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#pounditTuesday, February 20, 2024

Mavericks benefit from controversial call in win over Celtics

Luka Doncic tries to block a Marcus Smart shot

The Dallas Mavericks won a hard-fought game against the Boston Celtics on Sunday, and the outcome may have been different had it not been for a successful coach’s challenge.

Dallas was leading 95-92 with 4.9 seconds remaining when Luka Doncic appeared to foul Marcus Smart on the Celtics guard’s three-point attempt. Smart was about to go to the line for three free throws and a chance to tie the game when Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd used his challenge. The call was overturned, and the Mavs hung on to win.

Former NBA referee Steve Javie explained during the ESPN broadcast why Dallas won the challenge. He said it would have been a foul on Doncic had he hit Smart on the wrist or below. Since he only hit him on the hand after Smart released the ball, that is not considered a foul by rule.

The ability to challenge was huge for the Mavericks. Without it, Smart would have gone to the line.

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