Image Credit: @MavsPR
On Sunday, the Dallas Mavericks played the Los Angeles Clippers as they continue their road trip to start the season. The Mavericks are coming off a 138-115 loss that saw LeBron James and Anthony Davis score 50 points combined. The Mavericks look end their early season woes earn their first win of the season.
On Friday, the Mavericks defense fell apart by allowing 61 rebounds (17 were offensive rebounds) that led to 35 second chance points. The only positive that came was Luka Doncic bouncing back from his disastrous opening night by scoring 27 points against the Lakers. The Mavericks are coming into this game looking to fix their defensive struggles.
The Los Angeles Clippers were coming into this game on a roll as they won their first two games against the Lakers and the Nuggets to start the season and look to keep their momentum going. They are coming into this season looking to rebound from their disaster in the playoffs last season where they were up 3-1 on the Nuggets and blew the lead. They have made the change at head coach, from Doc River to Ty Lue. The Clippers were busy in the offseason by signing Serge Ibaka in free agency and re-signing Paul George to a four year $190 million max extension although they lost out on their beloved Montrezl Harrell to the cross-town rival Lakers. The Clippers look to make a deep postseason run as they are one of the teams that can dethrone the Lakers in the Western Conference.
Entering this game versus the Clippers, the Mavericks have lost all three meetings in the regular season last season. The Mavericks would meet the Clippers again in the first round of the postseason that resulted the Clippers advancing in six games (4-2) despite Luka Doncic putting up averages of 31.8 points, 9.8 rebounds and 8.7 assists. Doncic delivered on of the most memorable playoff performances with a 40-point triple-double with a game-winning step-back 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Mavericks the win in overtime. Overall, the Mavericks lead the all-time series with a 93-66 record with Clippers taking 19 of the last 28 regular season meetings. This would be the first and only time these teams would meet in the first half of the season.
The Mavericks started this game with a great start by going on a 13-4 run with Luka Doncic having a quick five points. The Mavericks to begin the season have found themselves trailing through the first two games so having a lead is a great sign. The Clippers found themselves struggling offensively by shooting 5-22 (22.7%) from the field. Josh Richardson gave the Mavericks their first second chance points this season, which goes to show how poorly the Mavericks have been rebounding this season. The Mavericks came out with great energy by hustling for loose balls and attacking the paint, something we haven’t seen to start this season. The rebounding has been a problem for the Mavericks but it wasn’t the problem in this game as they out rebounded the Clippers by a 19-10 margin early in the contest.
The Mavericks were able to get whatever look they wanted as you couldn’t of ask these Mavericks to get off to a better start. The Mavericks would jump out to a 36-13 lead to begin this game. If it wasn’t for Paul George scoring nine points in the first quarter, the Clippers would’ve scored only four points as George and Ivica Zubac were the only Clippers to score in the quarter. The Mavericks would finish shooting 14-27 (51.9%) from the field. This is the type of start, we have been waiting for, unfortunately it would take until the third game.
The Clippers without their star Kawhi Leonard due to an injury suffered last game, looked dramatically different as they struggled finding open shots. Willie Cauley-Stein had a thunderous slam that saw Mark Cuban jump out of his seat. The Mavericks were able to jump to a 40 point lead midway through the second quarter. This game made it seems like the Clippers desperately need Kawhi Leonard if it has any hopes of making another postseason run as there was no sign of life for them at any point in the game. Paul George did everything he could to give these Clippers life but couldn’t get his teammates going.
The Mavericks exploded for 41 points in the second quarter. Luka Doncic finished with 18 points to lead the Mavericks through two quarters. The Mavericks would finish the half by leading 77-27, a 50 point lead which is the largest halftime lead in NBA history. These Mavericks looked sharp and took their frustrations to begin the season on these Clippers by shooting shooting 29-50 (58%) from the field. If the Mavericks can play like this on a consistent basis, they are poised to be a dangerous problem in the NBA and remember this is coming without Kristaps Porzingis.
Coming out of the half, the Clippers went on a 10-0 run to start the third quarter as they try to find some rhythm in this game. The Mavericks looked like they were playing the scoreboard as they missed shots on their first four possessions that resulted in Rick Carlisle calling a timeout. The Mavericks again went the attack keeping the Clippers in check. Midway through the third quarter, the Mavericks were leading 90-47 as the Mavericks were playing with tremendous confidence up to this point. The Mavericks bench took over late in the quarter to get some quality playing time with Jalen Brunson scoring 11 points off the bench. The Mavericks would finish the third quarter leading 104-57 with Doncic and Richardson combining for 45 points.
The Mavericks started the fourth quarter going with their bench to take this blowout to the finish line. Josh Green had a breakaway dunk midway through the fourth quarter as Rick Carlisle wanted to give these rookies some playing time. Boban Marjanovic had an easy slam dunk, something fans always like to see. The Clippers better hope Kawhi Leonard can stay healthy throughout this season or else it will be a long disappointing season. The Mavericks kept attacking the paint and drawing fouls, getting to the free-throw line as maintaining the lead throughout the game was a major problem last season. The Mavericks finished the fourth quarter scoring 20 points that was mostly consisted of the bench.
This team looked explosive and energetic as nobody saw them taking a 50 point lead against the Clippers. The Mavericks got everything going, with points in the paint and points off of turnovers. I really loved how the Mavericks were able to move the ball around and get everyone involved in this game. The Mavericks were able to improve their rebounding woes by boxing out and preventing second chances from the Clippers. From start to finish the Mavericks looked outstanding.
In the end, it was the Mavericks blowing out the Clippers 124-73, a 51 point victory which is the second largest margin of victory in Mavericks history. These Clippers never really stood a chance in this game as the Mavericks came to play. This is the first victory of the season for the Mavericks as they didn’t want to fall 0-3 to start the season. Luka Doncic finished the game with 24 points and one rebound shy of a double-double. The Mavericks shot 43-87 (49.4%) as a team while the Clippers struggled massively by shooting 26-76 (34.2%) from the field and a subpar 4-33 (12.1%) from behind the arc without their star Kawhi Leonard.
The Mavericks finally head home after the 3 game road trip to start the season where the Charlotte Hornets meet them at the American Airlines Center on Wednesday, as the Mavericks look to keep the momentum going.