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2024 NBA Finals: Dereck Lively dedicates first career 3-pointer to his late mother: 'She helped me make it'

Lively's mother passed away in April


  • Jun 15 2024
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 2024 NBA Finals: Dereck Lively dedicates first career 3-pointer to his late mother: 'She helped me make it'
2024 NBA Finals: Dereck Lively dedicates first career 3-pointer to his late mother: 'She helped me make it'
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Everything went right for the Dallas Mavericks in Game 4 of the 2024 NBA Finals on Friday night, as they demolished the Boston Celtics, 122-84, to record the third-biggest win in Finals history and keep their season alive. 

One of the first signs that it was going to be their night came in the middle of the first quarter when rookie big man Dereck Lively II knocked down a 3-pointer from the corner. Lively, who is best known for catching lobs and grabbing offensive rebounds on that side of the ball, had only taken two 3s prior to that attempt and had not made either of them. 

After finishing the night with 11 points and 12 rebounds to become the first rookie with back-to-back double-doubles in the Finals since Magic Johnson, Lively dedicated his first career 3 to his late mother. 

"It's for her, she helped me make it," Lively said. "She's gonna help me make a lot more. She helped me at the free throw line, she helped me make reads. I'm just thankful for having Luka pass me the ball in that position, I'm happy I knocked it down, just gotta be able to make the next one.

"If they leave me open in the corner, I'm gonna get them up for sure. It's just having that trust. Luka gave me the ball, as soon as I shot it, he was jumping for joy when it went in. Just having that reaction from my teammates is amazing. Just makes me want to learn, makes me want to practice and do more."

Lively was extremely close with his mother, Kathy Drysdale, who had been battling cancer since 2013. She was with him on draft night and was cheering him on at most home games until passing away in April. 

"My heart breaks saying goodbye to the most important person in the world to me, my best friend, my superhero, my biggest cheerleader and mom, Kathy Drysdale," Lively wrote on social media following her death. "There is no one in this world that can love you more than your mother. As strong and stubborn as she is I have watched her struggle, fight and survive cancer for the past 11 years and now her battle has ended surround by family, friends and her teammates. I truly can't imagine my life without her but I know I have an angel in the stands always and forever cheering my one and yelling at me if I'm bullshitting.

Lively had been battling a knee injury at the time and made an emotional return to the court for Game 1 of the team's first-round playoff series versus the Los Angeles Clippers

"Man, I ain't around my teammates," Lively said upon his return. "I'm around my family. "There's really been a lot going on in my life. There's been a lot of chaos, a lot of things going on, and this is the only place where I can come to bond."

In his first playoff run, Lively is averaging 8.2 points, 7.6 rebounds and one block per game on 67.7% shooting. 

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