The Mavs Picked Up A Game 3 Win Over The Clippers To Take Control Of Their Series

For the second game in a row, the Dallas Mavericks have taken down the Los Angeles Clippers. The two teams squared off on Friday night in Game 3 of their first round series, and in what can be classified as a slugfest, Dallas was able to defend its homecourt en route to a 101-90 win and a 2-1 series lead.

The first half was defined by two things: A dominant performance from Luka Doncic, and a total no-show by two of the Clippers’ biggest stars. Dallas was able to take a 54-41 lead into the locker room at halftime thanks to Doncic completely tearing up the Los Angeles defense, as the Slovenian star had 14 points, six rebounds, six assists, and a pair of steals.

Dereck Lively II especially benefitted from Doncic’s half, as the rookie gave the team 13 points off the bench.

And then, there’s whatever was going on with Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. While James Harden showed up in the game’s opening 24 minutes with 14 points, the Clippers’ other stars struggled to get going — George had five points on 2-for-5 shooting, while Leonard had only three points on 1-for-2 shooting.

The third quarter was the start of the Kyrie Irving show. While the Clippers were able to slowly chip away at the Mavericks lead and got it down to six, Irving scored eight straight points for Dallas over the final 78 seconds to keep them afloat. And at the start of the fourth quarter, the team was able to carry that momentum over and go on an 8-0 run at the very beginning of the frame to start to make the result look inevitable.

They weren’t just getting it done on the offensive floor as their lead ballooned up to as many as 21 points, as the highlight of the game very well might have been Daniel Gafford meeting George at the summit and turning him away.

While things were tense between the two teams — Russell Westbrook and P.J. Washington were both ejected in the fourth quarter for some pushing and shoving — things never seemed to get out of the home team’s control in the game’s final frame. And by the time the buzzer sounded, both teams had already emptied their benches.

Doncic led the way with a near triple-double, going for 22 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists, and two steals. Irving, meanwhile, had 21 points with six dimes, four boards, and a pair of steals. While the Clippers got good scoring contributions from Harden (21 points), Norman Powell (21 points), and Ivica Zubac (19 points), Leonard and George combining for 16 points on 7-for-18 shooting is just not going to get it done for a team that relies on its stars.

Game 4 between the Mavericks and the Clippers will take place in Dallas on Sunday afternoon. The game is scheduled to tip off at 3:30 p.m. EST on ABC.