“We know the percentages”: Kyrie Irving discloses daunting motivation to steal road game in thriller vs Clippers

NBA: Playoffs-Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Clippers
“We know the percentages”: Kyrie Irving reveals daunting motivation to steal road game in thriller vs Clippers

Guided by the dynamic duo of Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic, the Dallas Mavericks rebounded to seize home-court advantage from the LA Clippers, capitalizing on the return of a newly returned and rusty Kawhi Leonard.

Kyrie Irving was on the sidelines following the win to talk about Tuesday's performance and the importance of stealing a road game to take the home-court advantage, to which he responded with:

"I mean, we know the percentages. You go down 0-2 in any series, it's gonna be tough to come back, so, we just wanted to focus on tonight's win and head back to our Dallas home court and be able to play in front of our fans."

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Doncic led the scoring charge with 32 points, complemented by Irving's 23 points, as the Mavericks secured a hard-fought 96-93 victory on Tuesday night. This win leveled series apiece.

Kyrie Irving and Dallas Mavericks take advantage of LA Clippers rough shooting night

In his first game since March 31, Kawhi Leonard contributed 15 points and seven rebounds during 35 minutes of play. He had not participated in any games or contact practices during that period due to inflammation in his surgically repaired right knee.

The Mavericks maintained control for the majority of the game, a stark contrast to their previous outing, where they trailed by 29 points before ultimately falling short in a 109-97 loss. Paul George and James Harden spearheaded the Clippers' efforts with 22 points each, while Ivica Zubac contributed 13 points and 12 rebounds.

However, the team struggled with shooting efficiency, managing only a 36.8% field goal percentage and converting just 8 of 30 attempts from beyond the arc. Notably, Leonard appeared to find his rhythm after halftime and exhibited increased activity on the defensive end.

Struggling with poor shooting throughout much of the game, the Clippers started to mount a comeback in the third quarter. Despite being down by seven points, they rallied to outscore the Mavericks 19-10 in the closing stretch of the quarter.

Doncic managed to tie the game at 65-all before receiving a technical foul. Harden's subsequent free throw edged the Clippers into a one-point lead.

During a critical juncture in the game, the Mavericks embarked on a pivotal 14-0 run, establishing an 81-73 lead. The surge began with a 3-pointer from Washington in front of the Clippers' bench, followed by consecutive triples from Doncic and Kyrie, fueling the momentum for Dallas.

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