First Round Game 4 Recap: Mavs vs Clippers

On Sunday, the Dallas Mavericks played the Los Angeles Clippers at the American Airlines Center for game four of this seven game series. The Mavericks still lead the series 2-1 as they try to inch closer to advancing to the next round of the playoffs. The Mavericks look to take a commanding 3-1 series lead as they look to grab a win in front of their home crowd.

On Friday, the Dallas Mavericks played the Los Angeles Clippers at the American Airlines Center in Game Three of the series, looking to remain undefeated in the playoffs. The Mavericks started this game by feeding off the roaring crowd as they jumped out to a 19-point lead in the opening minutes of the game. The Clippers were able to shut the crowd up and ultimately drain them out as they took control in the second quarter to build a 63-61 halftime lead. In the second half, which, was in the favor of the Clippers as the Mavericks suddenly forgot how to play defense and protect the rim. The Clippers ultimately ran away with it as the Mavericks had no answers to stop the Clippers’ offense which the Clippers used to grab a 118-108 win. Luka Doncic finished the game with 44 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists in the loss. The Mavericks were able to get production Maxi Kleber and Jalen Brunson as they each scored 14 points each but it wasn’t enough for a win. Kristaps Porzingis struggled massively as he only was able to score just 9 points in a losing effort. With the loss, the Mavericks series lead dropped to 2-1 in the best-out-of seven. Luka Doncic sustained a neck injury during the game but should be ready to play in Game Four of the series. The Mavericks’ hopes for a series sweep is now gone due to suffering the loss. The Clippers were able to grab their first win in the series to prove to them that they can beat the Mavericks in the playoffs. The Mavericks would need to regroup and refocus to stay in control of the series by trying to find a way to win Game Four because the Mavericks certainly do not want to go back to Los Angeles with the series being tied. The Clippers did what they had to do in order to avoid being swept by grabbing the win and with the win, it allowed themselves to get back in the series as they inch closer to getting the series tied. Game Four is vastly important for both teams as the Mavericks try to take the “infamous” 3-1 series lead with the win, however, the Clippers will try to even up the series at 2-2, if they win, before going back to the Staples Center. The Mavericks will try again to grab a win in front of their rowdy and loud fans. It almost feels like this upcoming matchup is a must win for the Mavericks as they look to quickly stop the Clippers momentum in the series.

The Clippers are coming into this game by coming off a 118-108 win against the Dallas Mavericks on Friday to grab their first win in the series. The Clippers were coming into this season with hopes of trying to make a deep run in the playoffs and if they come short then things might look drastically different next season. The Clippers are currently down in the series 2-1 and will look to get the series tied if they manage to come up with a win in this matchup. This team is led by Kawhi Leonard as they look to keep their season alive by trying to eliminate the Mavericks again in the playoffs for the second consecutive season. If their current trend continues, they will have a good shot at advancing to the next round in the playoffs.

The Mavericks started this game by having JJ Redick (right Achilles injury) be ruled out for this matchup but have Luka Doncic (cervical strain) and Maxi Kleber (right Achilles 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 game. The first points in the game would belong to Kristaps Porzingis as he nailed a jump shot for the Mavericks to get this game underway. The Clippers wouldn’t get their first points until the 10:04 mark as Nicolas Batum drilled a three pointer to come within 4-3 of the Mavericks. The Clippers would grab their first lead in the game after Kawhi Leonard nailed a jump shot to take a 5-4 lead with 9:30 left in the quarter. The Clippers were able to extend their lead to three points after Kawhi Leonard knocked down a driving layup to extend their lead to 9-6 with 8:37 left in the quarter. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 7:40 left in the quarter with the Mavericks trailing 9-6, to use their “Coach’s Challenge” to review a foul that was called on Kristaps Porzingis as he was challenging Paul George on a driving layup attempt. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks opened the game by making just two of their first six attempts while the Clippers made four of their first eight attempts taken thus far. Once again, the crowd was extremely loud as they were trying to give the Mavericks an advantage on the game but it was the Mavericks’ players not returning the favor because they had trouble knocking down shots to begin the game. After the review, the Officials stuck with their original call thus giving Kristaps Porzingis a foul and rewarding Paul George two free-throws, which he would knock two free-throws to extend their lead to 11-6 with 7:40 left in the quarter. The Mavericks have no more “coach’s challenge” for the reminder of the game as a result of losing it during that possession. All five of the Mavericks’ starters would each have one personal foul next to their name as Dorian Finney-Smith picked up the foul at the 6:47 mark which puts them over the foul limit, where Paul George knocked down a free-throw to extend their lead to 12-6 with 6:47 left in the quarter. Boban Marjanovic would enter the game for the Mavericks to try to give them the advantage due to the Clippers going “small”. OH MY GOODNESS! THE MAVERICKS WOULD COME WITHIN ONE POINT OF THE CLIPPERS AFTER LUKA DONCIC LOBS A PASS TO DORIAN FINNEY-SMITH TO COMPLETE THE ALLEY-OOP DUNK ATTEMPT THAT BROUGHT THE MAVERICKS WITHIN 13-12 OF THE CLIPPERS, WHICH RESULTED IN A TIMEOUT FROM THE CLIPPERS WITH 5:27 LEFT IN THE QUARTER. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks offense started to roll, ever since they put Boban Marjanovic in the game because they were able to generate a 6-1 run to get themselves back in the game. This was the first time in the series where the Mavericks had trouble knocking down shots in the opening minutes of the game as they got off to a slow start but were able to offset it by going on a quick scoring run to come within range of retaking the lead from the Clippers. Coming out of the timeout, the Clippers turned to Kawhi Leonard as he was able to convert on a jump shot to extend their lead to 15-12 with 5:18 left in the quarter. The Mavericks were able to come within one point of the Clippers after Kristaps Porzingis knocked down a jump shot to come within 17-16 of the Clippers with 4:19 left in the quarter. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Clippers were able to maintain control of the lead and take a 31-22 lead into the second quarter. The game leading scorer after one quarter of play would belong to Kawhi Leonard as he scored 10 points for the Clippers. The Mavericks were led by Kristaps Porzingis as he scored 7 points. The quarter was controlled by the Clippers as they were able to get off to a good start to take control of the game thus far. At the end of the first quarter, the Mavericks were shooting 39.1% on 9-of-23 shooting from the field. It seemed like every time the Mavericks put Boban Marjanovic in the game, the Clippers had no answer due to their “small” lineup that was in the game and that gave the Mavericks some momentum in their offense. Once again, it was the Mavericks’ defense that was a problem as they couldn’t find a way to stop these “determined” Clippers. The Mavericks need to fix their defense because the Clippers were on a roll and the series was in danger of being tied if they can’t fix their problems on defense. The Clippers were able to quiet the crowd as a result of their offense being “red-hot” in the quarter.

