The Dallas Mavericks got their star back in Luka Doncic against the Clippers after he missed the past three games due to ankle and knee sprains, and unlike the first three games of this road trip, they were able to close out the Clippers(10-8) in OT 112-104 on Tuesday night.
The Mavericks(10-7) snap their three-game losing streak, and the Dallas finished their road trip 1-3.
Here is the Great, Not so Great, and the Bottom Line of the Mavs’ win over Clippers.
The Great for the Mavericks:
Kristaps Porzingis has found his groove. The 7-footer had his seventh straight game of 20 points or more as he had a team-high 30 points to go along with seven rebounds. During this seven-game stretch, Porzingis is averaging 26.0 points (.528 FG), 9.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.4 blocks a contest.
“He’s playing at a very high level. He didn’t force anything,” Mavs head coach Jason Kidd said about Porzingis. “Sometimes, when a star player comes back, others might change their game, but he didn’t.”
-Doncic almost messed around and had a triple-double. He had 26 points, nine assists, nine rebounds, and two blocks. The Mavericks were happy to have their closer back. Also, according to Mavs PR, Doncic extended his 20-5-5 streak to a 2021-22 NBA-best seven consecutive games.
-Dorian Finney-Smith had 10 of his season-high 17 points in the fourth quarter. Finney-Smith also added three rebounds and three assists.
Third Quarter: The Clippers led by as much as 11 points in this one and by as many as eight points in the third, but Dallas went on a 13-4 run, and during that run, Doncic scored 11 of the 13 points to give the Mavs a one-point lead. Dallas outscored the Clippers 38-28 in the third and took an 80-76 lead into the fourth. Doncic finished the quarter with 15 points
Overtime: Dallas outscored the Clippers 9-1 in the extra session after blowing a 10-point lead late in the game. Porzingis had six points in overtime.
Turnovers: The Mavericks turned 19 Clipper turnovers into 22 points.
The Not so Great for the Mavericks:
The final 3:29 in regulation: Dallas led 102-92 with 3:29 left. Los Angeles went on an 11-1 run to end the game, including Paul George’s corner three at the buzzer to tie things up at 103 and send things into OT. Fortunately, Dallas was able to complete things in OT.
Great win for the Mavericks, but they almost blew it. However, a win is a win, especially on the road. Dallas might have had a better road trip if they had Doncic for the first three games. The Mavericks were in all three games against the Suns and Clippers, but they needed that extra push.
Dallas returns home on Saturday night to face the Wizards.
Best of the Rest:
-Reggie Jackson had game-highs in points(31) and rebounds(10) on Tuesday night; George scored 26 points and dished out six assists.
-Maxi Kleber had a tremendous all-around game with eight points, nine rebounds, six assists, two steals, and a block off the Mavs’ bench.
-Jalen Brunson left the game in first half with a foot injury and did not return. Dallas was also without the services of Frank Ntilikina (Injury/Illness – Right Calf; Strain) and Reggie Bullock(illness).
Listen below as Doncic talks his return from injury:
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.
The Los Angeles Clippers have signed Terance Mann to a multi-year contract extension, the team announced on Tuesday.
According to ESPN’s Marc J. Spears, it’s a two-year, $22 million contract extension.
Last season, Mann set career highs in points (7.0), rebounds (3.6), assists (1.6), and FG% (50.9). The second-year G/F also appeared in 19 playoff games in 2021, averaging 7.6 points and 2.7 rebounds while shooting 51.9% from the field.
In Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals, Mann became the first player in franchise history to score at least 20 points in a postseason quarter, finishing with 39 and sparking the Clippers to their first conference finals appearance.
“Terance personifies many of the qualities we value,” said Lawrence Frank, Clippers president of basketball operations. “He is a giving teammate and an unrelenting worker who improves himself and those around him every day. In only two seasons, we’ve watched him grow from a second-round pick to a key contributor on a playoff team. We want him to be a big part of our future, and we’re glad he wants the same. We’re thrilled for Terance and excited for what’s to come.”
Originally selected by the Clippers with the 48th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, the 24-year-old Mann owns career averages of 5.3 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in 108 appearances.
The Los Angeles Clippers wanted to upgrade the guard spot, and they are hoping they’ve done just that. Los Angeles acquired Eric Bledsoe from the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Patrick Beverley, Rajon Rondo, and Daniel Oturu, the team announced on Monday.
