NBA Twitter Reacts To Max Strus’ 59-Foot Buzzer-Beating Game-Winner Against Mavs


In one of the most thrilling finishes of the NBA season, Max Strus of the Cleveland Cavaliers sank a 59-foot three-pointer as time expired to give his team a 121-119 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night.

Strus, who had scored only two points in the first three quarters, erupted for 19 points in the final period, including five three-pointers in the last five minutes. His last shot, which came from well inside his own half, capped off a remarkable comeback for the Cavs, who trailed by 10 points with four minutes left.


“I just let it fly,” Strus said after the game. “I felt a rhythm and it’s fun when you do that. Every time I shot it, I felt like it was going in, and it was. Same with the last one.”


The game-winner came moments after PJ Washington had put the Mavericks ahead with a layup with 2.6 seconds remaining. The Cavs had no timeouts left, so they had to inbound the ball quickly and hope for a miracle. Strus sprinted up the right sideline, received the pass from Evan Mobley, and launched the shot over Luka Doncic, who was guarding the center of the court.

The ball swished through the net, sending the crowd at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse into a frenzy and Strus into the arms of his teammates, who mobbed him on the floor.



Strus finished with 21 points and Donovan Mitchell added 31 points for the Cavs, who improved to 38-19 and moved into second place in the Eastern Conference. Doncic scored 45 points and Kyrie Irving had 30 points for the Mavericks, who fell to 33-25 and to the eight place in the Western Conference.

The game was a back-and-forth affair, with 24 lead changes and 14 ties. The Mavericks seemed to have the upper hand in the fourth quarter, when they went on a 13-3 run to take a 110-100 lead with 3:55 left. But Strus caught fire and single-handedly brought the Cavs back into the game. He hit three consecutive three-pointers to cut the deficit to one, then tied the game at 115 with another three with 1:09 left.

After Doncic and Mitchell traded baskets, Washington scored on a backdoor cut to give the Mavericks a 119-117 lead with 2.6 seconds left. That set the stage for Strus’ heroics, which earned him praise from his coach and teammates.


“He’s a gamer,” Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “He’s fearless. He’s confident. He works his tail off. He deserves every bit of this.”

“He’s unbelievable,” Mitchell said. “He’s a great shooter, a great player, a great teammate. He works hard every day. He deserves this moment.”


Strus, who went undrafted in 2019 and signed with the Cavs as a free agent last summer, said he was grateful for the opportunity and the support from his team.


“I’m just happy to be here,” he said. “I’m happy to be a part of this organization, this culture, this team. They believe in me. They give me confidence. They give me freedom. I just try to do my job and help the team win.”


Strus also quoted the movie “Talladega Nights” in his postgame interview, saying


“If you ain’t first, you’re last.”


As you can imagine, NBA Twitter was in awe over Strus’ spectacular game-winner and reacted accordingly.


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