It’s games like Tuesday night when the Dallas Mavericks would rather just quickly turn the page and get on to the next game.
Paul George and Kawhi Leonard combined for 67 points to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to a 154-111 win over the Mavs at AdventHealth Arena. The Clippers now lead this best-of-seven series, 3-2, with Game 6 set for Thursday at 8 p.m. A seventh game, if necessary, will be on Saturday.
The Clippers took control of the game by going on a 19-0 scoring spree after the Mavs opened the game with a 16-9 lead. Behind Leonard and George, the Clippers had a 41-22 lead after the first quarter, a 76-52 lead at halftime and a 111-86 lead after the third quarter.
“A very poor performance by us,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “It was disappointing. It was very physical, and they had a stronger physical disposition to start the game and throughout. We got to get some more traction at both ends of the floor.”
The Mavs played for the second straight game without forward Kristaps Porzingis, who is experiencing soreness in his right knee. Although the Mavs won Game 4 without Porzingis, they had difficulties trying to duplicate that feat in Game 5.
And it’s too early to tell if Porzingis will be able to play in Game 6.
“There’s a lot of things that we’re doing with him right now – I can’t get into details – trying to move it in a direction to see if he could be available for Game 6,” said Carlisle, who was ejected from the game with 6:42 remaining in the third quarter. “To even attempt to play him or talk about it would be the wrong thing, so we’re moving from day-to-day.
“He’s doing a little bit better each day, but beyond that there’s nothing I can really tell you.”
Carlisle elaborated on his ejection by saying: “The play where I was ejected, what I saw was (Tim) Hardaway (Jr.) had the ball (getting ready to shoot a free throw), and then timeout was called by the official. My understanding in that situation is that once the shooter has the ball a timeout cannot be called by the opposing coach.
“I thought that the call was wrong, and so I was asking about it and I wasn’t getting a great explanation, and then it turned into a technical and then another technical. I’m just standing up for my team, so that was my take on that situation.”
Meanwhile, Doncic, who was playing despite a sprained left ankle, was asked about cameras catching Marcus Morris Sr. stepping on his left ankle in the second half.
“I saw it, yeah, of course,” Doncic said. “I have my own thoughts. I just hope it wasn’t intentional, but every person is going to have their own thoughts.
“I don’t want to talk to him. He’s just saying a lot of bad stuff to me all the game. I’ve just got to move on.”
Carlisle said he also saw the play by Morris.
“I certainly hope that that was not the case,” Carlisle said, when asked if he thought Morris intentionally stepped on Doncic’s ankle. “That’s all I’ll say about it.”
Doncic led the Mavs with 22 points and eight rebounds, Hardaway scored 19 points and Trey Burke poured in 15.
”We had a good start the first couple of minutes,” Carlisle said. “We had a (16-9) lead and then they came at us hard and they came at us physically.
“I think it was 16-15 – we still had a lead when we called the first timeout — and then they made a run and we did not have good answers. It was a tough go out there.”
George scored 34 combined points in Games 2-4, but managed to score 35 on Tuesday. Also, Leonard added 32 points as the Clippers made 11 straight shots at one point in the first quarter and finished the game shooting 63.1 percent from the field and 62.9 percent from 3-point territory.
“We just got to focus on ourselves,” Hardaway said. “Most importantly, we battled this far and we have another game on Thursday and coach said at the beginning of the series that the first team to win two games in a row is going to win it. So we’ve got to try our best to not let them win that second game in a row.”