First Round Game 7 Recap: Mavs vs Clippers

On Sunday, the Dallas Mavericks played the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center in a winner-take-all Game 7 in the series. It doesn’t get any better than this, with both team’s season on the line. The winner will move on to play the Utah Jazz in the next round of the playoffs, while the other will have their season come to an end.

On Friday, the Dallas Mavericks played the Los Angeles Clippers at the American Airlines Center in Game Five of the series. The Mavericks started this game on roll as their offense was clicking but the Clippers were able to manage to keep it a close game. The Clippers started to pick up the pace in the second quarter as they were able to take a 48-45 lead at halftime. Coming out of the second half, both teams were competing extremely hard on every possession as the defense was tough to score on either side, but the Clippers were able to survive just long enough to finish the game with a 104-97 win. Luka Doncic finished the game with 29 points, 8 rebounds and 11 assists in the nail biting loss. The Clippers relied heavily on Kawhi Leonard as he was able to deliver by finishing with 45 points and 6 rebounds in the close win. The Mavericks were able to get production from Tim Hardaway Jr as he scored 23 points but fell short of a win. With the loss, the Mavericks once again lost control of the lead in the series as it becomes tied at 3-3. The Mavericks had plenty of opportunities to close out the Clippers as they previously had a 2-0, and now more recently a 3-2 series lead. The Clippers were able to climb themselves back in the series by generating wins to keep their season alive. For the first time in NBA Playoff History, all games have been won via the road team in the series through six games. Neither team, so far, haven’t been able to win at home which is unusual to see it happen. It all comes down to Game 7, the best two words in all of sports. One game to decide on who gets to move on in the playoffs while the other will have their season come to an end. The Mavericks, in their franchise history, are 4-2 all-time in Game 7’s, however the most recent was a loss against the San Antonio Spurs in the 2014 season. The last time the Mavericks played the Clippers on a Sunday at 2:30pm CST at the Staples Center, was on December 27th, 2020, which the Mavericks beat the Clippers 124-73. If this is it for the Mavericks, what a season it has been, this team had to overcome so many obstacles, from injuries to Covid-19, this team found a way to land the fifth seed in the western conference standings. Many projected the Mavericks to not even make the playoffs this season and the Mavericks proved them wrong. If this is it, Luka Doncic had a heck of a season as he finished the regular season by averaging 27.7 points, 8.0 rebounds and 8.6 assists, which he led the team in all categories, in just his third season in the NBA. So far, in the playoffs, Luka Doncic is averaging 34.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 9.7 assists, which currently leads the team in all categories, in just his second crack at the playoffs in his career. As much as we would like to see many more games in the playoffs for the Mavericks to see Luka Doncic play, it is a realistic possibility that they could have their season end with a loss in this matchup. If that does indeed happen, I just want to take this time to thank you guys for reading and keeping up with the Dallas Mavericks with me. It means so much to see you guys read each article throughout the Mavericks’ season. It is a huge honor to be able to do this for a full season and I try my absolute best to give you the best content for you to read. I hope this ain’t the end of the Mavericks’ season but I just want to take some time to Thank You, in case it is. What a ride it has been, through the ups and downs, you kept up with me and the Mavericks. You guys can still keep up with me by going on Twitter and follow me at @TheIsiahNunez . Thank You for helping me get through this Dallas Mavericks together. You guys are the reason why I’m so proud to be a MFFL (Mavs Fans For Life).

The Los Angeles Clippers are coming into this game by coming off a tough 104-97 win against the Dallas Mavericks on Friday to keep their season alive. The Clippers were coming into this season with high hopes of trying to make a deep playoff run. This team is led by Kawhi Leonard as they look to gather one more win to advance to the next round in the playoffs to play the Utah Jazz. If their current trend continues, they will have a good shot at advancing as they have been playing good tough basketball as of late. The Clippers fought extremely hard in the series to refuse to have their season come to a close by generating huge wins to keep their season alive. The Clippers came storming back from being down 0-2 in the series to tie it at 2-2 and to comeback to tie the series once again at 3-3. It all comes down to this, one 48 minute game of basketball to decide who gets to move in the series. If the Clippers want to keep their season alive, they will need to do something that hasn’t been done in the series so far which is win a basketball game at home. If the Clippers can’t manage out a win in this matchup, many would assume that their season is a failure to due to the talent that they had on the roster. Many predicted that the Clippers would reach the western conference finals as that’s how high the hopes have been for them. You can clearly see, if the Clippers fall short here in this matchup, many will say that their season will be yet another disappointment. We have reached this far in the series, Game 7, for all the marbles and for the chance to keep their season alive. It’s time to let Game 7 play out itself so we could know who will get to advance to the next round to play the Utah Jazz in the playoffs. Brace yourself, the greatest game in all of sports is here, Game 7!