“We are excited to add Eric, a strong, versatile guard and an established playmaker who can attack the paint and defend multiple positions,” said Clippers president of basketball operations, Lawrence Frank. “Eric started his career with the Clippers, and we’re delighted to bring him back.”
Bledsoe, who the Pelicans traded to the Grizzlies in early August, returns to the Clippers after starting his career with the team. Last season, the 31-year-old averaged 12.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 3.8 assists for New Orleans.
Beverley, 33, appeared in 177 games over the last four seasons with the Clippers; last season, he averaged 7.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per contest. Beverley is a big-time defender and has been named to three All-Defensive teams in his career.
Rondo, 35, averaged 7.6 points, 5.8 assists, and 3.1 rebounds in 18 games with Los Angeles. The 6-foot-1 guard, who is a two-time NBA champion and four-time All-Star, came to the Clippers last December in the deal that sent Lou Williams to Atlanta.
Oturu, 21, appeared in 30 games for the Clippers last season, averaging 1.8 points and 1.6 rebounds. The 6-foot-8 center played two seasons at the University of Minnesota.
For the Clippers, you get an athletic guard in Bledsoe, who is a decent scorer and solid defender. Regarding the Grizzlies, they are a young team, and adding veterans like Rondo and Beverley could be good, but they probably won’t keep both, so don’t be surprised if Rondo is re-routed elsewhere.
The Los Angeles Clippers have officially re-signed free agent Kawhi Leonard, the team announced on Thursday.
According to Yahoo’s Chris B. Haynes, it’s a four-year contract that includes a player option worth a reported $176 million.
The 10-year veteran became a free agent after he opted out of his deal earlier this month.
“Kawhi is a transcendent player and a relentless worker who improves himself every day,” said Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank. “We share many of the same goals, which include a long-term relationship. This agreement marks another important moment for our franchise and our fans, as we strive to create a championship-caliber organization where players find the success and fulfillment they seek. We’re eager to continue building with Kawhi. For now, we will do whatever we can to support him in his recovery from injury. We look forward to seeing him back where he wants to be, on the court with his teammates.”
Leonard, who averaged 24.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 1.5 steals, missed all of the Western Conference finals due to a partially torn right ACL that he suffered against the Jazz in the second round.
The 30-year-old Leonard signed with the Clippers as a free agent after winning a championship with the Raptors in 2019.
Getting the five-time All-Star back is huge for the Clippers. If Leonard was healthy, Los Angeles might have won a championship last season, so with Leonard back, expect Los Angeles to be a championship contender next season.
At times in the playoffs, Clippers F Paul George has gotten a lot of heat for some of his performances. However, he silenced many people with his performance in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals at Phoenix Suns Arena on Monday night.
George scored a playoff career-high 41 points on 15-20 shooting (3-of-6 3FG) to go along with a game-high 13 rebounds and team-high six assists as the Clippers avoided elimination and defeated the Suns 116-102.
The Suns lead the series 3-2. Game 6 is on Wednesday night at Staples Center
George, who scored 20 points(7-8 shooting, 3-3 3FG) in the third quarter, has scored 20-plus points in all 18 of the Clippers’ games this postseason.
According to ESPN Stats & Info and Elias Sports, George is the fourth player(LeBron James, Patrick Ewing, and Wilt Chamberlain) all-time with 40 points, 10 rebounds, and 70% shooting when facing elimination.
George never seems to get the credit he deserves, and when asked if he feels he gets picked on, George said the following:
“I do. And it’s the honest truth. It’s a fact,” George said. “But I can’t worry about that. It comes with the job, I guess. But it is what it is. I still try to go and dominate, whether I’m shooting the ball well or not shooting the ball well. I still try to dominate, just the whole game in general. To me, it doesn’t come down to just scoring. It’s just being able to play both ends, rebound, and make plays for others. And so I’m beyond that. I’m beyond that. I am who I am. I wish I could shoot 80 percent, 75 percent, on a nightly basis, but it’s not realistic… They can judge me on what they want to. That part don’t matter to me. I’m going to go out there and hoop and give it everything I got.”
DeMarcus Cousins, who scored 15 points in 11 minutes off the bench on Monday, thinks it’s ridiculous how people talk negatively about George.
