It took three
quarters before Luka Doncic finally went quiet. The damage was
already done, although his teammates kept the pressure on in the
Doncic scored 31
points and the Mavericks outshot the NBA’s leading team
from 3-point range, beating the Los Angeles Clippers 113-102 on
Saturday in Game 1 of the first-round playoff series.
Doncic was held
to one point in the fourth on a free throw.
“We won the
game,” he said. “That’s all that matters for me.”
Tim Hardaway Jr. added 21 points and Dorian Finney-Smith had 18
for the Mavs, who led most of the game. Doncic and Hardaway Jr.
made five 3-pointers each, and Finney-Smith had
four to help Dallas shoot 47% from long-range.
“I just know
they’re going to send two guys at Luka. You’ve just got to be ready
to shoot,” Finney-Smith said.
gave up 68 points to four other players besides Doncic, including
14 to 7-foot-3 Kristaps Porzingis.
strength-in-numbers operation,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said.
“Luka is a great player and KP is a great player, but as a team we
know that everybody has got to be ready and pull their weight when
had 26 points and 10 rebounds for the Clippers, and Paul George
added 23 points. But they were a combined 3 of 14 on 3-pointers. As
a team, the Clippers were 11 for 40 after leading the NBA at 41%
during the regular season. Marcus Morris missed all six of his
are still high and we believe in ourselves,” Leonard said. “Nothing
good comes easy.”
Game 2 is
Tuesday night at Staples Center.
“I plan on this
team bouncing back,” George said.
didn’t make more than three 3-pointers in a quarter until the
fourth, when they hit four. Dallas controlled the closing minutes,
ending the game on an 18-5 run. The Clippers were limited to two
baskets — both by George — over that stretch.
“We had a lot
of bad plays, a lot of breakdowns, but when we were dialed in we
had a great stretch where we took over the game,” George said.
“That’s just got to be us all 48 minutes.”
tied it at 60 early in the third on Patrick Beverley’s 3-pointer
before the Mavs scored eight in a row to go up 68-60.
the Clippers within two on a steal and one-handed jam that left
Maxi Kleber sliding across the baseline on his rear. But
Finney-Smith scored on George’s turnover and Doncic hit a 3,
keeping the Mavs ahead 86-80 to end the third.
Trailing by 10,
the Clippers outscored the Mavs 26-13 over the end of the first and
start of the second quarter to take their first lead. Rajon Rondo
capped the spurt with back-to-back 3-pointers.
consecutive baskets that put the Clippers ahead by four, but Dallas
answered in a hurry. The Mavs ran off 11 straight points —
including three 3-pointers by Doncic and Hardaway — to lead 60-55
going into halftime.
The Mavs came
out charging, hitting six of their first nine shots and soon
leading by 12 points. The Clippers had defenders in their faces as
they missed nine of their first 11 attempts, with George tossing up
airballs in both quarters.
Kleber had six points and nine rebounds after missing six of his
last eight regular-season games with a sore right Achilles. ...
Both Rick Carlisle and Tyronn Lue coached without masks on,
something the league approved earlier in the day.
Cardboard cutouts were added to make the lower bowl appear full of
fans, although attendance continues to be limited by pandemic
IN THE CROWD
enjoyed seeing fans, even opposing ones, in the stands. About 6,100
were on hand in a building that typically holds 18,000.
sitting courtside felt good,” he said. “That atmosphere, that
presence of fans in the arena, watching, making sure the opposing
team isn’t making free throws, doing everything to distract you. It
levels up your awareness.”
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