Dallas, TX – Only one game separated Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Clippers in the western conference before Tuesday night’s competition. The Clippers entered American Airlines Center and simply outshined the Mavericks in a highly anticipated contest, which ended with a Clippers 114 -99 win.
The first quarter belonged to Clippers swingman Paul George, who seemed to score effortlessly no matter who the Mavericks assigned to guard him. George scored from outside, he scored on an emphatic dunk and he earned points from the free throw line – finishing with 26 points.
When George cooled down, Kawhi Leonard turned up the heat. While Dallas threw some of their toughest defenders at Leonard, he still managed his way to either the basket or the free throw line. Leonard finished with a game-high 28 points.
“It’s a natural habit that we’re creating,” said George after the game. “That’s what’s most scary because everybody is kind of thinking the same thing when we’re on the defensive end, and we’re just scrambling.”
Kristaps Porziņģis started the game very aggressively for Dallas, but became complacent in the second half. Much to the chagrin of Dallas fans, neither Porziņģis nor Luka Doncic had impressive outings against a fully loaded Clipper team. Porziņģis did finish with a double-double – 15 points and 10 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough.
A stat line of 22 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists would typically be impressive, but Doncic was visibly disappointed by his performance Tuesday night. He was obviously the focal point of Los Angeles’ defensive scheme. Doncic was only 4 of 14 shooting from the field; he missed all eight of his three-point attempts. Most of his points were earned from the free throw line, where he was 14 of 16.
Seth Curry, JJ Barea and Dwight Powell contributed double digit scoring efforts, however, the Mavericks role players were just not enough to keep close with the consistent scoring of the Clippers.
Between the scoring efforts of George and Leonard, there was the presence of Lou Williams who scored 21 points. Zubac owned rebounding honors Tuesday night with seven rebounds, seemingly snatching everything that bounced off of the rim.
With the win over Dallas, the Clippers are now 4 – 0 when both George and Leonard are in the lineup.
Dallas is hoping to rebound against Phoenix on Friday.