The Mavericks started this game by having JJ Redick (right Achilles injury) be ruled out while have Luka Dončić (cervical strain) and Maxi Kleber (right Achilles soreness) be available to play in this huge game. As a result, the Mavericks went with Doncic, Hardaway Jr, Marjanovic, Finney-Smith and Porzingis as their starting five in this game. It’s win or go home for the Mavericks and they decide to go with this starting lineup to keep their season alive. It was learned that Dirk Nowitzki would be in attendance to watch the Mavericks play in this Game 7. The first points in the game would belong to Tim Hardaway Jr as he nailed a layup for the Mavericks to get this game underway. The Clippers wouldn’t get their first points until the 10:59 mark as Kawhi Leonard drilled a jump shot to tie the game at 2-2. The Mavericks would retake the lead after Dorian Finney-Smith knocked down a three pointer to take a 3-2 lead with 10:47 left in the quarter. I just want to inform you guys early, if I make any grammar errors please forgive me because I was the same jitters that you guys have and the nerves are kicking in for me. The Clippers would trim their deficit to one point after Nicolas Batum knocked down a jump shot to come within 7-6 of the Mavericks with 9:40 left in the quarter. The Clippers would take their lead in the game after Kawhi Leonard knocked down a jump shot to give the Clippers a 8-7 lead with 9:10 left in the quarter. The Mavericks would get the lead right back after Kristaps Porzingis knocked down a thunderous slam dunk to take a 9-8 lead with 8:47 left in the quarter. The Clippers would answer by retaking the lead once again after Marcus Morris knocked down a three pointer to take a 11-9 lead with 8:37 left in the quarter. The Clippers would extend their lead to three points after Kawhi Leonard knocked down a three pointer to take a 14-11 lead with 8:06 left in the quarter. The Mavericks would trim their deficit to one point after Luka Doncic nailed a driving layup to come within 14-13 of the Clippers with 7:45 left in the quarter. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 6:57 left in the quarter after the Clippers extended their lead to 16-13. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks opened the game by making five of their first eight attempts while the Clippers made seven of their first ten attempts taken thus far. Both teams were shooting the ball extremely well as they each were able to get their offense going early. The Mavericks allowed Kawhi Leonard to get going as they will need to find a way to stop him in order to give themselves a chance in the game. The Clippers were able to generate a 8-4 run to grab control of the lead thus far. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Luka Doncic as he was able to convert on a three pointer to get the game tied at 16-16 with 6:45 left in the quarter. The Clippers would answer by having Nicolas Batum nail a three pointer to extend their lead back to three points at 19-16 with 6:22 left in the quarter. The Mavericks were able to trim their deficit to one point after Kristaps Porzingis knocked down two free-throws to come within 21-20 of the Clippers with 5:09 left in the quarter. The game would find its way to be tied again after Luka Doncic knocked down a three pointer to tie the game at 23-23 with 4:27 left in the quarter. The Clippers would answer by having Rajon Rondo nail a three pointer to get the game tied once again at 26-26 with 3:55 left in the quarter. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Mavericks were able to generate enough offense to take a 38-35 lead into the second quarter. The game leading scorer after one quarter of play would belong to Luka Doncic as he scored 19 points for the Mavericks. The Clippers were led by Kawhi Leonard as he scored 13 points. Kristaps Porzingis finally showed up as he was able to give the Mavericks 8 points in the quarter. Both teams were able to get their offense going but the Mavericks were able to do just enough to grab control of the lead at the end of the quarter. At the end of the first quarter, the Mavericks were shooting 63.6% on 14-of-22 shooting from the field. It’s Game 7 and both teams were playing like it by playing tough on both ends of the court with the season on the line.

