Mavericks free throw woes return as Clippers win by slowing down Luka Doncic

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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The Dallas Mavericks lost to the LA Clippers 112-98 on Sunday afternoon. Kawhi Leonard and company did their best at slowing down Luka Doncic as he went for 29 points, ten rebounds, and four assists in 38 minutes of action. Number 77 made just nine of his 21 field goals and was eight of 13 from the free throw line.

Dallas lost another close game in part because they failed to make their freebies. They were just 15 of 26 from the foul line as a team with Doncic, Tim Hardaway Jr., Dwight Powell, Josh Green and Spencer Dinwiddie all missing at least one. The Mavericks are shooting just 74.5 percent from the foul line this season, which is the fourth-worst mark in the NBA.

The Clippers had both Leonard and Paul George on Sunday as they picked up a key win in Dallas. LA moved just 0.5-game behind the Mavericks in the standings for fifth in the Western Conference with the victory. Here is a closer look at the game.

Clippers slow down Luka Doncic to defeat Dallas Mavericks

Doncic still went for a 29-point double-double, but he had just four assists, and the Clippers outscored the Mavs by 23 with Luka on the floor. The 23-year-old superstar shot just 42.8 percent from the field, and he missed five free throws. Luka’s normal minutes’ pattern was thrown off by some first-half foul trouble, and the Clippers have a plethora of long rangy wings to throw at Doncic. It worked on Sunday afternoon as the Mavericks lost for the sixth time in their last eight games.

The games often come down to how well the Mavs shoot and play defense. Dallas made 13 of their 35 3-pointers on Jan. 22, but they shot just 43.8 percent from the field as the Clippers went 12 of 28 from long range. The Mavericks allowed 63 points in the second half, and they mustered just 44 as LA ran away with the contest over the final 24 minutes.

The Dallas Mavericks wrap up their four-game homestand on Tuesday night as they host the Washington Wizards. Kristaps Porzingis will be back in Dallas to face Luka Doncic and company in a cannot miss contest. The Mavs desperately need a victory, which means number 77 usually puts on a show. Do not miss it.

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