But down 2-1 in the series, Doncic suited up despite spraining his left ankle in Game 3 -- while his top-scoring teammate, Kristaps Porzingis, was a late scratch with right knee soreness.
The Mavericks trailed by 21 points in the first half but came back to lead the Clippers by 12 in the fourth quarter. L.A. rebounded to force overtime and took a 133-132 lead following a Marcus Morris Sr. corner 3 on an assist from Kawhi Leonard.
That set up the second-year All-Star from Slovenia with a chance to win it with 9.6 seconds remaining. Following a Clippers foul, Dallas came out of a timeout with 3.7 seconds left. Doncic lost Leonard on a Maxi Kleber screen, snatched Reggie Jackson's ankles with the step-back move and rose up from 28 feet as time expired.
Cue Mike Breen: Bang! Bang!
LUKA OMGGGGG pic.twitter.com/v3gPhPzbie— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 23, 2020
BAAAAAANG! LUKA IS CLUTCH pic.twitter.com/WEmGZaPKLU— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) August 23, 2020
Doncic's first career buzzer-beater gave him 43 points -- in addition to 17 rebounds and 13 assists -- in a 135-133 Game 4 decision for the Mavericks that tied the series at 2-2. It was the first postseason buzzer-beater for Dallas since Vince Carter's shot took down Leonard's San Antonio Spurs in Game 3 of the 2014 quarterfinals, and it was the second buzzer-beater of the NBA restart -- both overall and against the Clippers (see: Devin Booker).
Naturally, the NBA was thrilled to see it. And the praise for Doncic was led by all of the greats: MVPs LeBron James and Stephen Curry (whose brother, Dallas guard Seth Curry, celebrated his 30th birthday on Sunday); bubble MVP Damian Lillard (who knows something about beating the buzzer and a Paul George team in the postseason); Finals MVPs Paul Pierce, Andre Iguodala and Dwyane Wade; league champions Kevin Love and Manu Ginobili; and step-back aficionados such as Bradley Beal and CJ McCollum. Fellow 2018 draftee and second-year All-Star Trae Young also had to salute Doncic:
BANG BANG!! In my *Mike Breen voice— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 23, 2020
sheeesh @luka7doncic thats ridiculous...BLOUSES!!!— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) August 23, 2020
Happy 30th Bday gift right there @sdotcurry!!— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) August 23, 2020
Big dawg— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) August 23, 2020
Luka the Don— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) August 23, 2020
Omg LUKA— Bradley Beal (@RealDealBeal23) August 23, 2020
Invest in a step back!!— Bradley Beal (@RealDealBeal23) August 23, 2020
43/17/13 😤😤😤— Kevin Love (@kevinlove) August 23, 2020
Unmask that man...— andre (@andre) August 23, 2020
Sheesh. Step back to freedom— CJ McCollum (@CJMcCollum) August 23, 2020
W O W‼️‼️‼️‼️ Luka we are not worthy!!!— DWade (@DwyaneWade) August 23, 2020
🇦🇷Increíble! Este chico es increíble! 43/17/13 en playoffs con 21 años. Métele también el triple ganador. 🤦🏻♂️ #LukaFan ✋— Manu Ginobili (@manuginobili) August 23, 2020
🇺🇲 This kid is unbelievable! 43/17/13 in playoffs against a great team and @ 21 years old. Throw in a buzzer beater, too! Nuts! #LukaFan ✋
Different💯 @luka7doncic— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) August 23, 2020
Game 5 will be Tuesday.