Mavs Fans For Life

First Round Game 1 Recap: Mavs vs Clippers

On Saturday, the Dallas Mavericks played the Los Angeles Clippers in game one of the first round of the NBA playoffs. The Playoffs have arrived and the Mavericks look to generate four wins to advance into the next round of the playoffs. The Mavericks look to grab a win to maintain a lead in this series.

On Sunday, the Dallas Mavericks played the Minnesota Timberwolves in the final game of the regular season. The Mavericks started this game sloppy as the Timberwolves pounded the Mavericks on offense to cruise for an easy 136-121 win. The Mavericks had already clinched a top-six seed to avoid playing in the “Play-in Tournament” prior to this game, so they technically had “nothing to play for. With the loss, the Mavericks record dropped to 42-30 on the season, as they finished the season with the fifth seed to set up a first round matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers. The Mavericks are once again playing in the first round against the Clippers as they were eliminated 4-2 in last year’s playoffs. The Mavericks are looking for revenge as they want to eliminate these same Clippers that eliminated them a season ago, if they are able to eliminate the Clippers then they will advance in the playoffs for the first time in the Luka Doncic era.

The Clippers are coming into this game by going 4-6 in their last 10 games. They are recently coming off a 117-112 loss against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday to see their record drop to 47-25 on the season. The Clippers are coming into this season with high hopes of trying to make a deep playoff and reach the Western Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history. The Clippers are currently finished the season with the fourth seed in the western conference standings to set up a first round matchup with the Dallas Mavericks, who they met a season ago in the playoff bubble. This team is led by Kawhi Leonard as they look to eliminate the Mavericks once again for the second consecutive season. If they are able to advance, they will keep the Mavericks from advancing in the playoffs in the Luka Doncic era.

Coming into this game, the Mavericks won their last meeting with the Clippers 105-89 on March 17th, 2021. The Mavericks won the season series against the Clippers 2-1 this season. The Mavericks previously gotten swept on their regular season series last season 3-0 against the Clippers and lost to them 4-2 in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Overall, the Mavericks hold the all-time series with a record of 95-67.

The Mavericks started this game by having JJ Redick (right Achilles injury) be ruled out for Game One of the series while having Maxi Kleber (right heel soreness) be available to play. As a result, the Mavericks went with Doncic, Hardaway Jr, Kleber, Finney-Smith and Porzingis as their starting five in this first game of the series. This is the first time the Mavericks have gone with this lineup this season. The first points in the game would belong to Kristaps Porzingis as he nailed a two pointer for the Mavericks to get this game underway. The Clippers wouldn’t get their first points until the 10:25 mark as Ivica Zubac drilled a two pointer to come within 4-2 of the Mavericks. The Mavericks were able to extend their lead to five points after Kristaps Porzingis drilled a three pointer to extend their lead to 7-2. The Mavericks were able to continue their dominance in the opening minutes in the game by extending their lead to eight points after Luka Doncic nailed a layup while being fouled and would nail the “AND-ONE” free throw to extend their lead to 12-4 with 8:05 left in the quarter. A THUNDEROUS TOMAHAWK SLAM DUNK BY DORIAN FINNEY-SMITH WAS ABLE TO KEEP THEIR LEAD AT EIGHT POINTS AND EXTEND THEIR LEAD TO 14-6 WITH 7:36 LEFT IN THE QUARTER. The Clippers would call a timeout with 6:38 left in the quarter after the Mavericks extended their lead to 17-6. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks opened the game by making six of their first nine attempts while the Clippers made just two of their first eleven attempts taken thus far. It was all Mavericks in the opening minutes of the quarter as the Mavericks were able to get off to a tremendous start by capitalizing on the Clippers struggles. The Mavericks were able to create good shots in their offense and they were knocking it down while the Clippers looked like they “overlooked” the Mavericks as they probably thought the Mavericks weren’t going to get off to this type of start to begin the game. The Mavericks were able to generate a 8-2 run to maintain control of the lead thus far. Coming out of the timeout, the Clippers turned to Kawhi Leonard as he was able to convert on a jump shot to come within 17-8 of the Mavericks with 6:11 left in the quarter. The Mavericks were able to extend their lead to twelve points after Tim Hardaway Jr knocked down a three pointer to extend their lead to 22-10 with 5:18 left in the quarter. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 4:08 left in the quarter after the Clippers shrunk their lead to 24-17. Prior to this timeout, the Clippers offense was able to wake up and get in the groove as they started to knock down shots. The Clippers were able to generate a 7-2 run to get themselves back in the game. The Mavericks couldn’t of gotten off to a better start to open the game as they were on a roll but the Clippers were able to offset by generating some stops on defense and go on a roll themselves on offense. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Dorian Finney-Smith as he was able to convert on a three pointer to extend their lead to 27-17 with 3:53 left in the quarter. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Mavericks were able to maintain control of the lead and take a 33-30 lead into the second quarter. The game leading scorer after one quarter of play would belong to Kawhi Leonard as he scored 13 points for the Clippers. The Mavericks were led by Luka Doncic as he scored 12 points. The quarter as dominated by the Mavericks as they were able to get off to a good start to begin the game. At the end of the first quarter, the Mavericks were shooting 52.4% on 11-of-21 shooting from the field. The Mavericks were able to survive the Clippers threat in the final minutes of the quarter as the Clippers went on a 13-6 run to close the quarter. The Mavericks were 27-0 in the regular season when leading after the first quarter.