The second quarter would begin by having Josh Richardson nail a three pointer for the Mavericks to get this quarter underway. The Clippers wouldn’t get their first points in the quarter until the 10:06 mark as Paul George nailed a three pointer to extend their lead to 34-25. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 8:51 left in the quarter after the Clippers extended their lead to 40-27, which is the largest lead the Clippers have had in the game thus far. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks opened the quarter by making just two of their first seven attempts taken while the Clippers made four of their first seven attempts taken thus far. The Clippers were able to generate a 9-2 run to maintain control of the game thus far. Paul George started to heat up in the game as he was getting in the groove by knocking down shots for the Clippers. The Mavericks, once again, got off to a slow start to begin the quarter as their offense had a tough time getting shots to go down, while their defense continued to collapse by having no answer to stop these Clippers. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Josh Richardson as he couldn’t convert on a “tip-in” shot that kept the score at 40-27 with 8:25 left in the quarter. The Mavericks had multiple second chances during that possession but just couldn’t get the ball in the hoop as it appeared there was a lid on top of the rim. The Mavericks desperately needed something to fall in the hoop, especially with how the Clippers were dominating on offense. The Clippers were able to extend their lead to eighteen points after Reggie Jackson knocked down two free-throws to extend their lead to 45-27 with 7:44 left in the quarter. The Mavericks finally had a bucket to go down to snap their scoring drought after Tim Hardaway Jr knocked down a pull-up jump shot to come within 45-29 of the Clippers with 7:34 left in the quarter. Boban Marjanovic would enter the game to try to give the Mavericks a spark in the game. The Mavericks were able to trim their deficit to fifteen points after Luka Doncic knocked down a driving pull-up jump shot to come within 48-33 of the Clippers with 6:15 left in the quarter. The Clippers were able to extend their lead back to seventeen points after Kawhi Leonard knocked down a driving slam dunk to extend their lead to 57-40 with 2:00 minutes left in the quarter. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Clippers were able to maintain control of the lead and take a 61-45 lead into halftime. The game leading scorer after two quarters of play would belong to Paul George as he scored 18 points for the Clippers. The Mavericks were led by Luka Doncic as he scored 15 points. The Clippers certainly heard all the noise surrounding the team and answered that by playing outstanding basketball on both ends of the court in the first half as the Mavericks continued to collapse as a team. At the end of the first half, the Mavericks were shooting 38% on 19-of-50 shooting from the field. The Mavericks desperately needed to get their defense going while getting their offense in rhythm in the second half, if they wanted any chance of coming back in the game, otherwise the series would be tied at 2-2. This was simply a bad first half as you could’ve played for the Mavericks and they needed to throw it out the window and come out strong in the second half in hopes of trying to get the game close and possibly of retaking the lead.

