The Dallas Mavericks' Dereck Lively made NBA Finals history during Game 3 against the Celtics in a losing effort, and now he is getting due recognition for his efforts.

The Lively performance came on a night when the 20-year-old rookie battled it out with a more mature Celtics team in a 106-99 losing effort for the Mavericks. The Celtics' biggest heroes were revealed after the game. In the meantime, the Mavericks' players to blame were also shared.

Lively's performance was exciting at times but ultimately ended in disappointment. Brighter days lie in terms of his team's results on the scoreboard lie ahead for the Mavericks rookie, but for now, his performance is worth noting.

Dereck Lively gets shout-out for key stat

 Dallas Mavericks center Dereck Lively II (2) shoots against Boston Celtics guard Derrick White (9) in the third quarterduring game two of the 2024 NBA Finals at TD Garden.
© David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Lively became the youngest player in NBA Finals history to record 10 rebounds in a game. The stat sheds light on just how much of a playoff neophyte the Mavericks center/power forward really is at this stage of his career, along with much of the Mavericks' supporting cast.

While Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving both scored in bunches on Wednesday night, the Celtics simply had too much experience and firepower to leave the American Airlines Center without win number three.

Meanwhile, Lively's performance will likely be remembered as the one cementing his status as a bona fide building block for what could eventually be the Mavericks' second championship in franchise history.

Series shifts to Game 4 on Friday night

It's going to take a monumental shift in second half performance for the Mavericks to win Game 4 at home on Friday, even in the raucous American Airlines Center. Mavericks dignitaries Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki watched helplessly as their former team fumbled Game 3 away in the third quarter, snowed under by an avalanche of deft shots and maneuvers by Celtics stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

If the Mavericks have any hope of making this a series, Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic need help, and not just on the offensive end. The Mavericks' young players including the ex-Duke Blue Devil Lively must take it upon themselves to play like seasoned veterans rather than the youngsters they actually are at this point in time.

It's a task that seems virtually impossible, but all of the most improbable victories seem that way — until they are actually accomplished. Game 4 is set for Friday at 8:30 p.m. in Dallas.