For the second game in a row, the LA Clippers couldn’t stop Doncic and the Mavs, and now they are two losses away from what would be an astonishing end to their season. Doncic had 39 points, seven assists and seven rebounds, and Hardaway added 28 as the Mavs stunned the Clippers to take a 2-0 lead over Dallas in this best-of-seven series.
The Clippers have lost five straight playoff games since the last playoff series, when they lost an epic 3-1 lead to the Denver Nuggets in the second round. Despite this, Paul George said the Clippers are not panicking.
“There aren’t any,” said George when asked about the team’s level of concern after losing the first two games at home. “It’s a competition. We have to live up to it. The point is, if we don’t, we’re done. There is no worry level.
“We just have to play our game, we have to play through it. We have to integrate our defense. Luka is going to touch. We just need to do a better defensive job to calm everyone down. “
If the Clippers’ defense doesn’t respond, Ty Lue’s side could find all of their championship-winning speeches prematurely silenced. The Clippers entered the playoffs with a lot of pressure to erase last season’s playoff collapse in the bubble and meet the huge expectations of this team.
But despite the basics resting and losing the last two games of the regular season to position themselves where they are in the playoff bracket, the Clippers are now desperate to prevent their season from being pushed to the brink of the game. 3 in Dallas.
“I’m not worried,” Lue said. “We have to win four games, and you step onto the floor of an opposing team and play, there is no pressure on you to take shots. You’re just trying to come in and steal a match, steal two matches. But now they have to go home and continue the same shot. It’s easy to go on the road and do it without pressure. We will see in match 3. ”
The Mavericks shot 58.5% from the field and had 18 of 34 (52.9%) of their 3-point attempts. Kawhi Leonard kept the Clippers in this game, scoring 30 of his 41 points in the first half, the most he has ever scored in a playoff half.
George added 28 points, 12 rebounds and six assists. But Doncic was once again successful after compiling 31 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds in the opener. And after the Clippers reduced a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit to 120-116, Hardaway punched an open 3 with 1:03 left. stop the desperate race of the Clippers.
“It’s not magic,” Leonard said of what the Clippers need to do to understand Dallas. “We have to go out and play basketball. Stop. That’s the name of the game right now. They shoot too well in the first two games and we have to help each other. Too many straight line drives, dunks, layups. We have to hang our hat on the defensive end. “
If the Clippers can’t find a way to slow down the Mavericks, they might not find a way to get back to Staples Center for Game 5. Right after the buzzer sounded in Game 2, Leonard came out of the floor clapping. his team to stay positive despite a 2-0 delay.
“Just making sure we stay even, you know what I mean?” Leonard said. “This is playoff basketball, you just gotta figure it out. You have to understand it. “
Leonard added, “We just have to stay focused and make sure we keep an eye on the price. “
The Mavericks have all the confidence and momentum back home. The Clippers now have a few days to regroup and figure out how to keep their title hopes alive as the pressure builds.
“It’s the team that’s the most dangerous,” George said of an oppressed team that gained confidence and played freely. “I’m sure everyone expects from us [to] earn this. So they were the underdogs, and when you’re a lower seed you really don’t have high expectations so they play for free, they play with confidence.
“I think we were giving them a little too much confidence, so it’s up to us to stop that. ”