Dallas Mavericks: Clippers up defense on Luka Doncic to take Game 6
By Tyler Watts
The Dallas Mavericks lost 104-97 to the LA Clippers at the American Airlines Center on Friday night. It is the six straight games in the series the road team won as the Clippers forced a Game 7 on Sunday afternoon. Dallas had a fantastic opportunity, but could not get it done on June 4.
LA upped their defense on Luka Doncic. They forced the ball out of his hands in the second half, but it took an incredible 45-point performance from Kawhi Leonard for the Clippers to win on June 4.
Here is a closer look at Game 6 and the performance from Luka Doncic before briefly looking ahead to Sunday’s deciding game in Los Angeles.
Clippers defeat Dallas Mavericks as they force Luka Doncic to give up the ball
Doncic went right to work in Game 6. He was getting into the mid-range and nailing jumpers. See the beauty below.
Luka had 11 first-quarter points on four of eight shooting from the field as the Mavericks led by two at the break. The 22-year-old made a shot in the final seconds, but the referees determined the shot clock expired during the break. It was a shootout in the opening period. Reggie Jackson had 14 points to keep the Clippers in the game.
Things slowed down in the second quarter. LA held Dallas to 17 points as they grabbed a three-point lead at the break. Doncic had 15 points, two rebounds, and four assists after 24 minutes.
The Clippers upped the defense against Luka in the third quarter. They were double-teaming on pick and rolls and trying to force the ball from the 22-year-old superstar’s hands. It allowed Doncic to produce six assists in the third as the Mavs led by four heading into the final period. Kawhi Leonard had a monster 17-point third to keep the Clippers in the game.
LA tied the game with Luka on the bench, but the Mavericks leading man returned with 9:16 left. Dallas could not find their offensive footing as they were outscored by 11 points in the fourth as the Clippers forced Game 7. Kawhi Leonard was incredible in the second half to lift LA to the victory.
Luka Doncic finished with 29 points, eight rebounds, 11 assists, and four steals in Game 6. He was 11 of 24 from the field, but the Mavs were outscored by seven in his 40 minutes on the floor. Dallas needed the 22-year-old to be a bit more aggressive on Friday night, but they are not eliminated.
The Dallas Mavericks are back in action on Sunday afternoon as they travel to Los Angeles for the deciding game. They left Game 6 on the table. Luka Doncic will have to be better if the Mavs are going to advance to the second round. The Clippers have struggled in afternoon games this season. It promises to be a wild contest on June 6, so do not miss it.