Los Angeles Clippers at Mavericks, Game 6
(8 p.m. Friday, American Airlines Center, Dallas)
TV: Bally Sports Southwest/ESPN
Radio: ESPN 103.3 FM (Univision 1270 AM, Spanish)
About the Mavericks (3-2): Trendsetters. That’s what the Mavericks have to be in Game 6. They have to ignore the routine that has come to define this series. The road team hasn’t lost. The Mavericks have won three times in Los Angeles. The Clippers have won twice at AAC. It’s time for that to stop. It truly is a moment in the series where the first home team to win advances to the Western Conference semifinals against Utah . . . Either way, the Mavericks are playing Sunday afternoon at 2:30 . . . Win, and Game 1 of the conference semis is at Utah. Lose and Game 7 is at STAPLES Center . . . Luka Dončić is having nothing less than a monstrous series. He’s averaged 35 points, 9.4 assists and 8 rebounds in the first five games. He clearly left his neck injury behind in Game 5, when he had 40 points after three quarters . . . Dončić has played 11 playoff games. He’s scored 40 or more points in four of them . . . Coach Rick Carlisle made the move to start Boban Marjanović in front of Maxi Kleber and the 7-4 center came through with an impactful Game 5, scoring nine points to go with seven rebounds. He also helped stabilize the paint as the Mavericks got a near-push (36-38) in points in the paint . . . Tim Hardaway Jr. has been the No. 2 scoring option behind Luka, averaging 17 points and shooting 49.6 percent from 3-point land.
About the Clippers (2-3): They are in a win-or-Cancun situation. To advance beyond this best-of-seven series first-round series, the Clips will have to win two in a row, starting Friday night. Lose, and summer vacation starts earlier than most people expected it to for the Clips . . . Kawhi Leonard has been the only player in the series who has gone toe-to-toe statistically with Dončić and not be completely overwhelmed. Leonard has averaged 30.4 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4 assists through five games . . . The Clippers still are uncertain whether Serge Ibaka will be available. He’s missed the last two games with back issues . . . Both benches have seen their production diminish as the series has worn on, but the Clippers’ bench has been particularly short lately. Their reserves scored just 11 points in Game 5 (to 18 for the Mavericks’ bench). Rajon Rondo missed all six of his shots and had a key turnover late . . . The Clippers have outrebounded the Mavericks in each of the last four games by an average of more than six boards per game. The Mavericks have been fortunate to win two of those games . . . The wise guys in Las Vegas still believe the road-is-where-the-heart-is trend will continue in this game. The Clippers are 2½-point favorites.
Share and comment