Only Magic Johnson Matches Duke Basketball Pro's Finals Feat

Duke basketball one-and-done Dereck Lively II's most recent performances point to a prolific career in the making.
Former Duke basketball center Dereck Lively II
Former Duke basketball center Dereck Lively II / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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As of the Dallas Mavericks' 122-84 home win on Friday night to force a Game 5 at the Boston Celtics on Monday night, Duke basketball product Dereck Lively II is already deserving of a few entries in the NBA Finals history books.

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Beginning with the most surprising achievement, the 20-year-old Mavericks rookie center, who was 0-for-2 from 3-point land during the regular season, became the youngest player to ever knock down a 3-point shot in the Finals. Lively did so en route to compiling a brilliant stat line of 11 points, 12 rebounds, one steal, zero turnovers, and zero fouls across 22 minutes off the bench, shooting 4-for-5 from the field and 1-for-1 beyond the arc.

That practically flawless box score followed the 11 points and 13 boards he posted in a 106-99 Game 3 home loss two nights earlier, when Lively became the youngest in Finals history to record a double-double.

Combining those back-to-back efforts, Lively joined Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson as the only 20-year-olds to ever boast multiple double-doubles in Finals action.

With one more double-double, Lively would tie Johnson for the most of the points-rebounds variety by a 20-year-old. However, it's worth noting that Johnson also tallied double-digit assists three times, including one triple-double, during his NBA Finals debut in 1980 en route to the Lakers' title.

On the other hand, consider that Johnson was two months away from turning 21 at the time. As for Dereck Lively II, whose mother, Kathy Drysdale, died on April 12 following a long battle with cancer, is only four months removed from his 20th birthday.

Lively, fellow Duke basketball talent Kyrie Irving, and the Mavericks face NBA Blue Devil sensation Jayson Tatum and the Celtics in Boston at 8:30 p.m. ET Monday.

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Matt Giles


Matt Giles is the editor and publisher of FanNation's Blue Devil Country and All Tar Heels, covering the Duke Blue Devils and UNC Tar Heels on