Paul George out at least 2-3 weeks with sprained right knee

When Paul George went down late in the Clippers’ 101=100 loss to the Thunder on Tuesday night, it appeared that his season could be over, and the Clippers’ chances of winning an NBA title were over.

However, the Clippers got some decent news on Wednesday. According to the team, George underwent imaging that revealed a sprained right knee. He will be re-evaluated in 2-3 weeks. 

This season, George is averaging team-best 23.6 points to go along with 6.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists per contest.

If the Clippers(38-35), who are currently the fifth seed in the West, continue to be one of the top six teams, the NBA playoffs would begin the weekend of April 15-16, so George could be back just in time for the playoffs; again, the Clippers got some good news on Thursday.

Clippers’ George on Doncic & Irving: ‘Those two are going to be special together’

Before the trade deadline, both the Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks made big moves. Dallas acquired Kyrie Irving from the Nets, and the Phoenix Suns also made a deal with the Nets to get Kevin Durant.

With those moves, the Suns and Mavericks have put themselves in a position to make deep playoff runs. Last season, the Mavs made it to the Western Conference Finals, while the Suns fell to the Mavericks in seven in the second round of the playoffs.

Durant has not been on the court yet with the Suns; he is expected to be available at some point after the All-Star break, but we have seen Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving together for the Mavericks. Dallas is 0-2 with Doncic and Irving in the lineup, but in their first home game together against the Timberwolves, Doncic had 36, and Irving added 33, including 26 in the fourth quarter.

During All-Star weekend, Durant was asked about Doncic and Irving together; he believes that duo will be tough to stop.

“It’s going to be incredible,” Durant said. “You see, already the last game they played together, they lost, but they were down 20. In the fourth quarter, they both came out there, and Kyrie had 26 in the fourth, and Luka hit some big shots. So it’s going to be like that. It’s going to be tough to guard them.”

Clippers forward Paul George thinks Doncic and Irving will be great together.

“It was crazy that trade happened, and I joked with Luka today because we usually, what we call fire on him, which is double-teaming him to get the ball out of his hands,” George said. “Now, you can’t do that because if Kyrie gets it, you’re in the same predicament. They’re going to be special together. I know they’re still figuring it out who gets the last shot and whatnot. They have to figure out the little wrinkles, but those two are going to be special together. Elite scorers. Elite playmakers.”

Doncic and Irving have 22 regular-season games to come together. That’s not a lot of time, but hopefully, for Dallas(31-29), it will be enough time for these two to gel before the playoffs.

Cedi Osman shines as Cavs rout Clippers

The last time the Cavs played a depleted team at home, they lost to the Golden State Warriors, who sat four of their five starters.

On Sunday night, they had another depleted squad coming to town, the Los Angeles Clippers, who had defeated the Hawks in Atlanta the night before.

Los Angeles(28-25) was without Kawhi Leonard(injury management), Paul George(right knee soreness), and Reggie Jackson(Achilles soreness), and this time, the Cavs took advantage of it. 

Cleveland(31-21), who had five players in double figures, led from start to finish and by as many as 40 points, and they defeated the Clippers 122-99 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over the Clippers.

The Great:

Cedi Osman had a career-high 29 points(11/13 FG, 7/7 3-PT FG) off the bench. Sixteen of his 29 points came in the fourth when the game was well in hand, but still, an excellent performance from Osman. Ironically, Osman, who played for the Turkish national team, did all this on “Turkish Heritage Night” at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. 

Darius Garland had 16 points and 10 assists. This is Garland’s second straight double-double.

Jarrett Allen had 15 points and eight rebounds, and he made this list because he hit his first three-pointer of the season and the first since November 2021. 

First Half: This game was over at halftime. Cleveland led 64-34 at the half. In that first half, the Cavs shot 57% from the field and 53% from deep. The Cavs led by as many as 35 in the first half and cruised from there.

Not So Great:

You lead by as many as 40 and win by 23. Life is all great!

Bottom Line:

Cleveland handled their business. Nothing more, nothing less. Sidenote: It has to be frustrating for fans to pay a bunch of money for tickets and not see their favorite NBA stars. Cavs fans have not seen Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Paul George, and Kawhi Leonard this season, essentially due to rest. That’s unfair to the fans, and something should be done.

