The LA Clippers punished the Dallas Mavericks from downtown all night and broke several records en route to a 154-111 win in Game 5 of this Western Conference series. Rick Carlisle's side didn't have the services of Kristaps Porzingis for a second game in succession and their opponents made the most of it.
Paul George showed exactly why the LA Clippers gave up so much to land him in the previous offseason as he accounted for 35 points in 25 minutes. Luka Doncic didn't have much to offer on the night as the Dallas Mavericks star failed to get going from the field. Meanwhile, Kawhi Leonard had his fourth consecutive 30-point game.
Without further ado, let us look at five talking points from Game 5 between the LA Clippers and Dallas Mavericks.
#1 LA Clippers blow the Dallas Mavericks away from distance
The LA Clippers had the second-best offensive rating during the regular season right behind the Dallas Mavericks. Tonight, Doc Rivers' men just showed how lethal they can be when it comes to scoring a basket. They had 22 made threes in the game from just 35 attempts. That's nearly 63% accuracy from downtown.
To be fair to the Mavs, they did try their best to restrict their opponents. They switched continuously on defense and closed out the handlers quickly. However, the LA Clippers' ball movement was always that bit quicker and resulted in a lot of good looks for their players. It safe to say that this is one aspect the Dallas Mavericks have to work on if they are to stretch this series to Game 7.
#2 Kristaps Porzingis' absence hurts the Dallas Mavericks
Kristaps Porzingis hasn't played in this series since going off for 34 points against the LA Clippers in Game 3. The Latvian has been sitting out with right knee soreness.
You must credit the organization for focusing on the long-term health of the player by not rushing him but the Dallas Mavericks certainly missed Porzingis today. Luka Doncic and co. finally got going later on in the game but only had 52 points to show for during the first quarter while their counterparts torched them from the field.
Porzingis has shot the ball at well over 50% from the field overall and also from downtown in the three games that he's played in the series. Doncic would've loved to create chances for him with the Slovenian himself failing to make his shots on the night.
#3 LA Clippers win the bench battle
A repetitive discussion regarding the LA Clippers is just how deep their roster is. Even if their regular stars aren't in top gear, Doc Rivers has several players who can come of the bench and score 20 on any given night.
Even with Landry Shamet starting the game and Lou Williams not being at his best, the LA Clippers' bench comfortably outscored the Dallas Mavericks bench 55-34. A lot of it was particularly down to Seth Curry not being able to get it going.
This is a particular area where the Clippers have an advantage over most teams. Led by Montrezl Harrell, who had 19 points and 11 rebounds in this game, they really can dig deep if needed to win games.
#4 Luka Doncic has an off night
Luka Doncic probably had the best game of his NBA career two nights ago when he managed a 40-point triple-double as well as the buzzer-beater three to level the series. Tonight, LA Clippers came out with a solid plan to restrict Doncic and succeeded.
Firstly, it was either of Paul George or Kawhi Leonard who marked Luka for the majority of the game instead of Marcus Morris. Secondly, they tried double-teaming him and trapped him in the corners as much as possible to make him pass the ball.
Eventually, not only did Doncic have five turnovers, but he was also able to dish out only four dimes. Additionally, he shot only 35% from the field for his 22 points.
#1 Paul George back to his best while Kawhi Leonard continues his exploits for the LA Clippers
After going for a combined 10-of-47 in the last three games, Paul George finally found his mojo and provided the LA Clippers the usual scoring lift that he's known for. PG13 ended the night with 35 points on 12-of-18 shooting. He was also humble enough to own up his bad run in the post-game interview which is a good sign.
We're not talking nearly enough about the brilliant series that Kawhi Leonard is having though. Kawhi dropped 32 points on the Dallas Mavericks tonight while going 12-of-19 from the field. He's averaging 32.8 points per game while shooting at over 50% from the field in the playoffs so far. He was having trouble defending the basket in the first couple of games but has slowly progressed there as well.
Both Paul George and Kawhi Leonard clicking together has to be a huge concern for both the Dallas Mavericks and other West teams.
Published 26 Aug 2020, 11:01 IST