Coming out of the half, the Clippers were able to get on the board first in the third quarter by having Reggie Jackson nail a two pointer to get this quarter underway. The Clippers were able to extend their lead to twenty-one points after Kawhi Leonard knocked down a three pointer to extend their lead to 66-45 with 11:04 left in the quarter. The Clippers were able to extend their lead to 0 points after Kawhi Leonard knocked down 0 free-throws to extend their lead to 0-0 with 9:10 left in the quarter. The Mavericks were still seeking their first made basket in the quarter thus far as they couldn’t knock down a shot until Kristaps Porzingis was able to score the first points in the quarter for the Mavericks as he nailed a “tip-in” shot with 8:45 left in the quarter to come within 69-47 of the Clippers. The game was in danger of reaching “blowout territory” as the Clippers continued to torture the Mavericks and unless the Mavericks could generate something on offense then this game would be a “blowout” and be over. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 7:28 left in the quarter after the Clippers extended their lead to 69-47. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks opened the quarter by making just one of their first eight attempts while the Clippers made three of their first seven attempts taken thus far. Boy, the Mavericks looked like they quit in this game as they looked depleted with no energy whatsoever by hanging their heads and simply want this game to be over to move on to the next game in the series. Give credit to the Clippers as they needed to fix their problems that they had in this series and they adjusted very well by coming up with the formula to finally stop the Mavericks in the series. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Luka Doncic as he missed as able to convert on a jump shot to come within 71-49 of the Clippers with 7:05 left in the quarter. The Clippers were able to extend their lead to twenty-six points after Marcus Morris knocked down a three pointer to extend their lead to 77-51 with 5:10 left in the quarter. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Clippers were able to maintain control of the lead and take a 82-60 lead into the fourth quarter. The game leading scorer after three quarters of play would belong to Kawhi Leonard as he scored 25 points for the Clippers. The Mavericks were led by Luka Doncic as he scored 19 points. The Mavericks had three players, that have played in the game thus far, score 0 points as that’s how the game was going for them, compared to the Clippers who had just one player score 0 points in the game thus far. The Clippers continued to torture the Mavericks in the quarter to maintain control of the game thus far as the Mavericks’ collapse continues. Through three quarters of play, the Mavericks were shooting 36.2% on 25-of-69 shooting from the field. The Mavericks simply have 12:00 more minutes to do something otherwise the Clippers would cruise their way to a victory and get the series tied. This looked like a regular season game by the way this game was going as the Mavericks were getting tortured.

The fourth quarter would begin by having Boban Marjanovic nail a hook shot for the Mavericks to get this quarter underway. The Clippers weren’t able to get their first points in the quarter until the 11:19 mark by having Kawhi Leonard nail a jump shot to extend their lead to 84-62. The Mavericks looked like they had their talents stolen from them just like the movie in Space Jam as they haven’t looked like the Mavericks that we have been been accustomed to seeing. The Clippers were just using the clock and trying to drain as much as possible to seal the deal for a victory. Tim Hardaway Jr went down with an apparent injury with 8:59 left in the quarter as he was grabbing his back but would get up on his own power by getting up to walk on his own. At this point in the game, the Mavericks simply need to rest their starters to get them plenty of rest and avoid any significant injury as they were trailing 86-64 with 8:59 left in the game. However, the Mavericks continued to play their key players in hopes of one last desperation effort to draw one last run in whatever they had left in the tank. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 6:49 left in the game after the Clippers extended their lead to 90-66. Unless the Mavericks were able to generate a magnificent scoring run, this game looked pretty much over as the Clippers were simply cruising their way to a victory.

This team looked absolutely awful as the Clippers came out and simply torched the Mavericks on both ends of the court and that resulted in them taking a 61-45 halftime lead. The Mavericks looked all out of sorts as they had trouble containing the Clippers on defense while their offense had problems knocking down shots. It was simply as bad of a first half that you could’ve played and the Mavericks simply needed to come out of the second half like the score was 0-0, because it was such an awful performance the Mavericks displayed in the first two quarters of the game. This game was simply a must win for the Mavericks as they wanted to maintain a lead in the series while the Clippers had their sights on getting the series tied to head back home to Los Angeles and try to complete the comeback in the series.

In the end, it was the Los Angeles Clippers defeating the Dallas Mavericks 106-81. Luka Doncic finished the game with 19 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists in the blowout loss. The Clippers were led by Kawhi Leonard as he finished with 29 points and 10 rebounds. The Mavericks had production from Kristaps Porzingis as he finished with 18 points but it wasn’t even close for a win. The series would be tied at 2-2 after the Mavericks couldn’t generate a win at home in the series thus far. The Clippers responded extremely well after being down 0-2 by coming up with the perfect game plan to stop the Mavericks in the series. The Mavericks simply collapsed as they couldn’t generate a single win in front of their home crowd fans to inch closer to advancing to the next round in the playoffs. Whenever the Mavericks are playing good, they can beat anyone but when the Mavericks aren’t playing good, they look awfully terrible. The Clippers now have the Mavericks right where they want them as they now head back home to try to grab the series lead. Call it how you see it as the Mavericks simply looked lost and defeated by allowing the Clippers to do whatever they want to them. Now, Game Five of the series is extremely crucial for both teams as they eye the series lead, especially for the Mavericks as they cannot allow the Clippers to take the series lead away from them. To make you feel a little bit better, the good news is that the series is tied with nobody having the lead and it was just one game, although it felt like more but it’s “just” a loss as you can’t win two games in one. The Mavericks will head back to the drawing boards to try to counter and figure out another way to beat the Clippers.

The Mavericks will get back on the plane as they will head back to play the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center on Wednesday for Game Five in the series with the series tied at 2-2.

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