MAVERICKS (0-1) at LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS (1-0)
Time: 8 p.m.
Location: Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
TV: FSSW, TNT.
Radio: ESPN 103.3 FM; Univision 1270 AM (Spanish)
About the Mavs: They are 6-point underdogs in Game 2, but they have burgeoning hope in this series after a competitive opening game in which they led at halftime and were only a point behind with under six minutes left . . . Luka Dončić burst onto the playoff scene with 42 points, the highest-scoring game in NBA history by a player making his postseason debut . . . However, the game was marred by the ejection of Kristaps Porzingis early in the third quarter when he picked up his second technical foul. He vowed afterward that he understands he’s too important for the Mavericks and that there will be no future incidents . . . The Mavericks must figure out a way to hang onto the ball against the Clippers’ stifling defense. They turned over the ball 22 times on Monday, 11 of them by Luka. “That’s 11 more possessions I should have had,” he said afterward . . . Game 2 is always when teams make the most adjustments, based off their Game 1 performance. The Mavericks will have to upgrade their rebounding in addition to their ballhandling. They were outrebounded 30-24 in the second half, when they also were outscored 52-41 . . . Coach Rick Carlisle has been known to tweak lineups when things don’t go well. But he’s limited with his options. Maxi Kleber is the only starter open to debate, but would the Mavericks insert Boban Marjanović in Kleber’s spot? Or go ridiculously small with Seth Curry against the brutish Clips? It’s all part of the chess match . . . It’s not impossible to come back from a 2-0 hole in a best-of-seven matchup, but the odds are stacked against you. Only about seven percent of teams falling behind 2-0 rally to win.
About the Clippers: Having seen the crosstown Lakers go down in their opening playoff game against Portland, the Clippers no doubt are aware of the pitfalls of these playoffs. Both No. 1 seeds (Milwaukee in the East) have fallen into a 1-0 hole. Clearly the playoffs are full of parity . . . Nagging at the Clippers is the fact that they don’t believe they played particularly well, particularly on defense. “I thought we reached and gambled way too much,” coach Doc Rivers said. “Other than that, second half I thought our adjustments were better. But they didn’t have Porzingis on the floor so we have to see if they were better.” . . . The Clippers clearly had difficulties when Porzingis was on the floor. He had 14 points and six rebounds in less than 20 minutes of court time . . . The Clippers did what good teams do in Game 1. They came alive down the stretch by leaning on their stars. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George combined for 19 points and four assists in the fourth quarter . . . Marcus Morris had a very effective Game 1 with 19 points and some of the best defensive work of the night by either team . . . The Clippers welcomed back Montrezl Harrell in Game 1 after he missed the eight seeding games while tending to family matters after his grandmother’s death. Rivers said Harrell is behind on his conditioning, but will have to improve it on the fly in games.
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