The LA Clippers vs Dallas Mavericks series began in a one-sided manner with the Mavericks taking the first 2 games of the series. This was due to Luka Doncic, a transcendental talent. He has made the Dallas Mavericks a contender in the western conference. Luka is the heart and soul of the franchise.
Heading into game 4, Luka was coming off a 44 PTS 9 RBD 9 AST night in a loss to the LA Clippers at home. Luka states that he felt a pain in his neck that extended to his left hand. Experts ruled it a cervical strain and he was listed as questionable heading into a Game 4. The LA Clippers, led by 2-time finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and All-star Paul George headed into Game 4 to make a statement after winning Game 3.
LA Clippers blowout Dallas Maverics at home 106-81.
Kawhi Leonard and Paul George led the Clippers in scoring and had extremely effective scoring performances. The Clippers completely dominated the Dallas Mavericks throughout the game, winning the game by 25 points in a blowout win. They shot 45% of the shots they attempted and 37 % from the three-point line.
LA also dominated in the paint despite the Dallas Mavericks having two of the biggest active players in the league. Boban Marjanovic who stands at 7’4 and Kristaps Porzingas who stands at 7’3. Despite having both these centres on the court, the Dallas Mavericks were dominated. This was both in terms of interior scoring and rebounding as well as outside shooting. The Clippers used this game to fuel their momentum into what they hope would be a deep playoff push with championship aspirations on the line.
As the Clippers win Game 4 the series moves to Los angles. The Mavericks will have to go on the road to win pivotal Game 5 of this series. The loser of Game 5 will fall 3-2 and will face the pressure of elimination for the rest of the series. Kawhi ended the night with 36 PTS, 8 RBD, 8 AST. Paul George had 29 PTS, 7 RBD, 4 AST
Luka Doncic has playoff low performance
The Dallas Mavericks roster is centred and built around Luka Doncic. He chose to play in Game 4 despite the cervical strain he suffered in Game 3. Luka was a shell of himself in Game 4 and scored only 19 points. This was a playoff low for Luka who has been in the postseason twice and both times against the Clippers.
Despite Porzingas having one of his better games, the Mavericks were unable to keep up with the Clippers’ superstars without Luka being 100% healthy. The series has changed momentum completely in the last two games as the Clippers have been playing playoff basketball.
The Dallas Mavericks had a horrible team shooting night at home. They shot only 16% from the three-point line with the entire team only making 5 threes the whole game. This blowout at home as the series moves to LA will take a toll on the young team on the road.
Rick Carlisle on Luka Doncic: "He's in pain. It appeared to me that he couldn't turn left, he couldn't look to his left."
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) May 31, 2021
The report on the extent of Luka’s injury and his availability for Games 5 and 6 is yet to be released. Since there are two days remaining until the teams play each other next, hopefully, Luka gets another day of rest before Game 5.