The Dallas Mavericks lost to the LA Clippers 126-111 in Game 7 on June 6 to end their season. Superstar Luka Doncic shined, but the Clippers steamrolled the Mavs to take the series for the second straight year. It was the first win by a home team in the series.
Luka had 46 points, seven rebounds, and 14 assists in Game 7, but Kawhi Leonard took the starring role for the second straight game. The two-time Finals MVP could not miss in the series, and the Mavericks had no answers in stopping him. He finished 28 points, ten rebounds, nine assists, and four steals on June 6. Kawhi’s defense on Doncic was massive in lifting LA into the second round.
Here is a closer look at Luka’s performance in the deciding Game 7 and what cost Dallas on Sunday afternoon.
Luka Doncic unbelievable as Dallas Mavericks fall to LA Clippers in Game 7
Doncic came out ready on Sunday afternoon. He was locked in from the opening tip. The 22-year-old hit four 3-pointers in the first quarter, including this one.
Luka and Kawhi went back and forth in the opening quarter. The Mavericks were up 38-35 after one as Doncic had 19 points in the first 12 minutes. Leonard countered with 13 to keep the Clippers within striking distance early. See the Mavs superstar hit Dirk Nowitzki’s signature shot from the first quarter below.
LA regained the lead with Doncic on the bench, but coach Rick Carlisle went back to him with 8:52 left in the half. The 22-year-old stayed hot in the second quarter. He has 29 points in the first 24 minutes on ten of 14 shooting from the field, including this and-one.
The Clippers led by eight at the half after shooting 64.9 percent from the field. They made 11 of 19 3-pointers to lift them to 70 first-half points. Dallas needed to step up the defense if they were going to have a chance to advance to the second round.
The Mavs came out strong in the second half, but the Clippers closed the third quarter on a 24-4 run to take a 15-point lead into the fourth. Kawhi Leonard had nine points to key the LA advantage. Doncic had 35 points in 36 minutes, but it was not enough as the Clippers had 100 points heading into the final stanza.
LA upped the defense on Luka in the fourth quarter with Kawhi Leonard taking over the responsibilities. He keyed a late run, but it was not enough to pull the Mavericks in front. Doncic was 17 of 30 from the field in Game 7 and had 46 points. The 22-year-old proved to be an unstoppable force in the series, and no team is looking forward to facing him in the playoffs going forward.
Shooting and defense sunk the Mavericks in Game 7. They allowed the Clippers to go for 30-plus in each of the first three quarters forcing Dallas to win a shootout against the best 3-point shooting in the NBA this season. The Mavs hit just ten of their 36 3-point attempts in Game 7. Combined the two and it ended Dallas’ season in the first round of the playoffs for the second straight year.
The LA Clippers eliminated the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday afternoon. A massive offseason now lies ahead. They need to improve the roster to build a title contender around Luka Doncic. The 22-year-old was incredible for the second straight playoffs, but the supporting cast around him must be better for the Mavs to make a deep playoff run. Stay tuned to see how they use their cap space this summer.