The second quarter would begin by having Paul George nail a jump shot for the Clippers to get this quarter underway. The Clippers would retake the lead after Luke Kennard knocked down a three pointer to take the lead at 40-38 with 10:38 left in the quarter. The Mavericks wouldn’t get their first points in the quarter until the 10:06 mark as Kristaps Porzingis nailed a jump shot with the shot clock expiring to tie the game at 40-40. The Clippers would untie the game after Marcus Morris knocked down a three pointer to take a 43-40 lead with 9:51 left in the quarter. The Clippers would extend their lead to six points after Marcus Morris knocked down a three pointer to extend their lead to 46-40 with 8:09 left in the quarter. The Mavericks would trim their deficit to four points after Luka Doncic knocked down a step-back jump shot to come within 46-42 of the Clippers with 7:24 left in the quarter. The Mavericks would go on a dry spell as they couldn’t get a single shot to go down to trim the Clippers lead until Boban Marjanovic would knock down a layup while drawing the foul which forced the Clippers to call a timeout with 5:46 left in the quarter with a 48-44 lead. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks opened the quarter by making just three of their first twelve attempts while the Clippers made four of their first nine attempts taken thus far. The Clippers were in control early in the quarter as they were able to have their offense to continue to roll while the Mavericks had a tough time knocking down shots. The Mavericks were able to generate a quick 4-2 run to get themselves back in the game. Coming out of the timeout, Boban Marjanovic would miss the “AND-ONE” free-throw to keep the score at 48-44 with 5:46 left in the quarter. The Mavericks were able to trim their deficit to three points after Luka Doncic knocked down a driving layup while drawing a foul to go to the free-throw line, which he would nail the “AND-ONE” free-throw to come within 51-49 with 4:38 left in the quarter. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 3:08 left in the quarter with the Clippers leading 59-54. Prior to this timeout, both teams were exchanging shots as neither of them could generate a stop on defense. The Mavericks would need to find a way to generate a couple of stops on defense to give their offense a chance to grab the lead in the remaining 3:08 minutes of the quarter to finish the first half. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Clippers were able to maintain control of the lead and take a 70-62 lead into halftime. The game leading scorer after two quarters of play would belong to Luka Doncic as he scored 29 points for the Mavericks. The Clippers were led by Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Terance Mann as they each scored 13 points. The quarter would belong to the Clippers as they were the ones that were able to keep their offense consistent while the Mavericks had some troubles by having a few scoring droughts. At the end of the first half, the Mavericks were shooting 53.2% on 25-of-47 shooting from the field. Besides Luka Doncic, only Kristaps Porzingis was the only Maverick to score in double figures as he scored 12 points through two quarters of play. We have reached the first 24 minutes of Game 7 in this win or go home game, both teams were competing extremely hard on every possession but it was the Clippers having the advantage as they had a better first half. We still have 24 more minutes to go to determine the winner of the game and to see who gets to move on to the next round in the playoffs. If the Mavericks want to find themselves on the winning end of this one, then they would need to prevent Kawhi Leonard and Reggie Jackson from torturing them while also needing someone to step up to help Luka Doncic out on offense. We are just two quarters away to see whether the Mavericks want to continue playing. The Mavericks could put these 24 that they just played behind them as the only minutes that matters were these next 24 and it will determine whether they get to play more basketball.

