Dallas Mavericks-LA Clippers is becoming one of the NBA’s most exciting rivalries. If you’ve seen the playoff series between these two teams in the past two seasons, you’ll know what to expect. It was just like any other game.
Luka Doncic returned to the Mavs’ lineup for this game, and he performed as if he were a superstar. While Doncic scored 26 points, he was largely responsible for the outcome of this game because of the attention he received on defense.
When coach Ty Lue saw Luka’s third-quarter performance, the Serbian decided to go after him with an aggressive trap. Using Luka’s passing ability, Dallas was able to take advantage of this strategy, leading to a number of open three-pointers. These shots finally started to fall after the Mavericks struggled from deep to begin the game.
Ty Lue admitted after the game that he may have reacted too quickly to Luka’s three-point shots. Coach Lue admitted that he was dissatisfied with the team’s rotations after they blitzed Luka, but he ultimately took the blame for deploying a defensive strategy that failed.
Paul George’s buzzer-beating three-pointer at the end of regulation sent the game into overtime for the Clippers, who had trailed by seven points. While it was thrilling, the Clippers only managed one field goal and one free throw in overtime, both of which came from a technical foul.
With Paul George clocking in at 48 minutes and Reggie Jackson clocking in at 42 minutes, it was clear that fatigue had set in by the end of the game. Reggie, who had a career-high 31 points and 10 rebounds for the Clippers, was particularly impressive in regulation.
There is merit in discussing the Clippers’ defense of Luka Doncic, but their inconsistency on the court is the bigger problem. That’s the seventh time this season that the team has finished four quarters with fewer than 100 points. Only eight times did they do it during the entire season. The absence of Kawhi Leonard is obvious, but it is difficult to win NBA games with a team’s offense as bad as the Los Angeles Clippers’.
Marcus Morris returned to the Clippers’ lineup after a 15-game absence with a knee injury and scored 10 points and dished out five assists in this game. Morris said after the game that he doesn’t expect to miss any more time this season because of the knee injury.
The Clippers have the eighth-worst offensive rating in the NBA, with a 105.3 rating. As a result of their defense, they remain above.500, but their offensive woes have caught up to them, as they have lost three of their last four games.
The Los Angeles Clippers will take a two-day break on Wednesday and Thanksgiving before facing the Detroit Pistons on Friday.