Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks have been playing great ball thus far this season. They were also looking to make a major statement at home Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Clippers.
In no way did that come close to happening. Dallas dropped just its sixth game of the season, a 114-99 blowout loss to Los Angeles.
Doncic struggled big time from the field and with turnovers. Meanwhile, the Clippers’ star tandem of Paul George and Kawhi Leonard dominated on the other side.
These are among the biggest winners and losers from Los Angeles’ sixth consecutive win.
Winner: Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers
Not only did George display a tremendous amount of efficiency on offense, he locked up Doncic throughout the evening with six steals. That’s the type of two-way player this All-NBA performer has always been.
When all was said and done, George finished with 26 points on 8-of-21 shooting to go with those six steals and only two turnovers. Yeah, this dude is fitting in just fine with his new team.
Loser: Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks
A legit MVP candidate at this early stage in the season, Doncic picked a horrible time to put up his worst performance thus far. The youngster was downright horrible on offense, connecting on 4-of-14 shots. The only saving grace en route to a 22-point performance was that Doncic got to the line 16 times.
It wasn’t simply a bad shooting night for Doncic. He turned the ball over a whopping seven times, facing pressure from the above-mentioned George and Kawhi Leonard throughout the game. This was about as ugly as it gets.
Winner: Lou Williams, Los Angeles Clippers
Super sub. Whatever your opinion is regarding Williams and his now long career might be, the dude knows how to put the ball in the bucket. The 33-year-old Williams entered Tuesday night’s action averaging 22.5 points on 36% shooting from distance.
He was on top of his game against a Mavericks team that doesn’t boast anywhere near the same bench as Los Angeles. Williams finished with 21 points, six rebounds and six assists on 7-of-14 shooting. He took Dallas’ second team to task in a big way. That’s been huge for the Clippers this season.
Loser: Kristaps Porzingis, Dallas Mavericks
A night that saw Doncic struggle from the field didn’t include Porzingis picking up any of the slack. And it has to be concerning for the Mavericks.
Porzingis entered Tuesday night’s game averaging a robust 18.5 points and 9.1 rebounds.
While he ultimately put up 15 points and 10 rebounds, it was not an efficient performance from Porzingis. The Latvian shot 4-of-13 from the field and turned the ball over three times in the blowout loss. He simply needed to play better for Dallas to have a chance here.
Winner: Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers
Leonard and George have only played a handful of games with one another. That’s primarily because of George’s shoulder injuries and the fact that Leonard doesn’t play both ends of back-to-backs. But when they’ve been on the court together, it’s special. Los Angeles is a perfect 4-0.
Leonard played a major role in the latest victory, playing tremendous basketball on both ends of the court. The reigning NBA Finals MVP dropped 28 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out four assists. Talk about filling up the box score.
Loser: Mavericks bench
We knew that the Dallas bench would struggle against a much deeper Clippers team Tuesday evening. We just had no idea how lopsided it would be.
The likes of Seth Curry, Delon Wright, Jalen Brunson and Maxi Kleber were a combined 7-of-19 from the field. They also finished a combined minus-34 when on the court. Most will blame Doncic for the Mavs’ blowout loss, but his bench did not help out in any way.