Things could not be more even between the Mavericks and Clippers, as they prepare to square off in game five from Orlando, FL tonight. Dallas never gave up and ended up picking up a historic Game 4 win, despite Kawhi Leonard and Lou Williams’s best efforts.
This is the second year in a row where the #2 vs. #7 matchup in the West has been airtight. Denver was taken to seven games by San Antonio this year. And this series certainly has the makings of one that could take seven games to crown a winner.
It took every last ounce of energy from Luca Doncic’s good ankle in game four, but his step-back jumper at the buzzer lifted Dallas to an improbable win. With Kristaps Prozingis ruled out shortly before tip and the team then falling behind by 21 in the second quarter, it looked bleak. They never threw in the towel, and instead, gave Doncic a Gatorade shower in the locker room.
Let’s see if Paul George shows up and if the Clippers can regain composure.
The Clippers are 6.5-point favorites coming into Tuesday’s matchup. The over/under is set at 235.
Can Dallas Pull It Off?
The Clippers have been Western Conference co-favorites with the Lakers all year. Since they acquired Leonard and George last summer, the goal has been a title.
But the Mavericks are standing in their way. Doncic’s game has reached an even higher level, while the supporting cast continues to do all they can to keep the team afloat.
The defense of Maxi Kleber and shot-making of Seth Curry and Trey Burke put the team in position to win in game 4. For the crazy stat-line (43-17-15) Luka put up, it was them who made the shots off his passes, and came through big as did Tim Hardaway Jr. Doncic’s game-winner will reverberate around the NBA for the years to come.
Prorzingis or not tonight, he will be ready to go to war for his team again, and we’ll see if they can get it done.
Clippers Must Win
They won’t be eliminated with a loss, but the pressure would certainly ratchet up. This series has been tightly contested from the beginning.
Leonard has been dominant, and Williams finally delivered last game. For three games now, George has played the worst basketball of his life, though. Can “Playoff P” recover?
And if Doncic missed that shot, we would be singing a different tune. Marcus Morris’ go-ahead three off the drive and dish from Kawhi would have won them the game. It would be 3-1, and they would start to think about round two. But that isn’t the case.
Williams and Leonard had a great two-man game going to close out game four. We’ll see if it can continue tonight. And if Porzingis plays, the game plan may have to change a bit, and Dallas may be tougher.
Mavs Sneak Off with Win
They are underestimated once again, and that’s when Doncic thrives the most. Mavs win. Bad ankle or not, he wants this bad.
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