First Round Game 6 Recap: Mavs vs Clippers

On Friday, the Dallas Mavericks played the Los Angeles Clippers at the American Airlines Center for Game Six of the series. The Mavericks look to continue their momentum as they can eliminate the Clippers with a win in this matchup. The Mavericks just need one more win in order to advance to the next round in the playoffs.

On Wednesday, the Dallas Mavericks played the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center for Game Five of the series. The Mavericks started this game by getting off to a tremendous start, just like how they did in Games One and Two of the series, which was getting their offense in rhythm and knocking down good quality shots. The Mavericks made an adjustment to their starting five by putting Boban Marjanovic to get some rim protection from the Clippers aggressively attacking the paint for “easy points. The move worked out for the Mavericks as the Clippers shied away from the paint and instead tried to knock down shots from the perimeter but had a tough time knocking down those shots. The Clippers used a strong second quarter but the Mavericks were able to close out the quarter stronger by grabbing just enough of a lead to grab a 56-54 halftime lead. The Clippers were able to inch closer and close to the Mavericks but they couldn’t generate enough offense to grab control of the lead. The Clippers had the opportunity to tie the game in the final minutes of the game by turning to Kawhi Leonard but couldn’t convert as he air-balled a three pointer which ultimately sealed the deal for the Mavericks for a 105-100 win. Luka Doncic finished the game with 42 points, 8 rebounds and 14 assists in the win. The Clippers were led by Paul George as he finished with 23 points but it was in a losing effort. The Mavericks were able to get production from Tim Hardaway Jr as he finished with 20 points and 7 rebounds for the win. With the win, the Mavericks once again have the lead in the series as they now have a 3-2 series lead. This is the third time in NBA history, in which the road team won the first five games. The Mavericks are one win away from advancing to the next round in the playoffs while the Clippers are a loss away from having their season come to a close. If the Mavericks could eliminate the Clippers, it would be their first playoff series win since they won the championship in 2011 and will do it in front of the packed American Airlines Center, which is also something they haven’t done at home since the 2011 Western Conference Finals. With the Los Angeles Lakers being eliminated by the Phoenix Suns, of the current teams remaining in the playoffs, only the Mavericks have won a championship more recently and that came in 2011. The winner of this series will go on to play the one number one seed in the western conference which is the Utah Jazz in the next round of the playoffs. This series is far from over as the Mavericks still have business to take care of and in the words of the late Kobe Bryant, “What’s there to be happy about?, Job is not finished, Job finished? I don’t think so” and that’s where the mindset needs to be for the Mavericks because the Clippers still have chance to comeback and win the series. A “Close Out Game” is the toughest game to win in a playoff series because you’re right there but you still need to play 48 minutes of good basketball to finish it off. The Mavericks are 17-10 all-time in close out games, including 5-1 under Rick Carlisle. The Mavericks (in their franchise history) have never lost a series in which they led 3-2 (8-0 all-time). The Mavericks have won three straight Game 6s when leading a series at 3-2. Nothing has been clinched at all in the series and the Mavericks can’t afford themselves to be “looking ahead” as the Clippers still have plenty of hope to win the series themselves.

The Los Angeles Clippers are coming into this game by coming off a close 105-100 loss against the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday to see series be 3-2 in favor of the Mavericks. The Clippers were coming into this season with high hopes of trying to make a deep playoff run. The Clippers are currently one more loss away from having their season end. This team is led by Kawhi Leonard as they look to stay alive in the series by trying to force a Game Seven. If their current trend continues, they will have their season end in the city of Dallas.

