MAVS (2-2) VS. CLIPPERS (2-2)
Time: 8 p.m. CT
Place: AdventHealth Arena, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
TV: FSSW; TNT
Radio: ESPN 103.3 FM; Univision 1270 AM (Spanish)
About the Mavs: Thanks to an incredible step-back 3-point shot at the buzzer by Luka Doncic in Game 4 Sunday, the Mavs were able to tie this best-of-seven first-round series at 2-2 with a pulsating 135-133 victory in overtime. Doncic released his shot, the buzzer went off, the ball went through the net, and the Mavs’ players, coaches and staff proceeded to mob the second-year point guard in a game that will go down as one of the most memorable in NBA history. . .Doncic finished Game 4 with 43 points, 17 rebounds and 13 assists. That’s the only stat line of this kind in the history of the NBA playoffs. And Doncic did it while playing on a sprained left ankle that he suffered in Game 3. Doncic became the first 21-year old to score at least 40 points in a playoff game since LeBron James did it in 2006. The only other 21-year-olds to score at least 40 points in a playoff game are Magic Johnson and Tracy McGrady. . .Forward Kristaps Porzingis is listed as a game-time decision. Porzingis is still dealing with soreness in his right knee that forced him to be a late scratch from Game 4. “He’s been undergoing treatment and he’s seen the doctors here,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “Look, a lot of this is going to be hour-to-hour, minute-to-minute type stuff, probably in the latter stages of (today). . .It may be late in the day, late in the evening before we know for sure.”. . .The Mavs were getting beat up in Game 4. They trailed, 54-33, with 7:39 remaining in the second quarter. But they woke up just in time and wound up putting on one of the most inspiring performances in NBA history. . .Signed as a substitute player on July 1, guard Trey Burke started and scored 25 points on 10-of-14 shots in Game 4, and Tim Hardaway Jr. added 21 points on 8-of-18 shots. . .The Mavs also got 15 points from Seth Curry in Game 4, and 10 points and seven rebounds from Boban Marjanovic in just 16 minutes. . .The Mavs must guard against being over-confident in Game 5 after the magnificent comeback in Game 4. “I’ve been a head coach 18 years in this league now and I don’t know if I’ve seen a situation where a team demonstrated the level of fight that we did (Sunday),” Carlisle said. “And that’s got to continue, and that’s got to be a constant, whether we’re ahead, whether we’re behind. That’s got to be our process. Look, it’s that simple. We can’t exhale. I’ve used the phraseology – we can’t let our guard down. It’s all those things.”
About the Clippers: Obviously, the Clippers are not in the best of moods after they came within a milli-second of taking a commanding 3-1 lead in this best-of-seven series. Marcus Morris Sr. buried a gut-check 3-pointer with just nine seconds left in overtime in Game 4 that gave the Clippers a 133-132 lead. But that didn’t last very long, thanks to the heroics from Luka. . .Kawhi Leonard scored 32 points and grabbed nine rebounds in Game 4 and has been a dominant force in this series. As he is for everybody, Leonard is a matchup problem for the Mavs. However, he did miss the potential game-winning shot at the regulation buzzer in Game 4. . .Also in Game 4 for the Clippers, Lou Williams showed again why he is one of the best players off the bench in the history of the NBA. Williams was 13-of-20 from the field, 2-of-4 from the 3-point line and 8-of-9 from the charity stripe while tossing in a team-high 36 points in Game 4. . .In addition, Ivica Zubac (15 points) and Reggie Jackson (14 points) had solid performances in Game 4 . . .Of his team’s Game 4 loss, Clippers coach Doc Rivers said: “We could have played better. But again, we’ve had a lot of self-inflicted wounds. I sound like a broken record, but there’s obviously things we need to do as a staff as well. But we absolutely just need to execute better on both ends.”. .After scoring 27 points in the series opener, Paul George has struggled mightily the past three games. That includes scoring just nine points in Game 4 when he was only 3-of-14 from the field and 1-of-7 from 3-point range. Rivers said George needs to just keep shooting until he re-locates his shooting stroke. “Listen, we’ve got to get him more shots, and that’s on us,” Rivers said. “That’s on all of us. He got great looks (in Game 4), and I just want him to get more of those and take more of those. He needs to shoot 20-plus time, he needs to get the ball up in the air, and he will. He will.”. . .Rivers isn’t sure if guard Patrick Beverley will be available to play in Game 5. Beverley has missed the past three games with a left calf strain. “I haven’t heard one thing that he may play,” Rivers said. “That doesn’t mean he might not. Right now I’m not planning on it. And so, because of that we have to make tough choices at the end of every game. That’s just the way it is. He’s a big part of our defense, there’s no doubt about that. He’s the voice for sure. He’s one of the loudest guys just talking schemes, and he does great homework and we’ve given him the ability to do that, but we don’t have him.”