The Dallas Mavericks suffered their third loss in a row on the west coast against the LA Clippers. In the 91: 97 bankruptcy LA showed its defensive qualities, Dallas, however, lacked offensive firepower.
L.A. Clippers (10-7) – Dallas Mavericks (9-7) 97:91 (BOXSCORE)
Paul George (29 points, 12/25 FG) was, as so often in this season, the decisive man on the side of the Clippers, Reggie Jackson also impressed with a strong second half (23 points, 4/8 3FG). Kristaps Porzingis confirmed his strong form and was the best thrower among the guests with 25 points, Jalen Brunson contributed 20 points and 8 assists.
It was the first of four meetings in the regular season between the two teams from the west. In addition, LA and Dallas faced each other for the first time since the thrilling first round series in the summer.
Since the playoff duel in June, however, the circumstances have changed somewhat, starting with the severe cruciate ligament injury of Kawhi Leonard, for whose return there is still no precise schedule.
The Texans are also struggling with injury concerns: Luka Doncic missed his third game in a row, but the Slovenian has already trained with the team again and could be back in the rematch against the Clippers on Wednesday. Good news from the point of view of the Mavs fans: Maxi Kleber celebrated his comeback against the Clippers after the German had to sit out nine games due to a back strain.
Mavs and Clippers have a balanced first half
In the first quarter, the Mavericks didn’t go together offensively, a lot of dribbles and heavy throws led to an early 7-point lead for the Clippers. Los Angeles is the worst team in the league when it comes to second chance points (8.3 per game) – but came against the Mavs after the first 12 minutes in this category to 8 points.
As is often the case with afternoon games, both coaches changed hands early. Dallas then got more ball movement and things went better, the Mavericks finished the first section with a 10-0 run and were just ahead (22:19).
In the second section, the Texans extended their lead, Porzingis scored 8 points in 7 minutes, the Clippers backcourt remained freezing and without points until a three from Jackson two minutes before half-time.
But the Mavs three-shooters also had a hard time, in the first half Dallas as a team sank only 4 of 18 throws from a distance (6/30 3FG in total). Led by a dominant Zubac, the Clippers caught up after Dallas was in the lead with 9 points. From the hosts’ point of view, the break was only -1.
Exciting final phase and a contentious scene
The clippers then came furiously out of the cabin. Paul George, who had a comparatively calm first half (8 points, 4/10 FG), now turned it up and scored 12 of his 29 points in this section. The hosts let it rain from downtown (5/9 3FG) and were able to pull away (71:62).
In the last quarter Jason Kidd brought his secret weapon with Boban Marjanovic, which also paid off: The crowd favorite was able to record 6 quick points in just 3 minutes. Two and a half minutes before the end, the guests came within three points.
52 seconds before the end, Brunson pulled to the basket and provoked a foul by Terrance Mann – And One! But coach Tyronn Lue used his challenge and the refs decided instead on the playmaker’s offensive foul, who used his right arm in the lay-up. That scene ended up breaking the neck of the Mavericks.
Kleber remained rather inconspicuous on his comeback (4 points, 2/7 3FG in 20 minutes of play), on the other hand Isaiah Hartenstein was hardly used at all (2 points and 2 rebounds in 5 minutes of play).