There were plenty of storylines converging heading into Sunday night’s game versus the Clippers in Dallas.
- The Clippers were the number 1 team in the Western Conference.
- Deandre Jordan was was set to play against his old team for the first time as a Maverick
- Two of the best 6th men in the league would be on the same court.
- The Mavericks injury report looked like a CVS receipt, this included Luka being held out of the lineup with a hip injury
We knew this would be a hard game for the Mavs, especially after finding out they wouldn’t have ROY candidate Luka Doncic in the starting lineup. However, Doncic would be cheering from the sidelines with a black eye and a weird muppet face….more on that later.
This was a close contest throughout but the Mavs found themselves steadily leading until a late 4th quarter surge by the Clippers. This push brought on mostly through Lou Williams shooting and Montrezl Harrell’s innate ability to be everywhere on the court. Harrell led the team in both scoring and rebounds with 23/10 in only 24 minutes. Williams and Gallinari both added 21 points a piece. Fortunately, the Mavericks were just too much for the Clippers, especially on the offensive boards where they were +9 on the night. Harrison Barnes led the team in scoring with 30 points. JJ Barea exploded off the bench to score 20 points in the first half, 24 overall & Deandre Jordan showed out against his old team with 16 points and 23 Rebounds (the majority of the O-Rebs were his).
The contest was filled with hard-nosed defense which led to several chippy moments between the teams. One moment between Patrick Beverley and Dennis Smith Jr. may have altered the game completely though. DSJ jumped to the ground for a loose ball followed by Beverley jumping on top of him. The ensuing scuffle ended with a jump ball and Smith Jr. losing a front tooth from a well placed elbow by Patrick. Dennis “Ruthless Toothless” Smith Jr. then won the jump ball and checked out of the game to get his tooth assessed at the next break.
Beverley was not given a technical or a flagrant foul because the elbow wasn’t seen by the officials. Honestly, I don’t know if the elbow looked all that malicious despite Beverley being known for his dirty play. Not too long after this scuffle came another incident though. This one between Beverley and a long-time Mavericks season ticket holder, Don Knobler. Some words were exchanged, Beverley then tossed the ball at the fan which led to the officials tossing Beverley. As if spitting his tooth out on television wasn’t lore-building enough, Dennis eventually made the game-sealing block against a much taller Tobias Harris in the final seconds of the 4th quarter. That block gave the Mavs a 114-110 win over the Clippers and also led to what will probably be my go-to gif for the rest of the season, the aforementioned “black eye, muppet face Doncic”.
The Mavericks will host the Portland Trail Blazers tomorrow night at 7:30 PM Central on Fox Sports Southwest. Go ahead and set a reminder on your phone for December 20 at 9:30 PM, that’s the next time the Mavericks will face the Clippers. That game will be in Los Angeles and will air on TNT. If it’s anything close to what we saw last night, you should be watching.