Game 2 of the first round of the playoffs tonight. The Mavericks dominated the majority of the first contest. Hopefully the Clippers can get into the win column tonight before heading to Dallas for two games.
When: Tuesday, May 25 at 7:30 p.m. PT
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
How to watch/listen: NBA TV, Bally Sports SoCal
Opposing perspective: Mavs Moneyball
Projected Starting Lineups
Clippers: Patrick Beverley, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Marcus Morris Sr., Ivica Zubac
Mavericks: Luka Doncic, Josh Richardson, Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Maxi Kleber
Mavericks: JJ Redick (heel) — OUT
The Clippers were never really out of Game 1, but it just seemed like they never stood a chance of winning. No matter how closely they trimmed the deficit, the Mavs always seemed to respond right back. When LA took the lead, it would evaporate shortly after. Although they lost the first matchup, there are some things to take away as a positive.
They were essentially outplayed all game, but they still had a chance to win in the final minutes. Dallas shot 47 percent from deep where as the Clips shot 27 percent. During the regular season, the Clippers were arguably the best free-throw shooting team in the league, but during the fourth quarter they missed a number of costly freebies.
Again, all those things were in the Mavericks’ favor, and LA still had a lead late in the game and could have been within one with two minutes to go.
Dorian Finney-Smith had 18 points and missed two shots all night. Jalen Brunson had 15 points in his first career playoff game. Tim Hardaway Jr. had 21 points and made five from deep. Those three players won’t have games like that again. Well, at least I hope not.
However, the Clippers desperately need contributions from someone other than Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Combined they scored 49, but the next highest scorer was Rajon Rondo and Nicholas Batum with 11. I’m not saying someone needs to be dropping 20, but they’ll need a third option to really stand up and help guide the Clippers to a win.
I have confidence the Clippers will win tonight. As I mentioned above, so much went against them in the first contest and they had a chance to win the game with a few minutes remaining.
Enjoy the game, everyone!