Mavericks blew up an 18-point lead in the first quarter and Clippers turned the game around to make the series 2–1
Kawhi Leonard scored 36 points (13/27 FG, 3/5 3-PT, 7/7 FT) and Paul George added 29 points (11/18 FG, 2/6 3-PT, 5/5 FT) to help the Clippers recover from another slow start in a 118–108 victory Friday night.
“It’s just adversity,” said George on improving their shooting efficiency as LA finished at 58%. “You’ve got to deal with adversity. We didn’t get down on ourselves. We just stayed positive. We rallied. We toughed it out. We just stuck to our principles, kept playing.”
“We’re down 2–1; we haven’t shown anything,” Clippers forward Paul George said about the series so far. “We’re not the favourites. We’re not the defending champs. We haven’t shown anything.”
Marcus Morris had a great second half shooting the ball better and picking up his shots wisely. He had 15 points on 6/9 shooting from the field and going 3/5 from the three-point line.
Luka Doncic had 44 points, nine rebounds and nine assists (15/28 FG, 7/13 3-PT, 7/13 FT) and Maxi Kleiber and Jalen Brunson had 14 points each, but it wasn’t Mavs night according to their coach Rick Carlisle.
“They had a great night and we did not,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. “The crowd was great. They were into it. We’ve got to get them more into it by finding ways to get more stops and rebounds.”
Doncic was incredible once again knocking down multiple step-back shots from all over the place and the Clippers still had no answer to how to stop him.
Most points after first nine career playoff games: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: 325, Michael Jordan: 325, Luka Doncic: 300, Wilt Chamberlain: 299
Kristraps Porzingis didn’t contribute much in this game, finishing the game with only nine points, four assists and three rebounds. The rest of the group played really well but Porzingis need to give a boost to his team and have performances as the one we saw in Game 2 where he had 20 points and went 8 out of 12 from the field and 3 out of 4 from the perimeter.
Lue switched up his lineup in the second half by relying on more offensive depth (Reggie Jackson, Terance Mann,) while limiting Zubac and Beverley. Lue applauded Zubac and Beverley for handling the demotions in a professional manner. Doncic still had a great game putting 26 points (on 9-of-15 shooting) in the first half and 18 points in the second half (on 6-of-13 shooting). But as Doncic had increasing soreness in his shoulders, the Clippers did not allow Porzingis or Tim Hardaway Jr. (12 points on 4-of-14 shooting) to do much of anything. “Just basically mental, effort and paying attention to detail,” Leonard said. “That’s it. It’s playoff basketball. You’re playing against some of the greatest talent in the world. So you have to have attention to detail.”