Coming out of the half, the Mavericks were able to get on the board first in the third quarter by having Boban Marjanovic nail a 1-foot shot to get the quarter underway. Kawhi Leonard was able to score the first points in the quarter for the Clippers as he nailed a pull-up jump shot with 10:52 left in the quarter to extend their lead to 72-67. The Clippers would call a timeout with 10:45 left in the quarter with the Mavericks cutting their deficit to two points to come within 72-70 of the Clippers. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks opened the quarter by making all of their first three attempts while the Clippers made just one of their first three attempts taken thus far. The Mavericks were able to generate a quick 8-2 run to get themselves back in the game. The Mavericks offense started to roll which forced the Clippers to call a timeout early in the quarter as their lead was in danger of being taken away by the Mavericks. Coming out of the timeout, the Clippers turned to Nicolas Batum but couldn’t convert as he missed a three pointer that kept the score at 72-70 with 10:25 left in the quarter. The game would find its way to be tied again after Tim Hardaway Jr knocked down a driving layup to tie the game at 72-72 with 10:03 left in the quarter. The Clippers would answer by retaking the lead again after Nicolas Batum knocked down a layup to take a 74-72 lead with 9:43 left in the quarter. The game was once again tied after Luka Doncic nailed a step-back jump shot to tie the game at 74-74 with 9:10 left in the quarter. The Mavericks would untie the game after Dorian Finney-Smith knocked down a three pointer to take a 79-76 lead with 7:15 left in the quarter. The Clippers would find a way to get the game tied after Paul George knocked down two free-throws to tie the game at 81-81 with 6:09 left in the quarter. The Clippers would take the lead after Kawhi Leonard knocked down a thunderous slam dunk to take a 83-81 lead with 5:43 left in the quarter. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 5:08 left in the quarter after the Clippers extended their lead to 86-81. Prior to this timeout, the Clippers offense was cooking as they were able to generate a 10-0 run to grab control of the lead thus far. Both teams were each having their share of scoring runs as the Mavericks allowed the Clippers to go on their run which forced Rick Carlisle to call a timeout. The Mavericks had a chance to take the lead and generate some separation from the Clippers but couldn’t get that extra boost as they started to run out of gas. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Dorian Finney-Smith but couldn’t convert as he had his driving layup blocked which kept the score at 86-81 with 4:42 left in the quarter. The Clippers would extend their lead to seven points after Kawhi Leonard knocked down two free-throws to extend their lead to 88-81 with 3:35 left in the quarter. The Mavericks were able to trim their deficit back to five points after Luka Doncic nailed a driving layup to come within 88-83 of the Clippers with 3:16 left in the quarter. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Clippers were able to maintain control of the lead and take a 100-85 lead into the fourth quarter. The game leading scorer after three quarters of play would belong to Luka Doncic as he scored 35 points for the Mavericks. The Clippers were led by Kawhi Leonard as he scored 22 points. The quarter would belong to the Clippers as they once again were in control by getting their offense going while the Mavericks had a tough time getting points. The Clippers were once again attacking the paint as that’s become a major weakness for the Mavericks on defense. The Mavericks went cold in the final 3:00 minutes of the quarter and it came at a costly time as that allowed the Clippers to build a huge lead to close out the quarter strong. The Clippers ended the quarter on a 24-4 run which allowed them to be in control of the game. Through three quarters of play, the Mavericks were shooting 50% on 35-of-70 shooting from the field. We have reached three quarters of play in this Game 7 to determine who gets to move on in the playoffs. The Mavericks have 12:00 minutes left to come up with something to save their season.

The fourth quarter would begin by having Luke Kennard nail a driving layup for the Clippers to get this quarter underway. The Mavericks weren’t able to get their first points in the quarter until the 11:07 mark by having Jalen Brunson nail a driving layup to come within 102-87 of the Clippers. The Mavericks offense continued to go cold as they cannot get a single shot to go down with their season on the line. This is not the game you want to go ice cold as this is it, your season is on the line, give everything that you have in the tank and put it on the court. The Clippers would extend their lead to nineteen points after Kawhi Leonard knocked down two free-throws to extend their lead to 106-87 with 9:20 left in the game. Everything was going the Clippers way as it appeared every shot was going in for them on offense while the Mavericks continued to collapse by not getting a single shot to go down. The Mavericks finally had a basket to go down as Boban Marjanovic nailed a slam dunk to come within 106-89 of the Clippers with 8:33 left in the game. The Clippers would call a timeout with 7:57 left in the game while holding a 106-91 lead. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks offense appeared to come alive as they were able to generate a quick 4-0 run to try to get themselves back in the game. With 7:57 left, that’s still plenty of time for the Mavericks to come back and erase the Clippers as that’s an eternity. The Mavericks, at this point in the game, will need to make every possession count on offense as they need to make sure each possession results in points because they were running out of time and possessions in the game. Coming out of the timeout, the Clippers turned to Kawhi Leonard as he was able to convert on a pull-up jump shot to extend their lead to 108-91 with 7:42 left in the game. The Clippers continued to poor it on as Paul George knocked down a three pointer to extend their lead to 111-94 with 7:05 left in the game as the Mavericks hopes are starting to fade. The Mavericks continued to miss good looks on offense as they simply cannot buy a shot until they finally got some points after Boban Marjanovic knocked down a hook shot as that forced the Clippers to call a timeout with 4:38 left in the game as they were holding a 111-100 lead. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks got some production from their offense as they were able to generate a 6-0 run to trim their deficit back to ten points with 4:37 left to play. Again, 4:37 is still a lot of time for the Mavericks to draw something up to get them closer and closer to the Clippers. This game is not over until the clock hits 0:00 as there was still a chance for the Mavericks to come back and save their season. Coming out of the timeout, the Clippers turned to Reggie Jackson as he was able to convert on a three pointer to extend their lead to 114-100 with 4:16 left in the game. The Mavericks were able to trim their deficit to twelve points after Kristaps Porzingis knocked down two free-throws to come within 114-102 of the Clippers with 3:20 left in the game. The Mavericks were able to once again trim their deficit down to ten points after Luka Doncic knocked down a driving layup to come within 114-104 of the Clippers with 2:47 left in the game. The Mavericks continued to chop down the Clippers lead as they were able to come with 114-107 after Luka Doncic knocked down a step-back three pointer with 2:06 left in the game. The Clippers responded as they were able to extend their lead to 120-107 after Marcus Morris knocked down a three pointer that forced Rick Carlisle to call a timeout with 1:15 left in the game. The Mavericks hopes of mounting a comeback were fading by the minute as they see their season continue to fade. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Luka Doncic as he was able to convert on a driving layup to come within 120-109 of the Clippers that forced them to call a timeout with 1:06 left in the game. The Mavericks need one last magic run to somehow find a way to keep their season alive. Coming out of the timeout, the Clippers turned to Reggie Jackson as the Mavericks started to play the foul game. The game sealing points would come after Reggie Jackson knocked down two free-throws to extend their lead to 122-109 with 53 seconds left in the game.

