Used to shine in the face of Clippers (almost 41 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists on average in his last five meetings with them…), Luka Doncic found one of his favorite “victims” in California. As usual, the super stars of the Mavericks did not fail to score against the LA franchise: 43 points (including 20 in the fourth quarter), with 11 rebounds and 7 assists!
The problem is, they are colleagues in an equally good Kawhi Leonard (33 points, 9 rebounds, 4 steals) who won it rework of the 2020 and 2021 playoffs (113-101). A logical achievement (and why not a benchmark?) for this group of Los Angelesending its streak of six consecutive losses and, without ever leading the scoreboard of dallas.
WHAT YOU SHOULD REMEMBER
— Kawhi Leonard as the boss. This is basically the kind of performance the Clippers need to revive. Incredibly clean on the attack (9/12 on shots, 3/5 on 3-pts and 12/12 on throws), despite the two-man catch, “The Klaw” wandered all over night on defense for the Mavericks. Without Paul George, he took on his responsibilities and immediately put the team on the right track, all aggressive towards the circle and at half distance. In the second half, he then managed to repel the Texan attacks as soon as possible, with several 3-point baskets (and throws) in particular. Just perfect.
— Los Angeles at the demonstration. There really isn’t any suspense in this meeting, because the Clippers know how to make it look easy. Authoritarian, because dominating inside and in the paint, in addition to showing a heavy address, the Californians did not run once after the score. Guided by a super Kawhi Leonard, brilliant leader of an effective five and a productive bench, Tyronn Lue’s players responded in a way to stop their streak of six consecutive defeats. And, without shaking too much. Even the Mavs, and Luka Doncic, rushed them in the second half.
— Luka Doncic tried everything. It took him half an hour to get going (12 points, 3/9 on shots on the break), but what a kill from the Slovenian when the “on” button was pressed… A habit for him against these Clippers if where we meet some of his “greatest enemies” (Marcus Morris, Terance Mann, Ivica Zubac…). In addition to his 3-point address, the leader of Dallas therefore made suffering for the defense of Los Angeles, accumulating mistakes (and therefore throwing) or baskets in the paint and in the middle, despite of taking two and beating. Not enough to bring down Los Angeles, but we almost believe in a new miracle…
✅ Norman Powell. More than anyone else, “Norm” emerged as Kawhi Leonard’s number one lieutenant that night. Author of 27 points (in 30 minutes) from the bench, the Clippers blew up the Texas defense with 3-point baskets and victories near the circle, aggressiveness and direct attack. Especially in the second quarter (16 points), when he let his team take a big lead run from 27-9.
⛔ The Dallas Bench. We could have mentioned the interior sector, the address on 3-pts or the Mavericks’ loss of the ball, but it is difficult to ignore the contribution of the Texan replacements today. With a total of only 13 points, the second unit of Jason Kidd is one of the team’s main weaknesses. Especially since the Clippers bench scored a whopping 43 points on the contrary. Reggie Bullock, Davis Bertans and other Jaden Hardy can feel (partially) responsible for this defeat of the Mavs.
⛔ John Wall. If Tyronn Lue is still struggling to find the right formula among his leaders, just removing Reggie Jackson from his rotation last night, the five-time All-Star’s performance shouldn’t reassure him either: 5 points and 4 assists in 15 minutes , but on 2/11 on shots and with 2 bullet losses. Aside from his bombs, Wall wandered the floor like a lost soul, every time he played. When we compare Terance Mann’s performance to his last, in strength and in attack or defense, we think that evil may be deep in the head of the former Wizards star.
Los Angeles (22-21) : reception from Denver, in the evening of Friday to Saturday (04:00).
Dallas (23-19) : trip to the Lakers, in the evening from Thursday to Friday (04:00).