Luka Doncic, Mavs Make Game 3 Win Over Clippers All About Defense

Luka Doncic scored a game-high 22 points, to go with 10 rebounds and nine assists to lead the Mavericks to a 101-90 victory over the Clippers Friday night, giving Dallas a 2-1 NBA playoff series edge over LA. Doncic now has recorded 20+ points in 21 consecutive playoff games, a franchise record. Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks, NBA

The Clippers’ group of veterans looked dysfunctional throughout the night, as somehow the Mavericks were able to hold LA’s top two scorers, Kawhi Leonard (4-for-7) and Paul George (3-for-11) to a combined 16 points. Furthermore, Russell Westbrook only scored one point, going 0-for-7 shooting from the field. Ultimately, it was an all-around frustrating game for Westbrook, who always plays with tenacity, however, tonight he let his emotions get the best of him. Notably, the nine-time All-Star was ejected from the game after receiving one flagrant and two technical fouls. 

“We gotta channel our aggression in other ways,” Clippers’ head coach Tyronn Lue stated. “It’s getting chippy, It’s just the playoffs, I like the physicality, I like the tough possessions, I like all that. But we just gotta just make sure that we are not getting technical fouls, we are not getting thrown out of games, because everybody is important.”

AP sports writer Tim Reynolds pointed out, “Russell Westbrook had the first 1-flagrant, 2-technical, 1-point-or-less game in the NBA since Kendrick Perkins in 2005.” 

The first flagrant-1 foul came from ‘excessive contact’ when fouling Josh Green on a breakaway fastbreak in the first half. Then the technical foul that got Westbrook thrown out of the game came from pushing P.J. Washington, who also was ejected for receiving two technical fouls throughout the game. 

For the Clippers, Norman Powell scored 21 points (7-for-11 FG; 3-for-3 3P) and James Harden also put up 21 points, (7-for-13 FG; 5-for-8 3P), passing Magic Johnson on the NBA playoff all-time scoring list (3,708). Then to also mention, Harden made two free throws on three attempts, to move into ninth on the NBA playoff all-time free-throws made list (1,075), passing Mavs’ Dirk Nowitzki. In addition, Ivica Zubac contributed 19 points (8-for-11 FG) and eight rebounds.

The Mavs’ two best scorers had their struggles but got hot down the stretch. To point out, Doncic shot an inefficient 7-of-25 from the field and 3-of-14 from deep, while his backcourt partner Kyrie Irving had only two points up until there was 1:18 left in the third quarter. Nevertheless, the eight-time All-Star went on to make three consecutive shots right before the start of the fourth. That is to say, Kyrie ended the night with 21 points (8-for-17 FG), after scoring 19 in the last 13 minutes of the game, “I was having fun up until that point, two points really doesn’t matter, all I care about is winning games,” Irving stated postgame.

The fifth-seeded Mavericks will host the fourth-seeded Clippers again on Sunday, April 28 at 3:30 pm ET, as LA will look to even the series. To note, these two teams also faced off in the 2021 first round of the playoffs, as the Clippers (4th-seed) defeated the Mavericks (5th-seed) in seven games, after trailing 2-1 in the series. Time will tell if history will repeat itself.  

Looking for the latest NBA Insider News & Rumors?

Be sure to follow Hoops Wire on TWITTER and FACEBOOK for breaking NBA News and Rumors for all 30 teams!

Leave a Reply