What’s Next:

The Cavs continue their three-game homestand on Tuesday against the Heat.

Best of the Rest:

-The Clippers had six players in double figures as Brandon Boston Jr led the way with 24 points off the bench.

-Donovan Mitchell, who returned after missing two games with a groin injury, scored 11 points for the Cavs.

-Back to Osman, According to Cavs Notes, Osman is just the third player in team history to finish a game a perfect 7-7 or better from three(Kyrie Irving (7-7, 3/12/15) and Mo Williams (7-7, 11/28/09).

In addition, on Sunday, Osmam moved up to number six in threes made in team history.

-Kevin Love(back) missed his third straight game.

The Great, Not So Great, and Bottom Line of the Cavs’ tough loss to Clippers

The Cleveland Cavaliers(8-2) appeared to be on their way to its ninth straight victory on Monday night, but the Clippers(6-5) had other ideas. 

Cleveland led the Clippers 111-98 with five minutes left in the fourth. However, the Clippers would outscore the Cavs 21-6 the rest of the way as a Paul George layup plus the foul with 37.2 seconds to go gave the Clippers the lead for good, and they would go on and defeat the Cavs 119-117 at Arena. 

With the loss, the Cavs’ nine-game winning streak is over.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Clippers’ win over the Cavs.


Donovan Mitchell continues to score the ball at a high level for the Cavs. Mitchell scored 30 points(10/15 FG), including eight threes(8/11). Mitchell made eight threes in a game for the second time this season.

Jarrett Allen was an absolute monster on Monday night. Allen got his second straight double-double as he had 10 points, a season-high 20 rebounds, and two blocks. It’s clear, the All-Star is playing like one after 10 games.

Darius Garland had a great night of swishing and dishing, with 19 points and a season-high 12 assists. This was Garland’s second double-double this season. 

Evan Mobley and Garland connected many times on the alley-oops, and the second-year forward had a season-high 26 points and eight rebounds. 

First Quarter: Cleveland came out firing in this one. The Cavs shot 67%(16/24) from the field, including 5/9 from deep. Mitchell made four of his eight threes in the first as he and Mobley combined for 26 of the team’s 37 first-quarter points. In addition, the 37 points tied a season-high for points in the quarter for Cleveland this season.

Not So Great:

Defense: Look, this game was a shootout, and both teams did not defend very well. Cleveland, who is a great defensive team, is third in points allowed and sixth in opponents’ field goal percentage. However, they allowed the Clippers to have three 30-plus point quarters and Los Angeles to shoot 51% from the field. The 119 points are the most the Cavs have given up in regulation this season.

The Final Five Minutes of the Game: Cleveland had their largest lead of the game at 111-98 with five minutes left in the game. At that point, the Clippers exploded, and the Cavs went cold. Los Angeles went on a 17-1 to take the lead for good at 115-112. Cleveland did not have a field goal during the final five minutes until Mobley’s dunk with 29.2 seconds to go. 

Bottom Line:

This was a bad loss for the Cavs. They were in complete control, but they could not close the deal. In an 82-game regular season, stuff like this happens, but Cleveland had a terrific opportunity to win against the Clippers, who were missing Kawhi Leonard and John Wall. However, things happen, but if the Cavs want to be the team that many believe they could be, these are the games they have to win.

What’s Next:

Cleveland continues their five-game road trip on Wednesday in Sacramento against the Kings.

Best of the Rest:

Kevin Love had 17 points, eight rebounds, and four assists off the bench.

The Clippers had six players in double figures, including their starting five. Paul George led the way with 26 points, and Marcus Morris Sr. had 20 points.

J. Kidd on Porzingis: ‘He’s playing at a very high level’

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.

Bottom Line:

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.

What’s Next:

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:

Clips’ Cousins on George: ‘I said earlier in the year, that’s one of the most special players to ever lace his shoes up’

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.


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.

Suns’ Paul on Game 4: ‘We’ll be ready’

The Los Angeles Clippers did again what they have done throughout these playoffs on Thursday night against the Suns, and that’s win Game 3. 

