The Dallas Mavericks fended off a late run by the LA Clippers to record a vital 105-100 win in Game 5 on Wednesday night. It was largely the Luka Doncic show that propelled Rick Carlisle’s unit as they claimed their third straight victory at the Staples Center in this series.
Both the LA Clippers and Dallas Mavericks got their offense flowing early on, draining a bunch of three-pointers. It was largely a closely contested affair, but with the scorecard reading 67-62 in the hosts’ favor, the Mavs called a timeout and then went on a 29-8 run.
Paul George and co. played catch-up after that and even had the chance to take the lead in the final moments of the game, but they couldn’t finish the job. Without further ado, let’s look at the five talking points from the Dallas Mavericks’ win against the LA Clippers.
Before you start shouts of ‘Pandemic P’, let’s make it clear that Paul George was arguably the best player for the LA Clippers in this game. He gave the Dallas Mavericks trouble from downtown, was efficient from the field and played good defense. He finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and three blocks.
But George made too many bad plays down the stretch on the offensive end. The LA Clippers managed to restrict the Dallas Mavericks, but PG13’s regular turnovers just took away several scoring opportunities from his side.
Luka Doncic played Game 5 with a taped neck and left shoulder, but that wasn’t going to stop him from torching the LA Clippers. The Slovenian was a walking bucket in the first quarter, racking up 19 points which included five treys. He scored 40 of his 42 points in the first three quarters.
Terance Mann was the beneficiary of this move and made some good plays down the stretch. Reggie Jackson also had a decent 20-point game as the starting point guard. But you could argue that Beverley’s doggedness on defense could’ve helped the LA Clippers contain some of the bleeding late in the third quarter.
Ty Lue deployed a small lineup for the majority of the matchup, with Nicolas Batum playing at the five. When backup center Ivica Zubac was struggling to protect the paint, Ty Lue could’ve reverted to a smaller lineup again and given some of Zubac’s minutes to Beverley.
There’s no guarantee that playing Patrick Beverley would’ve given the Dallas Mavericks too much trouble tonight, but it was certainly an option that Ty Lue chose not to use.