Led by Luka Doncic, this edition looks pretty good.
“I certainly think he was there tonight was a lucky charm for us,” said Mavs coach Rick Carlisle.
Doncic scored 39 points, Tim Hardaway Jr. added 28 and the Mavs again beat the NBA’s top 3-point team in a 127-121 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night to take a lead. 2-0 in the first round playoffs. series.
“We can’t rest,” Hardaway said. “We know what they’re capable of. “
Kristaps Porzingis added 20 points and Maxi Kleber had 13. Hardaway had a career-high playoff scoring six three points and Doncic had five while fifth-seeded Dallas had 18 of 34 at long distance. The Mavs scored 17 points to 3 points in Saturday’s game opener.
“The mentality was to go out, to play aggressively, to have fun,” Doncic said.
The fourth-seeded Clippers were led by Kawhi Leonard, who scored 30 of his 41 points in the first half. Paul George had 28 points and 12 rebounds.
“I’m sure everyone expected us to win,” said George. “They play freely and with confidence and I think we are giving them a little too much confidence. It’s up to us to stop this. “
Leonard added, “I just have to stay focused and keep an eye on the price. We have to play defense. Too many easy baskets for Dallas. “
Game three is Friday in Dallas, where the Mavs will have several thousand more fans than was allowed at Staples Center.
“I’m not worried,” said Clippers first-year coach Tyronn Lue. “They won two home games and now we have to give them back. “
The Clippers threw just about every body they had in Doncic in an attempt to slow down the player who burned them with a triple-double in Game 1. But again, the All-Star received a lot of help from its supporting cast.
“So far we’ve been very focused and very determined. We just have to make sure this continues, ”Carlisle said. “The challenge is always, when you win a game or two in a playoff series, how do you stack up against the curve of human nature where a lot of teams will have disappointments? “
The Clippers, who led the league with 41% from 3-pointers, finished 13 of 33 at long range. They regained their touch in the fourth, when they made it five and twice reduced their deficit to four points, but Josh Richardson made four straight free throws in the final 21 seconds to preserve the victory.
George was just 1 in 7 from long distance. The Clippers scored 11 3-pointers in Game 1.
Dallas led by 13 in fourth on a 3 point by Porzingis.
The Clippers reduced their deficit to 114-109 on two 3-point Marcus Morris sandwiched around George’s dunk. But Morris quickly made a mistake. Doncic scored on back-to-back records and Porzingis dove with George chasing him for a 120-111 lead.
Leonard made his fourth 3-point pointer and Terance Mann scored to draw the Clippers under-four, but Hardaway hit from long range.
“When you’re in that area and you’re in that frame of mind, and you’re playing against a team like that, those shots are very important and very important,” said Hardaway.
The Mavs dominated the third, edging the Clippers 30-19 to take a 101-92 lead in the fourth. They made five three runs, Hardaway hitting one to open the quarter and Doncic hitting one to finish it. In between, the Clippers missed shots, including George’s miss on a wide open dunk. George and Morris got their third foul.
Just like in Game 1, the Mavs got off to a good start. They led by nines on their way to hitting five 3-pointers in the first, when they made 15 of 24 shots.
Leonard carried the Clippers in the first half with 30 points, the most he’s scored in either half of a postseason game.
“In the first half, he did whatever he wanted. We had a few loose offensive possessions and they would just run us down the gorge and go through us, ”Carlisle said. “The coaching staff challenged the team to take a defensive stance. “
The teams were tied nine times in the second quarter, with Rajon Rondo’s basket giving the Clippers a 73-71 lead at halftime.
Mavericks: Doncic’s 31 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in Game 1 made him the first player in NBA history with three triple doubles in his first seven career playoff games.
Clippers: Leonard’s 18 points in the first were his best in a playoff quarterback. … Their 73 points were the second most scored in the first half of a postseason game in franchise history. … Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes of Texas spoke with Hall of Famer Jerry West at halftime. Doncic ran to exchange greetings with Mahomes as the crowd heckled him.
Porzingis was fined $ 50,000 for breaking the league’s COVID-19 rule banning players from entering nightclubs or similar businesses. He said he was at a club on Sunday, a day after the Mavericks’ 113-103 win in Game 1. “Honestly, I was a little confused with the protocols and I made a mistake, and I paid for it, ”Porzingis said. The NBA has said the Porzingis violation does not create risks related to the spread of the virus and that a quarantine is not necessary. The rule prohibits players from entering nightclubs regardless of their vaccination status.