DALLAS — The Dallas Mavericks jumped out to an early lead before ultimately falling behind by 21 points in the third quarter of Game 3 of the NBA Finals. Dallas made things interesting in the fourth quarter, but the Mavs ultimately lost 106-99. Luka Doncic, who fouled out with over four minutes remaining in the game, addressed the Mavs' situation amid their 0-3 deficit while speaking to reporters after the contest.

“It's not over until it's over,” Doncic said. “We just gotta believe. I know we say it's first to four. We got to stay together. We lose together, we win together, so we got to stay together.”

The defeat places the Mavericks in a difficult position to say the least. They will now have to attempt to do something that no other team has done and erase a 3-0 deficit. Counting Doncic and the Mavs out is risky, but overcoming such an eye-opening deficit is obviously quite the challenge.

Doncic finished the game with 27 points, six rebounds, and six assists before fouling out. Kyrie Irving, however, led the way with 35 points. PJ Washington contributed 13 points and eight rebounds while Dereck Lively II added 11 points and 13 rebounds.

In the end, though, they failed to have a third scorer to truly step up and make a big impact alongside Doncic and Irving. The Celtics have received impressive performances from players such as Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Jrue Holiday. Derrick White, and Kristaps Porzingis throughout the series.

Mavs trying to stay alive in NBA Finals

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) reacts after a play against the Boston Celtics during the fourth quarter during game three of the 2024 NBA Finals at American Airlines Center.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Overcoming a 3-0 deficit is difficult but not impossible. Dallas will need to take it one game at a time and focus on what they can control. This Mavs team has displayed resiliency all season long and this will be their greatest test from a basketball standpoint yet.

Head coach Jason Kidd later stressed the importance of taking it one game at a time as the Mavs look to climb back in the NBA Finals.

“That's what we talked about this evening after the game,” Kidd said. “Just one possession at a time. Watch film tomorrow and get ready for Friday.”

Kyrie Irving also addressed the Mavs' upcoming attempt to stay afloat in the series.

“This is a metaphor here so just be ready, just go home, get the ammo ready,” Irving said. “Get the bazooka… Get everything ready because when we come into Game 4 we know we gotta shoot our shots. We gotta do it with an aggression.”

Perhaps Dallas will become the first team to erase an 0-3 deficit. Or they may end up getting swept. Regardless of the final outcome, this Mavericks team is not going to go down without a fight. They will do everything they can to challenge the Celtics.