The Mavericks started this game by having JJ Redick (right Achilles injury) be ruled out while Luka Doncic (cervical strain) and Maxi Kleber (right Achilles soreness) will be available to play in this game. As a result, the Mavericks went with Doncic, Hardaway Jr, Finney-Smith, Porzingis and Marjanovic as their starting five in this game. Prior to this game starting, it was learned that owner Mark Cuban got some good shots before the game, just in case if the Mavericks need some good minutes from him. He looked locked in and ready to be the Mavericks’ sixth-man as he was knocking down good shots. The first points in the game would belong to Luka Doncic as he nailed a layup for the Mavericks to get this game underway. The Clippers wouldn’t get their first points until the 11:18 mark as Paul George drilled a three pointer to grab their first lead in the game at 3-2. The Mavericks would reclaim the lead right back after Tim Hardaway Jr knocked down a three pointer to retake the lead at 5-3 with 11:00 minutes left in the quarter. The Clippers would grab control of the lead again after Reggie Jackson knocked down a three pointer to reclaim the lead at 8-7 with 8:19 left in the quarter. The Clippers would call a timeout with 7:05 left in the quarter after the Mavericks retook the lead at 14-10. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks opened the game by making five of their first eleven attempts while the Clippers made four of their first seven attempts taken thus far. Both teams came out strong as they each were able to get their offense rolling. So far, the game was back and forth with each of them exchanging each other’s shots. Coming out of the timeout, the Clippers turned to Marcus Morris as he was able to convert on a step-back jump shot to come within 14-12 of the Mavericks with 6:44 left in the quarter. The Mavericks were able to extend their lead to four points after Boban Marjanovic knocked down a hook shot to extend their lead to 19-15 with 6:05 left in the quarter. The Mavericks started to go on a roll on offense as Luka Doncic was able to draw a foul while shooting a three pointer, where he would nail all three free-throws (while receiving M-V-P chants from the crowd) to extend their lead to 24-19 with 4:09 left in the quarter. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Mavericks were able to maintain control of the lead and take a 28-26 lead into the second quarter. The game leading scorer after one quarter of play would belong to Reggie Jackson as he scored 14 points for the Clippers. The Mavericks were led by Luka Doncic as he scored 11 points. The quarter belonged to the Mavericks as they were able to off to a good start in the game. At the end of the first quarter, the Mavericks were shooting 50% on 11-of-22 shooting from the field.

The second quarter would begin by having Josh Richardson nail a pull-up jump shot for the Mavericks to get this quarter underway. The Clippers wouldn’t get their first points in the quarter until the 11:06 mark as Paul George nailed a free-throw to come within 30-27 of the Mavericks. The Mavericks would extend their lead to six points after Jalen Brunson knocked down a three pointer to extend their lead to 35-29 with 9:48 left in the quarter. The Mavericks continued to be aggressive as Tim Hardaway Jr knocked down a jump shot to extend their lead to 37-30 with 8:52 left in the quarter. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 7:22 left in the quarter with the Mavericks having a 37-30 lead. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks opened the quarter by making four of their first eight attempts while the Clippers made just one of their first eight attempts taken thus far. The Mavericks were able to play good basketball on both ends of the court while the Clippers were struggling massively as they had trouble getting shots to go down. The Mavericks were able to open the quarter on a 9-4 run to maintain control of the game thus far. The Mavericks were doing an excellent job on defense as they were making it extremely tough on the Clippers to knock down shots. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Luka Doncic as he was able to draw a foul on Paul George to go to the free-throw line, where he would nail two free-throws to extend their lead to 39-30 with 7:03 left in the quarter. The Clippers finally were able to knock down a shot to snap their scoring drought as Kawhi Leonard knocked down a jump shot to come within 39-32 of the Mavericks with 6:48 left in the quarter. The Clippers were able to cut their deficit to four points after Kawhi Leonard knocked down a three pointer to come within 41-37 of the Mavericks with 5:43 left in the quarter. A personal 7-0 run by Kawhi Leonard gets the Clippers back in the game as they desperately needed that to stay within distance of the Mavericks. The Clippers continued to chip away the Mavericks lead after Marcus Morris knocked down two free-throws to come within 41-40 of the Mavericks with 4:58 left in the quarter. Both teams were in a scoring drought as neither could get a shot to go down until Kawhi Leonard nailed a slam dunk for the Clippers to retake the lead at 42-41 with 3:12 left in the quarter. The Mavericks were able to answer on the following possession as Kristaps Porzingis nailed a thunderous slam dunk to get the lead right back at 43-42 with 3:01 left in the quarter. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Clippers were able to generate enough offense to take a 48-45 lead into halftime. The game leading scorer after two quarters of play would belong to Kawhi Leonard as he scored 16 points for the Clippers. The Mavericks were led by Luka Doncic as he scored 15 points. The quarter was dominated mostly by the Mavericks as they were able to survive the Clippers threat just barely enough for a lead. At the end of the first half, the Mavericks were shooting 39.5% on 17-of-43 shooting from the field. The Mavericks were doing a good job but allowed the Clippers to find their rhythm as that was just enough to build a lead into the second half. The Mavericks had a couple of turnovers that was extremely costly as that resulted in some points for the Clippers. The Mavericks would need to continue to play good defense while needing some players to step up on offense in the second half, if they want a chance to pick up a win.