Behind Paul George’s 27 points, 15 rebounds, and eight assists, Reggie Jackson’s 23 points, and Ivica Zubac’s 15 points and 16 rebounds. The Clippers defeated Phoenix 106-92 at Staples Center to snap the Suns’ nine-game winning streak in the postseason. 

Deandre Ayton led Phoenix was 18 points and nine rebounds.

Phoenix still leads this Western Conference finals series 2-1, and Game 4 is on Saturday night at Staples Center.

Los Angeles has been down 0-2 in the first two rounds of the playoffs, and while it’s not ideal to be down 0-2, the Clippers, who were again without Kawhi Leonard(sprained knee), appear to play better when dealing with adversity.

“I don’t like it. I’ll tell you that (laughing),” Clippers head coach Ty Lue said about being down 0-2. “But you know, we’ve been a resilient team all season, all year long… Our guys just keep grinding, keep fighting. We know our back’s against the wall 0-2, but we never give in.”

Jackson added: “This team is resilient. We always believed. We never give in. We never say die. Like I said, we never really have doubt. We continue to just chip away, try to chip away, try to figure out ways we can be better, and try to figure out ways to impose our will on our opponents. This team is just hungry. It’s always hungry to get better.”

The Suns got star point guard Chris Paul back on Thursday night after he missed the first two games of this series due to health and safety protocols. The 11-time All-Star had 15 points and 12 assists but shot 5/19 from the field.

Paul knows that he and the Suns have to be better if they want to win Game 4.

“They just outplayed us tonight,” Paul said. “We didn’t make shots. You could tell they had a lot more energy. I got to be better. I shot terrible. I’ve got to pick up the pace. We’ll be ready, Game 4.”

Phoenix backup point guard Cam Payne left the game in the first quarter with an ankle injury and did not return. According to Paul, Phoenix missed Payne.

“We missed Cam Payne,” Paul said. “I’ve been at home watching these last two games, and I saw the pace that he was playing with. Late in the game, we started to do a little bit.”

Devin Booker, who is playing with a broken nose that he suffered in Game 2, also struggled with his shot in Game 3. Booker finished with 15 points but was 5/21 from the field.

According to Booker. the broken nose did not impact his performance

“The nose feels fine,” he said. “We just lost the game.”

If they want to get Game 4, the Suns will have to play better, which means that they have to get more out of their starting backcourt of Booker and Paul, who shot a combined 10-40 from the field in Game 3. That probably won’t happen again in this series, but eliminating the Clippers won’t be easy, as seen in these playoffs.


-Terance Mann, who started for Marcus Morris Sr. (came off the bench in Game 3), had another great third quarter. Mann, who scored 20 of his career-high 39 points against Utah in the third quarter in Game 6 of the team’s series-clinching win over the Jazz, scored 10 of his 12 points in the third quarter on Thursday night and helped Los Angeles take an 11-point lead into the fourth quarter.

According to ESPN’s Stats & Info, Paul George, who had his 16th consecutive 20-point game to begin the playoffs on Thursday night, became the fourth player(Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, and Dwyane Wade) in the last 20 seasons with a 20-point streak that long to begin the playoffs. 

Clips’ Leonard on big Game 6 performance: ‘I didn’t want to go home’

For the first time in NBA playoff history, the road team has won the first six games of a series as the Clippers defeated the Mavericks 104-97 in Game 6 at American Airlines Center to even up their best-of-seven first-round series at three.

Both teams have won three straight on the road, and Game 7 is Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles.

The biggest reason we will have a Game 7 is the play of Kawhi Leonard. The two-time NBA Finals MVP led the Clippers with a postseason career-high 46 points on 18-25 shooting, including 5/8 from three-point range. Leonard had 29 points in the second half, including 17 points in the third quarter.

“Like I said, I didn’t want to go home,” Leonard said after the game. “I had to assert myself into the game. My teammates found me. I got some open looks and knocked them down. I just kept going from there. I stayed in trust with my teammates.”

Clippers head coach Ty Lue added on Leonard: “Great players perform in big moments. He was taking the challenge, guarding Luka [Dončić] the whole game. I thought our coverage was great. He played 42 minutes and guarded their best player, who is a hell of a player, for the whole game. That just shows you who Kawhi Leonard is.”