The second quarter would begin by having Nicolas Batum nail a layup for the Clippers to get this quarter underway. The Mavericks wouldn’t get their first points in the quarter until the 10:37 mark as Josh Richardson nailed a three pointer to extend their lead to 36-32. The Clippers were able to trim their deficit to one point after Marcus Morris knocked down a jump shot to come within 38-37 of the Mavericks with 7:54 left in the quarter. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 7:05 left in the quarter after the Clippers were able to tie the game at 40-40. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks opened the quarter by making just two of their first eight attempts while the Clippers made four of their first ten attempts taken thus far. The Clippers were able to generate a 8-4 run to get this game to be tied. The Clippers were the ones that opened the quarter on a good start as the Mavericks couldn’t knock down any shots to begin the quarter. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Dorian Finney-Smith but couldn’t convert as he missed a three pointer that kept the score tied at 40-40 with 6:47 left in the quarter. The Clippers were able to generate their first lead in the game after Rajon Rondo knocked down a three pointer to take a 43-40 lead with 6:32 left in the quarter. The Mavericks were able to restore their lead after Luka Doncic knocked down a step-back three pointer to take a 47-45 lead with 5:21 left in the quarter. Both teams were pretty much even in terms of who’s dominating the quarter as both teams had their fair share of runs. The game would find its way to be tied again after Paul George knocked down two free-throws to tie the game at 49-49 with 4:34 left in the quarter. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Mavericks were able to maintain control of the lead and take a 60-55 lead into halftime. The game leading scorer after two quarters of play would belong to Luka Doncic as he scored 21 points for the Mavericks. The Clippers were led by Kawhi Leonard as he scored 17 points. It was a pretty much an even quarter until the Mavericks were able to finish the quarter strong in the final minutes. At the end of the first half, the Mavericks were shooting 51.3% on 20-of-39 shooting from the field.

Coming out of the half, the Clippers were able to get on the board first in the third quarter by having Paul George nail a jump shot to get this quarter underway. The Clippers were able to tie the game at 60-60 after Patrick Beverley knocked down a three pointer to tie the game with 10:36 left in the quarter. Tim Hardaway Jr was able to score the first points in the quarter for the Mavericks as he nailed a jump shot with 10:14 left in the quarter to retake the lead at 62-60. The Clippers would call a timeout with 8:54 left in the quarter after the Mavericks extended their lead to 68-60. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks opened the quarter by making three of their first five attempts while the Clippers made just two of their first six attempts taken thus far. The Mavericks were able to get their offense rolling again in the opening minutes of the quarter while the Clippers had trouble knocking down shots. The Mavericks were able to generate a 8-3 run to get themselves back in control of the lead thus far. The Mavericks can’t afford to pick and choose when their offense starts to go on a roll, they need to play consistently on offense otherwise the Clippers were right there to grab control of the game. Coming out of the timeout, the Clippers turned to Patrick Beverley as he was able to convert on a three pointer (as the shot-clock expired) to come within 68-63 of the Mavericks with 8:28 left in the quarter. The Clippers would call a timeout with 7:03 left in the quarter to prevent a “jump-ball situation” as the Mavericks were leading 71-65. Prior to this timeout, the Clippers were able to generate a 5-3 run to keep this a close game. The Mavericks were in control for the majority of the game but the Clippers were always able to draw a run up to get themselves back in the game and keep it close. Coming out of the timeout, the Clippers turned to Kawhi Leonard but couldn’t convert as he missed a three pointer that kept the score at 71-65 with 6:37 left in the quarter. The Mavericks were able to extend their lead back to six points after Kristaps Porzingis knocked down a free-throw to extend their lead to 75-69 with 4:46 left in the quarter. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Mavericks were able to maintain control of the lead and take a 86-80 lead into the fourth quarter. The game leading scorer after three quarters of play would belong to Luka Doncic as he scored 30 points for the Mavericks. The Clippers were led by Kawhi Leonard as he scored 23 points. Both teams were just about even during the quarter, though the Mavericks were able to finish the quarter strong. The game continued to be closer as it was up for grabs for anybody’s taking with the game heading towards the final 12:00 minutes. The Mavericks were controlling the majority of the game but it doesn’t matter until the clock hits 0:00 as that’s what matters the most. If the Mavericks want to leave the arena with a win, it would come down to how well their defense was performing as that’s been a key factor in the game. Through three quarters of play, the Mavericks were shooting 51.7% on 30-of-58 shooting from the field.

