Los Angeles Clippers at Mavericks, Game 4
(8:30 p.m. Sunday, American Airlines Center, Dallas)
TV: Bally Sports Southwest/TNT
Radio: ESPN 103.3 FM (Univision 1270 AM, Spanish)
About the Mavericks (2-1): They have come to the pivot point of this series. Either they become the first home team to win in this series, take Game 4, go up 3-1 and become the heavy, heavy favorite to advance to the second round. Or, they end up tied at two wins apiece and fumble away every shred of momentum they created with their two wins in LA to start the series . . . Apart from Game 2, Kristaps Porzingis has not found a good offensive rhythm in this series. He was 3-of-10 from the field and 1-of-4 from 3-point range in Game 3. He also collected just three rebounds in 34 minutes . . . The Mavericks have been sensational from 3-point range in this series, but for some reason, the closer they get to the basket, the tougher things get. They were just 18-for-47 on two-point shots in Game 3 (38.3 percent) . . . If they want to make life easier on themselves, make free throws. They have shot just 59.5 percent from the line in the last two games (25-of-42) . . . Luka Dončić, listed as questionable with a cervical strain, had 44 points, nine rebounds and nine assists in Game 3. However, he was just 7-of-13 from the line. That said, he’s been a beast in this series, scoring 31, 39 and then 44 points . . . While both teams have shot well in the series and there haven’t been a lot of rebounds to go around, the Mavericks have had problems in the past two games, getting outrebounded by five and six in Games 2 and 3, respectively . . . The series will shift back to LA for game 5 on Wednesday at 9 p.m. Game 6, if necessary would be back in Dallas on Friday.
About the Clippers (1-2): They clearly figured some things out with their Game 3 victory, or perhaps it was a simple matter of them making shots that they missed in the first two games . . . On Friday, they shot 41.9 percent from 3-point range. It was the first time in the series they made more than the 41.2 percent they shot during the regular season, which led the league. Their shooting percentage, by the way, has gone up every game in this series . . . Kawhi Leonard and Paul George combined for 65 points in the Game 3 win and Clippers’ coach Tyronn Lue made the change to put Reggie Jackson in the starting lineup for Patrick Beverley . . . Rajon Rondo has been a thorn to the Mavericks’ side. He had eight assists in 26 minutes in Game 3 and also had a key steal against Dončić. Rondo tends to come alive in the playoffs and the Mavericks are hoping to neutralize him in Game 4 . . . This has been an odd series so far in that the road team has won every game. The Clippers are hoping to extend that trend. It’s reminiscent of 2005 when the Mavericks lost the first two games at home against the Rockets, then went to Houston and won twice, eventually winning the series in seven games . . . The Clippers are favored by three points to even the series.