DALLAS -- Mavericks coach Jason Kidd passionately defended his 25-year-old superstar before Friday's Game 4 of the NBA Finals, saying some of the "barbecue"-hot criticism of Luka Doncic over the previous couple of days had gone "a little too far."

Doncic responded in the best possible way, putting together a dominant, poised performance to lead the Mavericks to a season-extending 122-84 win, preventing the Boston Celtics from celebrating their record-breaking 18th championship on the American Airlines Center court.


"I think he made a few people eat their words in a healthy way," Mavericks co-star Kyrie Irving said.

Doncic finished with 29 points and 5 assists in 33 minutes, resting the entire fourth quarter along with the rest of the starters on both sides in the third-most lopsided game in Finals history. He had 22 points in the paint, more than all the Celtics combined in the three quarters that he played.


The loss snapped the Celtics' 10-game postseason winning streak and marked their first road loss in these playoffs.

Dallas took the first step in what will be a steep, uphill battle against the Celtics -- no NBA team has overcome a three-game deficit to win a playoff series.

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The win for the Mavs sends the Finals to a fifth game Monday night at TD Garden in Boston.

Coverage begins at 6:30 PM on ESPN 102.3/AM 1000 KSOO.

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