game 4.
Doncic was far from fully healthy in Game 4 but he still dropped 43 points, grabbed 17 rebounds and dished out 13 rebounds. The Slovenian also hit a game-winning step-back three-pointer to help the Mavericks beat the Clippers 135-133 in overtime.
"I can't explain the emotions I had," Doncic said, per ESPN. "Not only when the ball goes in but when I see the whole team running toward me. That was something special, one of the best feelings I ever had as a player.
Just something special." Doncic praised Mavericks medical staff for the job they did on his ankle. "The guys that you don't hear about behind [the scenes] did an amazing job with me yesterday," Doncic said.
"We were working almost the whole day. They were helping me out the whole time, whatever I needed. I obviously wasn't 100 percent, but I think I was good."
Trey Burke says Doncic is 'different'
Mavericks guard Burke scored 25 points as a starter and he was also one of the keys in Mavericks' Game 4 overtime win.
Burke claims Doncic is not afraid of anyone and his spirit and attitude also helps the rest of the team. "He plays with a different type of passion," Burke said of Doncic. "He don't back down from nobody.
It don't matter who's talking to him, he's not going to back down. It kind of raises his level of play, to be honest. The guys that's talking to him, to be honest with you, that raises his level. Tonight, that's what happened.
Obviously, it was a little chirpy on both sides. "Luka just raised his level of play, just like a star should, and we followed behind it." Burke admitted he was a bit scared but it all ended well. "When the shot left his hand, to be truthfully honest, I thought he could get a better shot," Burke said.
"But hey, man, he ain't need it. He ain't need it. It's a big win that we're going to have to build off of."