Leonard was a force on Friday night, which Mavs star Luka Doncic, who had 29 points, 11 assists, eight rebounds, and a career-high four steals in Game 6, acknowledged after the game.

“He destroyed us,” Doncic said about Leonard. “That’s what it is. He had a hell of a game. That’s what he does. He had a hell of a game.”

Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle added on Leonard: “The fact that he had the energy offensively to hit those shots down the stretch — the majority of which were very difficult — is something to behold.”

It’s win or go home, and Carlisle expects his team to be ready for Game 7.

“So, we’re headed for Game 7,” he said. “It’s going to be a great opportunity for our team. I don’t know if any of the guys in our locker room other than maybe [JJ] Redick have been in a Game 7. We’ll be excited, and we’ll be ready.”

Doncic added: “It is Game 7. It doesn’t matter where you are. You have to leave everything on the court. That’s it. It is Game 7.”

Usually, you favor the home team in a Game 7, but clearly, this is not your typical series and based on how this series has played out, maybe you favor the Mavericks. Who knows, but one thing is sure, it’s probably going to be fun.


-Paul George had 20 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 blocks tonight for Los Angeles in Game 6.

-The Mavericks welcomed their largest crowd of the season to American Airlines Center, with 18,324 fans in attendance on Friday night.

-With his father, five-time All-Star Tim Hardaway Sr. in attendance, Tim Hardaway Jr. had 23 points on 9-19 shooting. Hardaway Jr. now has 20+ points in four of the six games in this series.

-Doncic ranks second in the NBA this postseason amongst all scorers with 34.0 ppg, only slightly behind Portland’s Damian Lillard (34.3 ppg).

-Kristaps Porzingis had seven points and five rebounds on Friday night, and despite not being a focal point of the Mavs’ offense, Porzingis is trying to stay positive.

“As you said, I am just trying to make an impact with what I can on the defensive end and helping the team however I can,” he said. “I got decent looks tonight. It is what it is. Sunday is going to be a war, so we have to be prepared.”


Clippers’ George: ‘We’ve got to fight to even the series back up and take home-court advantage back’

For the first eight minutes of Game 3, it appeared the Dallas Mavericks were going to blowout the Clippers and take a commanding 3-0 lead in their first-round series. After a Jalen Brunson floater, the Mavericks led 30-11. Luka Doncic, who had 11 points in the first quarter, went to the bench with Dallas up 17. With Doncic on the bench, the Clippers went on a 14-2 run to cut the lead seven, and ultimately, the Clippers trailed 34-31 after one quarter.

The Clippers would take the lead in the second quarter and lead 63-61 at the break. In the fourth, Los Angeles would take a 10-point lead with just over five minutes left and win Game 3 1118-108 at American Airlines Center.

Dallas still leads the series 2-1.

This was the Mavericks’ first loss of the season when leading after the first quarter. Per Elias Sports Bureau, the Mavericks were the first team in the shot-clock era (since 1954-55) to go undefeated in games in which they were ahead after the first quarter over the course of a regular season.

Kawhi Leonard scored 18 of his 36 points in the first half, and Paul George had 22 of his 29 points in the first half, while Luka Doncic had a postseason career-high 44 points(26 in the first half), including seven threes, to go along with nine rebounds and nine assists. 

“We obviously got off to a very fast start, and then they climbed back into it,” Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle said after the game. “They shot it great. Their two superstars had great games. They rode those guys; they played very well. We’re going to have to play better in Game 4.”

Dallas will have to get more out of their star, Kristaps Porzingis, who shot 3/10 for the field and scored only nine points in 34 minutes. The Clippers went small at times in this game, and Porzingis and the Mavericks could not take advantage of it.

“I definitely can do a better job of sealing the guards when I have (a) guard on me,” Porzingis said. “Also, I have to score on those post-ups that I have. I had great looks, and I just missed shots, and sometimes it’s just like that; you miss shots.”

Clippers head coach Ty Lue applauded his team’s play on Friday night, including the play of his two stars, Leonard and George.

