LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS (0-2) AT MAVERICKS (2-0)
Time: 8:30 p.m.
Place: American Airlines Center, Dallas
TV: BSSW; ESPN
Radio: ESPN 103.3 FM; Univision 1270 AM (Spanish)
About the Mavericks: So far in this series, the Mavs have accomplished what not many thought they could accomplish. And that is they went into Los Angeles and won the first two games of this best-of-seven series against the Clippers. The last time the Mavs won the first two games of a playoff series was in 2011 when they took a 2-0 lead over that other LA team – the Lakers – in the Western Conference semifinals. That year the Mavs wound up sweeping the Lakers and went on to win the NBA title. . .This is the first home playoff game for the Mavs since April 23, 2016 when they lost Game 4 of their first-round series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, 119-108. . .The Mavs are expecting a crowd of approximately 16,000, which will be one of the largest crowds in the NBA since the league was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic following a March 11, 2020 contest at American Airlines Center between the Mavs and Denver Nuggets. . .The Mavs are 21-15 at home this season and have won eight of their last nine home games. “But just because you’re home doesn’t mean you’re just going to walk out there and win a game,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “You still got to keep doing the things that you’ve been doing well in previous games, and that’s going to always be the challenge as you move along to the next game of a playoff series.”. .Luka Doncic has been absolutely spectacular in the first two games. The third-year point guard contributed 31 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in the series opener, and added 39 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in Game 2. . .Whatever Tim Hardaway Jr. ate for pregame meals prior to Games 1 and 2, he may want to consider continuing that as part of his pregame meal. Hardaway feasted on the Clippers for 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting – and 5-of-9 shots from 3-point range – in the 113-103 Game 1 victory. And in the 127-121 triumph in Game 2, he tallied 28 points on 9-of-14 attempts – including 6-of-8 tries from 3-point territory. . .The Mavs are 35-of-70 from downtown for 50 percent in this series.
About the Clippers: The Clippers have suddenly found themselves in a very desperate situation after dropping the first two games of this series on their home court. The Clippers know they can ill afford to go down 0-3 in this series. Teams that fall behind 0-3 in a best-of-seven series have an all-time record of 0-140. . .Clippers coach Ty Lue and forward Paul George doesn’t seem to be at all worried about the hole the Clippers have dug for themselves. ”I’m not concerned,” Lue said. “They got to win four games, and you come in on the opposing team’s floor and you play. There’s no pressure, you can make shots, because you just try to come in and steal a game or steal two games. But now they got to go home and try to keep up the same shooting. It’s easy to come out on the road and do that when there’s no pressure on you, so we’ll see in Game 3.” For his part in analyzing the Clippers’ plight, George said: “It’s a competition. We got to rise to the occasion. The fact of the matter is if we don’t, we’re done. But it’s no level of concern. We just got to play our game. We got to play through this. We got to incorporate our defense.”. .The Clippers’ one-two scoring punch of Kawhi Leonard and George haven’t disappointed on the offensive end of the floor in this series. In Game 1, Leonard poured in 28 points, collected 10 rebounds, distributed five assists and picked up four steals. And George added 23 points, six rebounds and five assists. In Game 2, Leonard finished with 41 points, six rebounds and two steals, and George contributed 28 points, 12 rebounds and six assists. Leonard became just the third player in Clipper history to score at least 40 points in a playoff game. . .Game 4 of this series will also be played in Dallas – on Sunday at 8:30 p.m. If the Clippers can find a way to win one of the two games at American Airlines Center, they’ll host Game 5 in Los Angeles on Wednesday. Also if necessary, Game 6 will be in Dallas on June 4, and a Game 7, if necessary, will take place on June 6 in Los Angeles.