BEST DUO THE MAVS HAVE FACED: With the deepest apologies to whoever feels they need an apology, the verdict is in. And the survey says: Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are the best Batman and Robin duo the Mavs have seen this year. And the Mavs have seen LeBron James and Antony Davis (LA Lakers), James Harden and Russell Westbrook (Houston Rockets), and Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum (Portland Trail Blazers). No team has as devastating a duo as what the Leonard-George combination. Leonard pierced the Mavs’ defense for 28 points on 11-of-21 shots in 28 minutes. George added 17 of his 26 points in the first quarter and was 8-of-21 from the field and added a career-high four steals.
CLIPPERS GOT PHYSICAL WITH LUKA: Since they knew they probably weren’t going to win a one-on-one matchup with Luka Doncic, the Clippers did the next best thing. They sent two or three players at the Mavs’ point guard at all times, forcing the ball out of his hands and forcing someone else not named Luka Doncic to beat them. That’s because the Clippers knew Luka Doncic is so talented that he could beat them if they resorted to trying to cover him one-on-one – regardless if that defender was Kawhi Leonard, Paul George or Patrick Beverley. Since the Clippers won the game, their defensive strategy obviously worked to perfection.
LUKA HAD AN OFF NIGHT: Point guard Luka Doncic was harassed and hounded all night and put through a physical torture chamber by the Clippers. The second-year veteran finished the night with 22 points, eight rebounds, six assists and seven turnovers. He also was just 4-of-14 from the field and missed all eight of his 3-point field goal attempts. It was the second-lowest scoring output of the season for Doncic, the second-fewest field goals he’s made in a game, and the second-fewest field goals he’s attempted this season. During the Mavs’ game in Denver on Oct. 29, Doncic scored a season-low 12 points, on 3-of-12 shooting.
NUMBERS TELL THE STORY: There were more than a few tell-tale signs that helped do in the Mavs against the Clippers. First and foremost, in addition to holding the Mavs to their fewest points of the season, the Clippers limited the Mavs to a season-low 38 percent shooting from the field. The Clippers also outscored the Mavs in fastbreak points (20-13), points in the paint (48-30), and second-chance points (14-8). In addition, the Mavs lost the rebounding battle, 56-46, including 17-9 on the offensive boards. And while using their aggressive and physical style and sheer athleticism as weapons, the Clippers turned 20 Mavs’ turnovers into 18 points.
LESSONS LEARNED: In every loss – and in every win, for that matter – a team invariably will learn something about itself. That was no difference for the Mavs in their 15-point loss to the Clippers. Forward Kristaps Porzingis put it bluntly when he said of the Clippers: “They’re a championship team and they’re looking to win a championship (this season). They played like it was a playoff game. They played well. They came in ready. We got punched in the mouth tonight.” Added guard Seth Curry: “We’re going to watch the film and we’re going to learn from the different stretches when we didn’t score, and just learn the level of intensity we need to play at to play against one of the best teams in the league.”