The Smoking Cuban

Mavericks: Luka Doncic struggles as Clippers blowout Dallas in Game 4

Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Dallas Mavericks were blown out by the LA Clippers 106-81 on May 30. They dropped their second straight home game to even the series at two as things shift back to Los Angeles. Superstar Luka Doncic came off a 44-point performance in Game 3, but was slowed by a neck injury as his teammates struggled to support him in the Game 4 loss.

The Mavs had massive issues on the defensive end of the floor on Sunday night. For the second straight game, the Clippers dominated the inside scoring. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George were outstanding as LA knotted the series in front of a massive American Airlines Center crowd.

Credit to Doncic for fighting through a neck injury in Game 4. He was seen grimacing and was cleared bothered. The strain slowed Luka as the Clippers dominated on May 30. Here is a closer look at the 22-year-old’s performance, and what to expect going forward.

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Luka Doncic struggles with neck injury as Dallas Mavericks lose Game 4

The Mavs came out flat on Sunday night and the Clippers took advantage. They were up 31-22 after one quarter. Doncic had just four points on two of eight shooting as he played nearly the entire period.

Things went from bad to worse for the Mavericks in the second quarter. Luka was seen grimacing as the Clippers pushed their lead well into double digits. The 22-year-old superstar found a way to get inside and hit a beautiful floater, though.

Doncic had 15 points, three rebounds, three assists on seven of 15 shooting in the first half, but Dallas trailed by 16 at the break. The Mavericks were just three of 16 from 3-point range in the first 24 minutes, which forced them to fight out of a massive hole.

LA delivered the knockout blow in the third quarter by outscoring Dallas 21-15 to lead by 22 heading into the fourth. Luka has just two of eight from the field in the third. He was playing off the ball more as he tried to manage his injury.

The Mavs tried to get back in the game in the final period, but the Clippers were just too much on Sunday night. Luka Doncic finished with 19 points, six rebounds, six assists, and one steal in 36 minutes of action. He was just nine of 24 from the field in Game 4.

The biggest worry moving forward was Luka missing all five of his free throws. The 22-year-old appears to be struggling mentally at the foul line. It is something to watch in Game 5.

The Mavericks had an awful shooting night on May 30. They hit just five of their 30 3-point tries and shot 34.1 percent from the field. It was an ugly performance that allowed the Clippers to even things up at two games apiece.

The series shifts back to Los Angeles for Game 5. The Clippers have all the momentum heading into Wednesday’s contest, but the Dallas Mavericks won the first two games at the Staples Center. Luka Doncic has an extra day to rest and recover. Expect a massive performance from the 22-year-old superstar as he looks to lift Dallas back into the lead in the series. Do not miss it.

Next. Should Mavs worry about the defense of Kristaps Porzingis?

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