2020 Playoffs: First Round | Clippers vs. Mavericks
Horry Scale: Luka Doncic demoralizes Clippers at overtime buzzer
Mavericks even series at 2-2 after Doncic's stunning stepback winner
Ben Couch, NBA.com
Next up: Game 5 (Tuesday, 9 ET on TNT)
A reminder on The Horry Scale: It breaks down a game-winning buzzer-beater (GWBB) in the categories of difficulty, game situation (was the team tied or behind at the time?), importance (playoff game or garden-variety night in November?) and celebration. Then we give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys, named for the patron saint of last-second answered prayers.
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Everyone knew which hands were about to hold their fates. Luka Doncic entered the final possession of Saturday’s first-round Game 4 matchup against the Clippers with a 43-point, 17-rebound, 13-assist triple-double.
The inbounds pass hit palms, Doncic found his spot and those hands let fly.
Nothing. But. Net.
Absolute mayhem and an even series in Orlando.
DIFFICULTY: With Dorian Finney-Smith inbounding, Maxi Kleber set a screen on Kawhi Leonard at the top of the key, freeing Doncic into space on the deep on the left wing. Reggie Jackson picked up on the switch, and then Luka dribbled left, crossed right, dribbled right, crossed left and launched into the stepback. Buckets.
GAME SITUATION: Marcus Morris Sr. had just tallied the latest of 12 lead changes with a corner 3 — off a no-look feed from Leonard, whose drive pulled three defenders under the basket. That shot, with 9.0 seconds remaining, left the Clippers up one, 133-132 with a foul to give. The Mavs burned six seconds looking for an opening before Jackson took the foul, setting up thee final inbounds, with 3.7 seconds on the clock.
CELEBRATION: Luka pumped both fists, then pounded his chest and yelled while walking away. A swarm of teammates engulfed him and the mass of bodies throbbed its way over to the court sidewall, congratulations offered all around.
“Not only when the ball goes in, but when I see the whole team turning toward me, that was something special,” Doncic said. “One of the best feelings I’ve ever had as a player.”
— NBA (@NBA) August 23, 2020
GRADE: The Mavericks, trailing 2-1 in the series, were without Kristaps Porzingis (knee soreness) and dependent on Doncic — who had sprained an ankle in Game 3, leaving early and his Sunday status in some doubt. After 45 minutes of triple-double dominance, the 21-year-old Doncic added to his budding NBA legend with an almost unbelievably clutch capper to a standout playoff performance against one of the league’s top title contenders. A clear and decisive 5 Horrys.