“I thought PG [Paul George] really carried us in the first half, and then Kawhi [Leonard] in the second half really tipped over the game,” Lue said. “That is what we needed from those two guys. Reggie [Jackson] chipped in. Marcus [Morris Sr.] made some shots. [Rajon] Rondo came in the whole second half to pick up Luka full court and wear him down. It was a total team effort, but like I said, Kawhi and PG really put us on their shoulders.”

George added: “We took the punch. We didn’t have a choice. We didn’t have a choice but to rally together, stay strong, stay together and continue fighting. That’s what the series is now. We are down 2-1. We’ve got to fight to even the series back up and take home-court advantage back.”

Dallas is still in control of this series, but they need to win Game 4. Give the Clippers a lot of credit, especially after being down early.

It all comes down to what happens in Game 4 on Sunday. If the Clippers win Game 4, they get home-court advantage back and would have two of the final three games in their building. Conversely, if the Mavericks win Game 4, they take a commanding 3-1 lead.

So, again, it all comes down to what happens on Sunday in Dallas.


– Brunson came off the bench and had 14 points on 5-8 shooting (4-6 from deep) in 22 minutes for Dallas, while Maxi Kleber added 14 points on 5-9 shooting (4-7 from deep) in 35 minutes.

-The Mavericks welcomed a near-capacity crowd back to American Airlines Center for the first time since March 2019 and had 17,705 fans in attendance. This was Dallas’ first home playoff game in five years(2016).

“It was amazing, not only the first quarter, but the whole game,” Doncic said about the crowd. “They are amazing, I really appreciate everybody who came. I hope they come again in two days, they are amazing. I wish we would have given them a win, but we will try it on Sunday and I hope it will be the same energy.”

Mavs’ Carlisle on Game 1 against Clippers: ‘”It’s a great effort, great win’

When you go on the road to start a playoff series, the goal is to get at least one, and on Saturday in Los Angeles against the Clippers, the Dallas Mavericks did just that.

Behind a triple-double from Luka Doncic, who had 31 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds and Tim Hardway Jr’s. 21 points, the Mavericks defeated the Clippers 113-103 in Game 1 of their first-round series. 

Game 2 is on Tuesday night in Los Angeles.

Doncic scored 21 of his 31 points in the first half as the Mavericks led 60-55 at halftime. Dallas maintained that lead in the third and led 86-80 after three quarters. Los Angeles would take their first lead since the second quarter early in the fourth, but Dallas would take the lead for good when Dorian Finney-Smith, who had 18 points, hit a three with just under three minutes left in the game to put Dallas ahead 103-100.  

“I just know, again, they’re going to send two guys at Luka, and we’ve just got to be ready to shoot,” Finney-Smith, who made four threes against the Clippers, said after the game. “Most times in the game, people take the ball out of L.D.’s(Doncic) hands, and I just know us four have got to be ready to shoot.”

Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle was happy with the team’s effort on Saturday.

“Obviously, it’s an important game for us,” Carlisle said. “It’s a great effort, great win. Start to the game was important, gave us momentum… When they came back and took the lead in the second half, we really exhibited great poise, and we stayed aggressive. That’s what you got to do in a playoff series.”

Back to Doncic, he was held to one point in the fourth quarter as the Clippers tried to get the ball out of his hands, which he discussed after the game.

“I mean, they were double-teaming, first of all, on every possession,” Doncic said. “My legs were kind of like sore, but we won the game, man. That’s all that matters to me. If I have 0 or 15 points, that’s what’s important.”

Kristaps Porzingis, who was 4/13 from the field and finished with 14 points on Saturday, knows the Clippers will make adjustments in Game 2 on Tuesday night.

“I had an off night tonight, and we were still able to get the win,” he said. “All the guys stepped up. Luka had a huge game. I’m sure they’re going to make some adjustments, but we’re also going to get better, and it’s going to be a fun second game.”

Dallas got a huge win on Saturday, but there is a lot of basketball left in this series. It should be interesting to see how the Mavericks respond in Game 2. Will Dallas be happy with a split, or we’ll play with the same sense of urgency as they did in Game 1? We’ll find out on Tuesday night.


-Kawhi Leonard led the Clippers with 26 points, and Paul George added 23.

-Dallas was undefeated(27-0) in the regular season when leading after the first quarter, and that trend continued in the playoffs as the team led 33-30 after one quarter on Sunday.