MAVERICKS (3-3) AT LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS (3-3)
Time: 2:30 p.m.
Place: STAPLES Center
TV: WFAA Channel 8
Radio: ESPN 103.3 FM; Univision 1270 AM (Spanish)
About the Mavericks: After going a perfect 3-0 in this playoff series in games played in Los Angeles, the Mavs are very confident they can make that 4-0. The road team has won all six games in this series – an anomaly the Mavs truly expect to continue today. . .The Mavs-Clippers Game 7 winner will start a best-of-seven series at the Utah Jazz on Tuesday. And since Game 2 of that Western Conference semifinals is Thursday in Salt Lake City, when the Mavs flew to LA on Saturday they had to pack for a six-day road trip. . .The Mavs lost Game 6 at home on Friday, 104-97. But when the Mavs dropped Game 4 at home, 106-81, on May 28, they followed that up by traveling to Los Angeles and defeating the Clippers, 105-100, in Game 5. So the Mavs know they have (immediate) experience and success bouncing back on the road after suffering a gut-wrenching loss at home. . .The Mavs are 4-2 all-time in a Game 7, including winning a pair of them in 2003. In 2014, the Mavs lost in the first round to the San Antonio Spurs in seven games. But in 2006 the Mavs defeated the Spurs in seven games in the second round of the playoffs by winning Game 7 in San Antonio, 119-111, in overtime. In the first round of the 2005 playoffs, the Mavs emerged victorious over the Houston Rockets when they captured Game 7 by the resounding score of 116-76. In 2003, the Mavs not only beat the Portland Trail Blazers in seven games in the opening round of the playoffs, they also upended the Sacramento Kings in seven games in the second round of the ’03 playoffs. In addition, in the Mavs’ first-ever Game 7, they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1988 Western Conference Finals. . .Back when the first round of the playoffs was a best-of-five series, the Mavs dropped the first two games of the 2001 series to the Utah Jazz before winning the last three games and the series in dramatic fashion. That includes winning the decisive Game 5 in Salt Lake City. That, by the way, was the first postseason series ever played and won by the Dirk Nowitzki-led Mavs. . .Luka Doncic collected 29 points, eight rebounds, 11 assists and four steals in Game 6. Also in that game, Tim Hardaway Jr. contributed 23 points, Boban Marjanovic had 12 points and nine boards, and Dorian Finney-Smith finished with 11 points, seven rebounds and two steals.
About the Clippers: It took a super performance by Kawhi Leonard and an unusual performance by Reggie Jackson for the Clippers to beat the Mavs in Game 6 in Dallas, 104-97, this past Friday. Leonard tallied 45 points on 18-of-25 shots. Jackson scored 25 points and was 8-of-15 from the field and 3-of-7 from behind the 3-point arc. . .The Clippers will again lean on Leonard – he also guarded Luka Doncic a lot in Game 6 — for some offensive and defensive efficiency in Game 7. “Luka has the ball in his hands 90% of the time,” Clippers coach Ty Lue said. “He’s the head of the snake. He gets everybody involved, he scores the basketball and he puts a lot of pressure on the defense. With Kawhi taking that challenge and playing 42 minutes (Friday), he didn’t really seem tired. We tried to get him out when we could, then get him back and like I said, it takes a lot out of him. But it looked like he was great.”. .Lue hopes the Clippers can shoot better than they did in Game 6, particularly from the 3-point stripe where they were just 10-of-34 for a puny 29.4 percent. “I think we just have to shoot the ball better, clean up a couple of our mistakes,” Lue said. “We just have to shoot the ball. If we just shoot the ball, we’re in great shape. We’re in great shape anyway, but we just have to have one of those great shooting nights that we’re used to and accustomed to and we’ll be fine.”. . .Those 25 points Jackson tallied in Game 6 – including 14 of them in the first quarter – was a total surprise by many. But not to Jackson. “I just came out prepared,” he said. “I tried to be ready for anything. I have the trust in my teammates, the staff, and the whole organization behind me so it allows me to go out there and play free, play with confidence, trust in the work that I put in each and every day into this game. I just go out there and enjoy it. We were fortunate to get a win (in Game 6).”. .The Clippers trailed Game 6 after the third quarter, 77-73, but outscored the Mavs, 31-20, in the fourth quarter. . .Obviously, the Clippers depended heavily on their starters in Game 6 as they only got four points, six rebounds and one assist from their bench in that contest.