This team looked looked like they were doing anything they can to keep their season alive as the Clippers were able to get their offense cooking to take a 70-62 halftime lead. This is Game 7, the famous words in all of sports and it will determine who gets to move on in the playoffs. It’s plain and simple for both teams, you win and you stay alive, you lose and your season is done until next season.

In the end, it was the Los Angeles Clippers defeating the Dallas Mavericks 126-111. Luka Doncic finished the game with 46 points, 7 rebounds and 14 assists in the season-ending loss. The Clippers were led by Kawhi Leonard as he finished with 28 points and 10 rebounds to move to next round in the playoffs. The Mavericks got production from Dorian Finney-Smith as he scored 18 points but it wasn’t enough for a win. The winner of the series would come down to who could win a game at home and the Clippers did that by generating a win in this matchup. With the loss, the Mavericks 2020-2021 basketball season has come to an end as they were eliminated by the Clippers 4-3 in the series. The Mavericks had plenty of opportunities in the series to eliminate the Clippers as they had a 2-0 and 3-2 series lead but simply couldn’t get it done. The Mavericks’ season is now over and they will look forward to next season in hopes of getting Luka Doncic some help. You got to give credit, where credit is due as the Clippers were able to manage a way to comeback in the series as they were down twice at 0-2 and 2-3 in the series and found a way to advance to the next round in the playoffs. The Mavericks, once again, see themselves eliminated by the team that eliminated them last season as they have now suffered back-to-back series losses to the Clippers in consecutive seasons. No matter how this season ended for the Mavericks, they had a spectacular season given what they had to go through to even earn the fifth seed in the toughest conference in the NBA, the western conference. The Mavericks will try to go to the playoffs next season in hopes of giving Luka Doncic his first playoff series win in his young career. Keep your head up! The future is extremely bright for the Mavericks as Luka Doncic is a young stud in the NBA and will only continue to grow and learn the game. With the Mavericks’ season being officially over, the Mavericks were led by Luka Doncic as he finished the regular season by averaging 27.7 points, 8.0 rebounds and 8.6 assists, leading team in every category. The Mavericks were led in the playoffs by Luka Doncic as he averaged 35.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and 10.3 assists to lead the team in every category in the playoffs. It hurts to see the Mavericks season come to an end but Luka Doncic had a spectacular in just his third year in the NBA and we all know that he will continue to get better with every season that goes by.

The Mavericks will go back home as their 2020-2021 season comes to an end.

Thank You for keeping up with me and allowing me to go through the Dallas Mavericks season with you! It is a tremendous honor to write these “Game Recaps” after every Mavericks game this season for you guys to read. Hopefully, you found them fun to read as I tried my absolute best to make it worthy of a read. I will not be going anywhere, I will still keep up with the Mavericks offseason, to see what moves they make to improve their roster for next season. You can stay updated by hopping on Twitter and give me a follow at @TheIsiahNunez . Thank You for reading every “Game Recap” that I wrote on the Mavericks 2020-2021 season, hopefully I did a good job to find a way to make it entertaining for you to read. I will now focus my attention to writing news blogs on every offseason move the Mavericks make. Thank You and I will hopefully see you guys next season as I had so much fun doing this!

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