Dallas in Los Angeles loses the third in a row without the Slovenian. The final comeback with Porzingis is not enough. Problems for LA: Batum in the Covid protocol
After two consecutive series of Playoffs played and the birth of a fresh and stimulating rivalry, Clippers (10-7) and Mavericks (9-7) have faced each other for the first time this season (they will do it again on the Italian night between Tuesday and Wednesday, again at the Staples Center) in a competition that was stylistically not beautiful but which saw the hosts win 97-91, dragged by Paul George’s 29 points and Reggie Jackson’s 23. Dallas in the game until the end but heavily penalized by the absence of Luka Doncic.
Confidence in one’s own means and the belief, perhaps even a little presumption, of being able to overcome any setback with quality and talent. Los Angeles has many players with these characteristics and it has used them abundantly in this race to get out of the technical impasse caused by a little enveloping pace. The Clippers have something inside that allows them to hold on to each individual play to be able to have grip and control even in a game as difficult to interpret as this one. Whether it’s an acceleration from Mann, a forced (and unconscious) shot from Jackson, a triple from Kennard or a dunk from Zubac. Los Angeles worked well in the lulls and numerous script gaps of this race. She did it a lot better than Dallas, if nothing else, and was helped a lot by her best player. The only discordant note: Nic Batum has entered the anti Covid protocol and risks being out for at least 10 days.
He lit up at the end of the 2nd quarter, after a soft start, with a breathtaking play over the iron and then raised the level of his basketball after half-time, doing what is legitimately expected of someone like him. Paul George has everything it takes to kidnap and determine a basketball game at this level and the Clippers have leaned on him to push the opponent away and take over the score. The 13th in Los Angeles, sometimes in an “only against the world” version, did not disappoint. Without overdoing it, without exaggerating with the stage presence, George was in all respects the best player on the court. He made a difference, especially in the decisive 3rd period and in the final possessions, and the Clippers won. The Palmdale native performed like a champion with 29 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds in 38 ‘.
Without Luka Doncic, the Mavericks have improvised a lot in the attacking half but the overall quality of the roster is not reassuring enough to support this ambition. With a short three-point shot (6/30, 20%) and a lack of effective playmaking, Dallas is truly an easy side to read and limit. Ineffective pick and roll and zero unpredictability from the dribble for coach Jason Kidd’s guys, who just can’t do without the invaluable talent of their Slovenian star and who even had to rely on Boban Marjanovic in the 4th period to try to find a minimum balance and continuity. The double-digit performances of Kristaps Porzingis (25 points and 8 rebounds) and Jalen Brunson (20 points and 8 assists) are almost irrelevant. A counterproductive thread, especially considering the absence of Doncic, that of Tim Hardaway Jr (8 points, 2/12 shooting).
Balanced first half at Staples but far from spectacular. Both teams with wet powders in attack, especially from the bow, and many reading errors. Dallas with greater regularity and the offensive “weight” of Porzingis (15 points), Los Angeles with a more internal but not very airy game. The only exhilarating moment comes from a super dunk by George on the head of Dwight Powell at the end of the 2nd quarter. The Mavs close ahead 47-46 at the interval but in the 3rd quarter they suffer the awakening of the hosts, led with mastery by Paul George himself. The Clippers take control of the game and advance by 9 points (71-62). In the 4th period the Mavericks also go down by 12 (87-75), then they get closer to -3 but finally they are rejected without the possibility of a response by some remarkable individual plays of the opponents. To sign them is the duo George-Jackson.
LA Clippers: George 29 (12/25, 3/8 da tre, 2/2 tl), Jackson 23, Zubac 16. Rimbalzi: Zubac 10. Assist: George 6.
Dallas: Porzingis 25 (10/18, 0/4 da tre, 5/6 tl), Brunson 20, Powell 9. Rimbalzi: Porzingis 8. Assist: Brunson 8.
November 22, 2021 (change November 22, 2021 | 08:42)
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Without Doncic Dallas there is no: Paul George and the Clippers take advantage of it