Without Luka Doncic, it has been a struggle for the Dallas Mavericks(9-7), and the struggles continued on Sunday as Dallas fell to the Clippers(10-7) 97-91 at Staples Center.
Dallas took a 47-46 lead into halftime, but they were outscored by 10 in the third. The Mavs made it close in the end, but it wasn’t enough as Dallas has now lost three straight.
Here’s the Great, the Not so Great, and the Bottom Line of the Mavs’ loss to the Clippers.
The Great for the Mavericks:
-Kristaps Porzingis again scored over 20 points for a career-high-tying sixth consecutive game. Porzingis had 15 of his 25 points in the first half, eight rebounds, two assists, and two blocks. In the last six games, he’s averaging 25.3 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 2.5 assists.
-Jalen Brunson has played well for the injured Doncic(ankle). He shot 7/13 from the floor and scored 20 points to go along with eight assists. In the last three games, Brunson is averaging 18.6 points, 9.0 assists, and 7.3 rebounds. Brunson has shown that he’s a starting point guard in the NBA.
Not so Great for the Mavericks:
-Tim Hardaway Jr. had an off shooting night on Sunday. He was 2/12 from the field and scored only eight points.
-Dallas was not making shots against the Clippers. The Mavericks shot 41% from the field, including 6/30 from downtown.
–Third Quarter: The Mavericks went completely cold in the third. They shot 30% from the floor, including 0/6 from three-point range. Conversely, Los Angeles shot 56% from the field, including 56% from three(5/9) in the quarter.
This is a murderous road trip for Dallas, especially without Doncic. Both the Suns and Clippers are outstanding teams, so these are challenging games to win, but as Jason Kidd had said recently, Dallas has to learn to win without Luka. Doncic was a game-time decision on Sunday, so he’s close and may return on Tuesday night. They did get Maxi Kleber back on Sunday, which is huge.
Dallas, who is 0-3 on this road trip, finishes its four-game trip and two-game set against the Clippers on Tuesday night.
Best of the Rest:
Paul George led the Clippers with a game-high 29 points; Reggie Jackson added 23 points, and Ivica Zubac chipped in with 16 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.