The fourth quarter would begin by having Serge Ibaka nail a “put-back” shot for the Clippers to get this quarter underway. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 10:21 left in the game, with the Mavericks leading 86-82, to use a “Coach’s Challenge” to review a charging foul called on Luka Doncic as it appeared as the opposing player had a foot in the “restrictive area” thus it would be a blocking foul and therefore Luka Doncic would be rewarded with two free-throws. Rick Carlisle appeared confident in challenging the call as he made the decision rather quickly. After the review, the Officials overturned the call, thus gave the Mavericks possession but no free-throws as Luka Doncic was not in the shooting motion, which resulted in the Mavericks coming up empty with Luka Doncic missing the three pointer that kept the score at 86-82 with 10:15 left in the game. The Mavericks weren’t able to get their first points in the quarter until the 9:48 mark by having Luka Doncic nail a free-throw to extend their lead to 87-83. The Clippers were able to trim their deficit to one point after Nicolas Batum knocked down a three pointer to come within 87-86 of the Mavericks with 9:23 left in the game. The Clippers were able to retake the lead after Paul George knocked down a three pointer to take a 89-87 lead with 9:00 minutes left in the game. The Mavericks were able to reclaim the lead right back after Jalen Brunson knocked down a driving layup while being fouled, which he would miss the “AND-ONE” free-throw to keep their lead at 92-91 with 7:59 left in the game. The Clippers would call a timeout with 6:44 left in the game after the Mavericks extended their lead to 95-94. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks opened the quarter by making just three of their first nine attempts while the Clippers made five of their first eight attempts taken thus far. Wow, the quarter opening with a fascinating start as it was a back-and-forth quarter with both teams answering each other’s shots to bounce back-and-forth of the lead as there have already been six lead changes in the quarter thus far. The game certainly has lived up to its expectations as both teams badly wanted to escape with a win and take a 1-0 series lead. Coming out of the timeout, the Clippers turned to Rajon Rondo as he was able to convert on a three pointer to retake the lead at 95-97 with 6:32 left in the game. The Clippers would call a timeout with 4:30 left in the game with their lead shrunk to 98-97, to use a coach’s challenge on a charging foul called on Paul George as they wanted to review to see if Tim Hardaway Jr was in the “restrictive area”. After the review, the Officials stood with their original call thus costed the Clippers a timeout and would give the Mavericks possession. On the following possession, the Mavericks turned to Tim Hardaway Jr as he was able to convert on a three pointer to retake the lead at 100-98 with 4:17 left in the game. The game would find its way to be tied after Paul George knocked down a jump shot to tie the game at 100-100 with 3:12 left in the game. THE MAVERICKS WOULD RETAKE THE LEAD AFTER DORIAN FINNEY-SMITH KNOCKED DOWN A HUGE THREE POINTER TO TAKE A 103-100 LEAD WITH 2:50 LEFT IN THE GAME. The Mavericks were able to extend their lead to five points after Kristaps Porzingis knocked down two huge free-throws to extend their lead to 105-100 which resulted in the Clippers calling a timeout with 1:41 left in the game. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks were able to catch fire at just the right time as they were able to generate a 10-3 run to maintain control of the lead. Coming out of the timeout, the Clippers turned to Kawhi Leonard but couldn’t convert as he missed a jump shot that kept the score at 105-100 with 1:34 left in the game. The game sealing bucket would come down to Kristaps Porzingis as he knocked down a slam dunk to extend their lead to 109-102 with 59.3 seconds left in the game.

This team looked like they were able to cruise their way into a victory as the Clippers were slow and rusty to open the game but the Clippers were able to find their rhythm in the second quarter, however, the Mavericks were able to survive and generate a 60-55 halftime lead. This is a very important game for both teams as the winner would claim a 1-0 series lead in a best-of-seven. You don’t want to find yourself behind and have to work your way back into getting the series tied.

In the end, it was the Dallas Mavericks defeating the Los Angeles Clippers 113-103 to take a 1-0 series lead. Luka Doncic finished the game with 31 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in the win. The Clippers were led by Kawhi Leonard as he finished with 26 points. The Mavericks got production from Tim Hardaway Jr as he finished with 21 points in the win. Luka Doncic has played 7 playoff games, he has 3 triple doubles, no other Mavericks player has a playoff triple-double in franchise history. The Mavericks were able to win game one of this seven game series as they now have control of the series. This was a huge win for the Mavericks as they now have to win just three more games to advance to the next round of the playoffs.

The Mavericks will play the Clippers in game two of this seven game series on Tuesday on the road.

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