Coming out of the half, the Clippers were able to get on the board first in the third quarter by having Nicolas Batum nail two free-throws to get this quarter underway. Boban Marjanovic was able to score the first points in the quarter for the Mavericks as he nailed two free-throws with 11:07 left in the quarter to come within 50-47 of the Clippers. The Mavericks were able to trim their deficit to one point after Boban Marjanovic knocked down a layup to come within 52-51 of the Clippers with 9:44 left in the quarter. The Mavericks would retake the lead after Kristaps Porzingis knocked down a thunderous slam dunk to take a 53-52 lead that forced the Clippers to call a timeout with 9:27 left in the quarter. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks opened the quarter by making three of their first four attempts while the Clippers made just one of their first five attempts taken thus far. The Mavericks were able to generate a 8-2 run to grab control of the lead thus far. The Mavericks started to get their offense rolling before the Clippers called timeout as the Clippers were struggling on offense by having a tough time to get shots to go down. Coming out of the timeout, the Clippers turned to Kawhi Leonard as he was able to convert on a jump shot to retake the lead at 54-53 with 9:04 left in the quarter. The Mavericks would respond by going on a roll on offense as they were able to retake the lead right back after Tim Hardaway Jr knocked down a jump shot to take the lead at 55-54 with 8:44 left in the quarter. The Mavericks would extend their lead to seven points after Luka Doncic knocked down a driving layup to extend their lead to 67-60 that forced the Clippers to call a timeout with 6:30 left in the quarter. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks were on fire as they were able to get their offense to generate a 14-6 run to maintain control of the lead and the game thus far. The Clippers were struggling massively as they once again had a tough time getting shots to go down while having their defense allow the Mavericks to takeover the game. The Mavericks looked good as they were playing good basketball on both ends of the court thus far. Coming out of the timeout, the Clippers turned to Marcus Morris but couldn’t convert as he missed a driving layup that kept the score at 67-60 with 6:10 left in the quarter. The Clippers were able to trim their deficit to two points after Kawhi Leonard knocked down a three pointer to come within 67-65 of the Mavericks that forced Rick Carlisle to call a timeout with 5:11 left in the quarter. Prior to this timeout, the Clippers were able to generate a quick 5-0 run to get themselves back in the game. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Tim Hardaway Jr but couldn’t convert as he missed a three pointer that kept the score at 67-65 with 4:55 left in the quarter. The Clippers were able to retake the lead after Kawhi Leonard knocked down three free-throws to take a 68-67 lead with 3:17 left in the quarter. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Mavericks were able to generate enough offense to take a 77-73 lead into the fourth quarter. The game leading scorer after three quarters of play would belong to Kawhi Leonard as he scored 33 points for the Clippers. The Mavericks were led by Tim Hardaway Jr and Luka Doncic as they each scored 17 points. This quarter was a back-and-forth quarter with both teams competing extremely hard but it was the Mavericks that was able to close out the quarter stronger. Through three quarters of play, the Mavericks were shooting 46.2% on 30-of-65 shooting from the field. Here we are, we have reached the final 12:00 minutes of the game to decide a winner in this very close game. The Mavericks need to have 12:00 more minutes of good basketball in order to advance to the next round of the playoffs, while the Clippers need to do the same to keep their season alive. Buckle up as this game was looking like it was going to be decided in the final minutes.

