The Los Angeles Clippers were victorious over the Dallas Mavericks in a crucial game 7 in the opening round of the NBA playoffs.
Despite an incredible 46 point performance from Mavericks point guard Luka Doncic, the Clippers convincingly beat the Dallas outfit 126-111.
Kawhi Leonard scored an impressive 28 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists. Paul George and Marcus Morris also combined for 43 points to help eliminate the Mavericks.
Clearly, Luka Doncic was the standout performer for the Mavericks, scoring 46 points, 7 rebounds and 14 assists. It was also the first game 7 in a playoff series of the Slovenian born player’s NBA career.
LA Clippers coach Tyronn Lue primarily utilised his starting 5 throughout the game 7 vs the Mavericks, with only Terrence Mann and Luke Bennard having any considerable minutes from the bench. It can be said that Lue trusted his starters to get the job done without a great deal of rotation.
Despite the struggle the Clippers faced to contain Doncic, his teammates were not nearly as prolific offensively, both in this game and throughout the series. Despite a double-double in the game from Doncic’s co-star Porzingis, scoring 16 points and 11 rebounds, it fell short in comparison to the Clippers offence.
The turning point of the game arrived during the third quarter. Despite a strong start to the second half for the Mavericks, by overturning an 8 point deficit and outscoring the Clippers 19-6, the attacking prowess of the Clippers would prove too great for Dallas.
Crucially, the Clippers ended the third quarter on a 24-4 scoring run. During this offensive onslaught, Luka Doncic only scored 2 points.
The Clippers efficiency in three point shooting was a crucial factor in their victory. They had a 3 point percentage of 46.5% in comparison to the lacklustre 27.8% of the Mavericks. This was a clear weakness for Dallas during the game, with shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr attempting 9 three pointers, but only making one.
Small forward Marcus Morris played an instrumental role during the game, making 7 of 9 shots from beyond the arc.
Despite a fightback led by Doncic in the final quarter, in which the Mavericks cut down the lead to 7, Marcus Morris hit a corner three pointer inside the final two minutes of the game. This would burst any hopes of a late comeback for the Mavericks.
The end of the game brought more disappointment for the Dallas Mavericks, as they bowed out for the second consecutive season to the Clippers in the first round of the playoffs.
Sunday’s game 7 showdown was also the first game won at home in the series. 6 of the 7 games played were won by the away side. Notably, this is the first time this has transpired in NBA playoffs history.
The victory means that LA Clippers will advance to the second round of the NBA playoffs, where they will face off against the Utah Jazz.
Featured image: AP photo/ Ashley Landis.