Game No. 3.
Mavericks at Los Angeles Clippers
(2:30 p.m. Sunday, Staples Center, Los Angeles)
TV: Fox Sports Southwest/NBA TV
Radio: ESPN 103.3 FM (Univision 1270 AM, Spanish)
About the Mavericks (0-2): They will be trying to get off the goose egg after losses at Phoenix and the Los Angeles Lakers . . . They haven’t started a season 0-3 since 2017-18, when they were 0-4, then 1-10 and finally finished that forgettable season 24-58 . . . The most glaring statistical weakness has been rebounding. Through two games, they have been outrebounded 101-66 and they were outscored in second-chance by the Lakers on Christmas 35-0. After that game, coach Rick Carlisle pointed to a lack of toughness as a primary culprit for why they haven’t been competitive on the boards . . . The one thing the Mavericks have done well through two games is force 34 turnovers. But when they aren’t forcing miscues, they are allowing opponents to shoot 52.4 percent, including 43.5 percent from 3-point range . . . The big-man rotation continues to be fluid as nobody among Dwight Powell, Maxi Kleber, Willie Cauley-Stein and James Johnson has been particularly effective or consistent . . . This will be the end of a season-opening three-game trip. They will return for Wednesday’s home opener against Charlotte . . . The Clippers are favored over the Mavericks by 5 points, according to vegasinsider.com.
About the Clippers (2-0): They took some heat for flaming out in the second round last season, losing to Denver. But they have made a strong start to the new season, beating the crosstown Lakers on the night when the defending champs got their rings, then going to Denver on Christmas to spank the Nuggets . . . They have gone with Serge Ibaka at center in the opening two games, while bringing Ivica Zubac off the bench . . . So far, Ibaka has scored 15 points in each of the first two games with the Clippers and hit four of five from 3-point range . . . Kawhi Leonard had 21 points, seven assists, five rebounds and four steals in the 121-108 win over the Nuggets on Christmas . . . Paul George led the Clippers in that game with 23 points and will join Leonard and Ibaka as probable starters with Patrick Beverley and Nic Batum . . . The Clips have perhaps the deepest bench in the NBA with Lou Williams, Zubac, Luke Kennard, Reggie Jackson and Patrick Patterson. That group was 6-of-13 from 3-point range and combined for 38 points in the win over Denver.