The fourth quarter would begin by having Paul George nail a jump shot for the Clippers to get this quarter underway. The game would find its way to be tied after Luka Kennard knocked down a driving floating jump shot for the Clippers to tie the game at 77-77 with 10:46 left in the game. The Clippers would take the lead after Ivica Zubac knocked down two free-throws to take a 79-77 lead with 10:10 left in the game. The Mavericks weren’t able to get their first points in the quarter until the 9:59 mark by having Josh Richardson nail two free-throws to tie the game at 79-79. The Clippers would take the lead again after Paul George knocked down a three pointer to take a 82-79 lead with 9:06 left in the game. The game would find its way to be tied again after Tim Hardaway Jr knocked down a three pointer to tie the game at 82-82 with 8:22 left in the game. The Mavericks would find themselves with the lead after Tim Hardaway knocked down a driving layup while drawing a foul, which he would nail the “AND-ONE” free-throw to take a 85-84 lead with 7:36 left in the game. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 7:17 left in the game with the Mavericks leading 85-84. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks opened the quarter by making just two of their first seven attempts while the Clippers made four of their first eight attempts taken thus far. The opening minutes of the quarter was extremely competitive as both teams were fighting extremely hard to try to give their team the win. The Mavericks were able to generate a 6-2 run to grab control of the lead thus far. The Mavericks were almost to the finish line but they would need to play good basketball for the final 7:17 of the game and it would be extremely tough as the Clippers were right there with them. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Luka Doncic but couldn’t convert as he missed a jump shot that kept the score at 85-84 with 6:57 left in the game. The Clippers would retake the lead after Paul George knocked down a jump shot to take a 86-85 lead with 6:07 left in the game. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 5:03 left in the game after the Clippers extended their lead to 90-85. Prior to this timeout, the Clippers were able to generate a quick 6-0 run to grab control of the lead. The Mavericks need to create something out of their offense while trying to generate stops on the defensive end in the final 5:03 of the game. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Luka Doncic as he was able to convert on a three pointer to come within 90-88 of the Clippers with 4:41 left in the game. The Clippers would call a timeout with 3:38 left in the quarter after leading 90-88. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks were able to generate a 3-0 run to get themselves within two points of the Clippers. The Mavericks would need to play mistake free basketball in the final 3:38 of the game if they want to leave the arena with a win. Coming out of the timeout, the Clippers would turn the ball over off the inbound pass that kept the score at 90-88 with 3:35 left in the game. The Clippers would extend their lead to four points after Kawhi Leonard knocked down a jump shot to extend their lead to 92-88 with 3:04 left in the game. The Clippers would call a timeout with 2:18 left after they extended their lead to 95-88. Well, the Mavericks need to go on one last scoring run to give themselves a chance. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Luka Doncic as he was able to convert on a driving layup to come within 95-90 of the Clippers with 2:07 left in the game. The Clippers would extend their lead to eight points after Kawhi Leonard knocked down a three pointer to extend their lead to 98-90 with 1:41 left in the game as the Mavericks hopes would continue to fade. The Clippers have now put themselves in excellent position to win the game as barring a spectacular run by the Mavericks would leave the arena with a win.

This team looked like they were ready to play as they were just about playing good basketball on both ends of the court, but the Clippers were able to get their offense rolling by turning to Reggie Jackson and Kawhi Leonard in the second quarter. Unfortunately, for the Mavericks, they allowed the Clippers to generate enough offense to grab a 48-45 halftime lead. This game was important for both teams as the Mavericks were on the verge of advancing to the next round of the playoffs if they could manage out a win, while the Clippers desperately needed a win to extend their season and the series for another game.

In the end, it was the Los Angeles Clippers defeating the Dallas Mavericks 104-97. Luka Doncic finished the game with 29 points, 8 rebounds and 11 assists in the gut wrenching loss. The Clippers were led by Kawhi Leonard as he finished with 45 points and 6 rebounds. The Mavericks got production from Tim Hardaway Jr as he finished with 23 points but it was not enough for a win. The Clippers did just enough to get the victory and as a result of them grabbing the victory, it would force a Game Seven. So far, no home team could generate a win in front of their fans and that’s still the case with the Clippers winning the game. A winner take all, Game Seven, is now happening after the Mavericks couldn’t put the Clippers away in the series. It doesn’t get any better than this as the famous two words in all of sports “Game Seven” is going to be played and the winner would go on to advance to the next round of the playoffs to play the Utah Jazz while the other would have their season come to a close. The Mavericks had plenty of chances in the series to put the Clippers away, with them having a 2-0 series lead and having a 3-2 series lead, they just couldn’t find a way to put the Clippers away. The good news for the Mavericks is that they have one thing in their favor as the road team has won every game in the series so far. Whatever has happened in the series, you can put that away as none of those matters, what matters is whoever can play good basketball for 48 minutes would go on to the next round in the playoffs while the other goes home. For the first time in NBA Playoff History, the road team has won every single game through six games in a series.

The Mavericks will go back on the plane and travel back to Los Angeles to take on the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday with the series tied at 3-3.

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