The Dallas Mavericks lost to the LA Clippers 118-108 in Game 3 on May 28. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George answered the bell to get their team back in the series. They combined for 65 points on 24 of 35 shooting from the field in Game 3. The Clippers still had no answers for Luka Doncic, though.
The Mavs superstar finished with 44 points, nine rebounds, nine assists, and one steal in 38 minutes. He was 15 of 28 from the field and hit seven 3-pointers in Game 3. It was the third time Luka put up 40-plus in his first nine career NBA Playoff games. Doncic stayed hot, but the Mavericks did not give him enough help on Friday night.
It was an incredible crowd at the American Airlines Center. Dallas had over 17,700 fans on hand to cheer on the Mavericks, but it was not enough. Here is a closer look at Luka’s performance, Game 3 of the Mavs versus Clippers, and what to expect going forward.
Luka Doncic goes off as Dallas Mavericks fall to LA Clippers in Game 3
Luka started white hot on Friday night. He had the first eight points in front of a wild American Airlines Center crowd. See his second triple over Ivica Zubac.
Doncic was incredible to start the game. He had 11 points as the Mavericks raced out to a 19-point advantage in the first. The Clippers made punched back, though. They were sparked by Paul George and Kawhi Leonard to cut the Mavs lead to three points at the end of the opening period.
Luka stayed hot in the second quarter. He cooked Ivica Zubac again early in the period.
Doncic had 26 points, seven rebounds, and four assists in the first half, but the Clippers were up by two at the break. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George combined for 40 points on 18 of 24 shooting in the first 24 minutes to give the Clippers the lead.
Luka threw in an incredible floater while getting fouled in the third quarter.
The 22-year-old superstar had 34 points, eight rebounds, and seven dimes through three quarters, but LA was up by three heading into the final period.
The Clippers delivered the knockout blow in the fourth quarter. They held the Mavericks to 22 points and limited Luka to just ten to pick up the win in Dallas. The Mavs need to make their free throws and get Doncic some help if they are going to win Game 4.
It was the first game the Mavericks lost this season when leading after the first quarter. The Clippers fought back after a slow start and got back in the series. Credit to Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and their supporting cast for giving LA a chance by winning in front of a wild road crowd.
The two teams lock horns again on Sunday at the American Airlines Center. It will be a pivotal game in the series. The Dallas Mavericks need to win and take a 3-1 series advantage. Expect another massive performance from Luka Doncic, but the defense will have to step up for Dallas to grab the victory. Do not miss it.