After Luka Doncic fired a dagger of a buzzer-beater to tie up the LA Clippers’ playoff series against the Dallas Mavericks at two games apiece Sunday, the Clippers will look to bounce back quickly with a win in pivotal Game 5 on Tuesday.
Doncic has been practically unstoppable in the series to date, and even with Kristaps Porzingis missing a game and change in the series, the Mavs aren’t laying down as the No. 7 seed. This series is truly on.
Where: AdventHealth Arena, Orlando, Florida
When: Tuesday, Aug. 25 at 6 p.m. PT
How to watch: TNT, Fox Sports Prime Ticket
How to listen: KEIB 1150, ESPN 103.3 FM / 1270 AM
Projected Starting Lineups
Clippers: Landry Shamet, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Marcus Morris Sr., Ivica Zubac
Mavericks: Luka Doncic, Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr., Dorian Finney-Smith, Maxi Kleber
Clippers: Patrick Beverley (left calf) — DOUBTFUL
Mavericks: Courtney Lee (left calf), Dwight Powell (right achilles), Kristaps Porzingis (knee) — OUT
Porzingis will not return for Game 5, but given a little headway, we will see if the Clippers manage to take advantage of his absence this time around, at least for longer than the first 20 minutes of the game. There will be more room to attack the basket without Porzingis’ rim protection if the team chooses to do so instead of settling for jumpers.
Meanwhile, the Clippers look set to be without guard Patrick Beverley once again, with Doc Rivers saying he was planning for LA to be without the player as he deals with a calf injury. While Montrezl Harrell and Marcus Morris, Sr. are bringing some grit to the court, there’s no doubt the Clippers miss Beverley’s perimeter defense and ability to throw the Mavericks off their game, something they are very much vulnerable to fall for.
Game 5 will not be the final game of the series, but it is very much the most important game yet for both teams for the ability to take the lead with only one win left to advance. Kawhi Leonard has been strong throughout the series, and Lou Williams played his best game of these playoffs in Game 4, so will the Clippers pull it together to take the lead in the series once again? This is bound to be a fascinating game.