3 Studs, 2 duds from Mavericks' blowout Game 5 win over Clippers

Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Five
Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Five / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages
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3. Stud - Maxi Kleber

Dallas Mavericks forward Maxi Kleber was someone who got bashed a lot after Game 4 due to James Harden exposing the Mavs in the fourth quarter while Kleber was playing center, but he didn't deserve all the blame.

If Kleber stepped up on Harden's floaters, he would have dumped it off to the cutting big every time, and although he could have done better, the Harden outburst was more on Jason Kidd and the Dallas defenders than Kleber.

Kleber silenced all the haters in Game 5 as he hit four threes in the first half and was shooting with confidence consistently. Kleber's game is heavily based on confidence, and the Mavs desperately needed someone to step up as a shooter.

Kleber was that and more in Game 5, and he has consistently stepped up as a shooter in the playoffs for Dallas dating back to the 2022 Playoffs. He also stepped up as a defender in this game and he is the best perimeter defender of all of Dallas' bigs, and they'll need him to continue to be a difference-maker on both ends for the Mavs to close out this series on Friday.

Kleber was a huge X-factor heading into these playoffs and the Mavs are tough to beat when he's at his best. It shouldn't be expected for him to shoot like this every game, but his efficiency has been huge thus far.