“I don’t know where this trolling bull—- has come from where the internet controls the narratives about these players,” Cousins said. “It’s becoming foolish, man. Like I said earlier in the year, that’s one of the most special players to ever lace his shoes up. Give this dude his flowers, man. I don’t understand the slander. It’s becoming quite silly now. Respect these players, man. Respect these greats.”
Despite the loss, Chris Paul, who had 22 points and eight assists in Game 5, remains confident.
We know we’ll go in there, a place where we won last time,” Paul said. “We know they’re going to be excited and ready to go, so we’ll be ready,”
If it has not been clear by now, it should be clear to everybody that the Clippers won’t be easy to eliminate. Even without Kawhi Leonard(sprained knee) and Ivica Zubac(MCL sprain), Los Angeles keeps finding ways.
Now, the pressure is on the Suns, and if you’re Phoenix, you don’t want to be in a position where you have to play a Game 7, so they want to end this series in Game 6.
-Devin Booker scored a team-high 31 points tonight to go along with 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Booker finished 9-of-22 from the field, including 4-of-6 from three-point range. Tonight marked Booker’s seventh 30+ point game of the postseason, as he’s now averaging 37.3 points in three possible closeout games these playoffs.
-In the Suns’ three closeout opportunities this season, Devin Booker has totaled 112 points. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this is the 6th-most points by any player through his team’s first three closeout opportunities of a postseason.
MOST POINTS SCORED BY A PLAYER THROUGH TEAM’S FIRST THREE CLOSEOUT GAMES OF A POSTSEASON
Year Player Total Points
1989 Michael Jordan 132
1962 Wilt Chamberlin 125
1988 Michael Jordan 121
1962 Elgin Baylor 120
1992 Michael Jordan 119
2021 Devin Booker 112
-Reggie Jackson reached 20-plus points tonight for the third-straight game tonight and ninth time this postseason, scoring 23 points on 8-of-14 shooting (4-of-7 3FG). Jackson added 5 rebounds and 3 assists for the Clippers.
-Marcus Morris Sr. scored 22 points for the Clippers tonight, his fourth 20- point game of this postseason, and the most he’s scored in this series.
The Phoenix Suns are about to do the improbable. The Suns are one win away from getting to the NBA Finals after defeating the Clippers 84-80 in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals on Saturday night at Staples Center.
This was a ’90s style playoff game as both teams went cold in the fourth quarter. The two teams combined for 29 points in the fourth. Phoenix shot 21% from the floor in the final period, while the Clippers were held to 16% shooting. After the Clippers cut the lead to 71-70 following a Paul George free-throw with just over ten minutes left, the two teams did not score for over three minutes. Los Angeles cut the lead to one on several occasions but could not get over the hump.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, the Clippers shot 0-12 in the 4th quarter on shots that could’ve tied the game or taken the lead. That’s the most such attempts without a make in the 4th quarter of a game over the last 25 postseasons.
“I think it was an ugly game from beginning to end, honestly,” Devin Booker, who led the Suns with 25 points before fouling out in the fourth, said after the game. “if you’re talking from a scoring aspect, but we dug in and got stops, and it’s the playoffs – any way you can come out with one.”
Deandre Ayton, who scored 19 points and grabbed a career-high 22 rebounds, was happy with the way Phoenix stayed together during the team’s cold spell in Game 4.
“My teammates are really relentless,” he said. “We have a thing on the team where something called togetherness, and we play as a unit, we come together, and we just fight over adversity and fight over fatigue. Our mental stamina was there today, and we did a good job of that.”
Now, it’s time for Phoenix to focus on Game 5(Monday night), where they have an opportunity to get to the NBA Finals in front of their home fans. If they can get it done in Game 5, Phoenix will make it to the Finals for the first time in 28 years.
Chris Paul was one win away from the Finals back in 2018 with the Rockets before losing to the Warriors in 7, and he knows that the job is not done until you get four wins.
“Three wins don’t win the series,” Paul, who 18 points and seven assists, said postgame. “So, right now, we did what we came here to do, we wanted to get one of these, and now we got to stay focused and be ready to go back to our crowd.”
The Clippers have battled back this whole playoff run, so they’re not done until the Suns win four games. However, without Kawhi Leonard(missed sixth straight game with knee sprain), it appears the Clippers may have finally run out of gas. We’ll see what they have in Game 5.
