The Los Angeles Clippers carry a 3-2 lead over the Dallas Mavericks into Thursday night’s Game 6 contest in the opening best-of-seven series of the Western Conference playoffs. The Clippers are coming off a decisive. 154-111, Game 5 victory on Tuesday that saw Mav’s head coach Rick Carlisle get ejected in the third quarter of play.
Game five included six technicals and a flagrant foul. Game 6 tips off at 9 p.m. EST at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, and all of Thursday’s action can be seen on the network. The Clippers are a heavy -10.5 favorite in the tilt, according to oddsmakers.
What to Know – Los Angeles Clippers
After dropping Game 4 in a close-fought battle, the Clippers left no doubt who the higher-ranked team was in Game 5. Los Angeles led wire-to-wire and built up as much as a 45-point advantage in the second half.
All-Star Paul George erupted for a game-high 35 points on 12-of-18 shooting from the floor. George also made all seven of his free throw attempts. George had endured the wrath from fans via social media because of his below-average performance so far during the series.
Former NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard added 32 points, shooting 12-of-19 and grabbing seven rebounds. Montrezl Harrell came off the bench and scored 19 while adding a team-high 11 boards.
The Clippers shot a blistering 63.1 percent (53-of-84) from the field and 62.9 percent (22-of-35) from the 3-point line. LA outrebounded the Mavs 49-31.
What to Know – Dallas Mavericks
The Mavs had no answers on the ball’s defensive side to contain the hot shooting from LA. Dallas is playing without key starter Kristaps Porzingis, and it showed in Game 5 with Doncic having to carry the team. Porzingis has not been ruled out for Game 6, but the likelihood of suiting up is slim.
Luka Doncic continues to shine for the Mavericks, the 21-year-old scored a team-high 22 points on 6-of-17 shooting from the floor and secured eight rebounds. Doncic was heavily defended and connected on just one of his six 3-point tries and turned the ball over five times.
Tim Hardaway Jr. provided 19 points on a practical 7-of-14 effort shooting. Trey Burke (15 points) and Maxi Kleber (12 points) also chipped in for the Mavs.
Dallas went 44.7 percent (38-of-85) from the floor and 32.4 percent (12-of-37) from beyond the arc. The Clippers made ten more 3-point tries than the Mavericks.
The Pick is In
Dallas is not going to lay down without a fight. The Mavericks have proved they have what it takes to perform well and win against the Clippers. No one is beating the Clippers if they shoot the way they did Tuesday, but that is unlikely to happen again. Los Angeles will play to win to get some rest before the semifinals, but if you can still get the Mavericks +10.5 points, take it.