The Smoking Cuban

1 positive and 1 negative from Mavericks loss to Clippers

Dallas Mavericks, Kristaps Porzingis
Dallas Mavericks, Kristaps Porzingis / Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
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The Dallas Mavericks lost their straight game without superstar Luka Doncic on Sunday afternoon. They competed hard, but their offense struggled to score as the LA Clippers picked up a 97-91 win on their home floor.

Kristaps Porzingis and Jalen Brunson continued their hot play, but the duo did not get enough help. The Mavs did not have another player in double-figures, and they finished just six of 30 from 3-point range in the loss. Maxi Kleber returned after a nine-game absence. He was a bit rusty, but it was positive to see him back on the court.

Dallas again struggled to generate quality shots without superstar Luka Doncic. It happened against the Suns and will continue to be an issue until the Mavericks make changes to their roster. Here is a look at one positive and one negative from Sunday afternoon’s game.

Dallas Mavericks positive from loss to LA Clippers: Kristaps Porzingis

The Unicorn accepted a lesser role against the Clippers in the 2021 playoffs because they were using Kawhi Leonard on him. There was plenty of talk and criticism about KP standing in the corner and not being part of the offense.

The Unicorn proved he can get buckets against LA. Yes, Kawhi was out, but Porzingis finished with 25 points, eight rebounds, two assists, and two blocks in 32 minutes of action. He shot ten of 18 from the field and scored well out of the post on Nov. 21.

The contest continued a hot run for KP as he has now scored 20-plus in six straight games. The Unicorn is finding his footing as Luka Doncic nears a return. If the duo can start clicking on the floor together, the Mavs will be a feared team in the Western Conference.

Dallas Mavericks negative from loss to LA Clippers: Ntilikina’s injury

It was heartbreaking to see Ntilikina be limited to just nine minutes in Sunday’s game with a calf injury. He did not play in the second half, and fans will have to wait for more on his status.

The French Prince has been a pleasant surprise since coming to Dallas. He has knocked out his jumpers and continues to play strong perimeter defense. Ntilikina earned his spot in the rotation, and hopefully, the injury will not be serious.

The Dallas Mavericks face the LA Clippers at the Staples Center again on Tuesday evening. Fans should keep an eye on the status of Luka Doncic heading into that contest as the Mavs look to snap their three-game losing skid.

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