-Paul George led the Clippers with 23 points, 16 rebounds, and six assists on Saturday night before fouling out late in the game, and Reggie Jackson added 20 points.
-Suns’ Booker got rid of the mask he uses to protect his broken nose in the third quarter. After the game, he explained why.
“I just I think I took it off after I missed a layup,” he said about the mask. “I said after the game if I get hit again, which you don’t realize how much you get hit in the face until you take it off. But I can get surgery after the season. I’m not blaming anything on the mask, but I haven’t played basketball with a mask ever in my life. So it takes some getting used to, and at that point in that time, I didn’t want it.”
With 8.2 seconds left and the Suns trailing the Clippers 103-102 in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals, Paul George, who led Los Angeles with 26 points, had a chance to put the Clippers up by three, but he missed both free throws.
After Mikal Bridges missed a corner three and ball went out of bounds off the Clippers, it appeared Phoenix’s eight-game postseason winning streak was about to end.
However, something amazing happened with 0.9 seconds left. Jae Crowder threw a beautiful lob pass from underneath the basket to Deandre Ayton, who dunked the ball to give the Suns a 104-103 victory over the Clippers at Phoenix Suns Arena on Tuesday night.
Phoenix has a 2-0 series lead, with Game 3 on Thursday night in Los Angeles.
Cameron Payne, who got his second straight start due to Chris Paul(health and safety protocols) being out, led the Suns with a career-high 29 points and nine assists with zero turnovers, and Devin Booker added 20 points.
The Suns extended their postseason win streak to a franchise-record nine consecutive wins. It ties for the 10th-longest win streak in NBA playoff history. Phoenix is 10-2 this postseason and has not dropped a game since Game 3 against the Lakers on May 27.
Ayton, who recorded his 8th double-double of the postseason with 24 points and a game-high 14 rebounds, gave all the credit to Crowder.
“Well, I’ll start off by saying that’s definitely Jae’s (Crowder) game-winner, making a great pass for a seven-footer,” Ayton said after the game. “Other than that, Coach drew up a great play where I was in the best position. My teammates trust me and my coaches trust me, and Book(Devin Booker) set a great screen that freed me up into the lane to at least gather my feet and go for the ball, and the rest is just off my athleticism and my talent. Jae set it up right there perfectly.”
Suns head coach Monty Williams added: “Credit to Jae, we were trying to get a lob for DA, and he had the awareness to put it up there where DA could only get it. Book sets a great screen, Jae makes a great pass. It’s just one of those things that happens where you’re just grateful for.”
According to Ayton, this was the best play of his career.
“I wasn’t too sure if it counted,” Ayton said. “I didn’t want it to be a blooper or none of that. I just wanted to get to the next play, or the refs confirm what it is. I was just so anxious. I was really stressed. It was a lot. I’m looking at the fans; I’m looking at the environment. It was a lot, but that was my best play, and I tried to embrace it.”
The Clippers have been in this spot before. Los Angeles has been down 0-2 in every series in these playoffs, and according to Patrick Beverley, who got the start in Game 2, the Clippers will find a way to get back into this series.
“I don’t think you like to start two games in the hole,” he said. “I don’t think that’s our plan. This game, I’ve played a lot of games in this league, this one’s hard. This one goes up there. This is a hard game to kind of swallow because you look at this game, I mean, we got this game won, you know. But we’ve been in the trenches before. We respond well in the trenches. We’ll respond well. We always do.”
This series is not over because we know how resilient the Clippers have been in the playoffs, but they will have to make up another 0-2 deficit, and they will probably have to do it without Kawhi Leonard, who missed his third straight game with a sprained knee.
With the possibility of Paul coming back in this series, Phoenix has the advantage. However, Los Angeles has been here before. Let’s see if it matters going forward.
-Cam Johnson scored 11 points off the bench in 24 minutes of action tonight. Johnson has scored in double figures in both games against the Clippers this series after scoring 10-plus points just three times in Phoenix’s first 10 games this postseason.
-Dario Saric scored 11 points tonight, the most points he’s scored this postseason. Saric added 3 rebounds and 2 assists in 13 minutes of action off the bench.
-After taking a four-point lead into the fourth quarter tonight, the Suns moved to 9-0 this postseason when leading after three quarters of play. The Suns were 41-7 in such games during the regular season.