LOS ANGELES – The LA Clippers lost to the Dallas Mavericks 105-100 in Game 5 of the first round of the playoffs. With the win, Dallas went ahead in the series 3-2 and will have the opportunity to settle things at the American Airlines Center this Friday.
“We are confident that we can stay in the series and go home. It will be a hostile and difficult environment in Dallas next game, but it is what it is, it is what we have in front of us and we must face it. We already won two there, ”shared Paul George, who had 23 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists.
Ironically, the Clippers haven’t been able to weigh the home team, but neither has Dallas. All three games the Mavericks have won in the series have been at Staples Center, while the Angelenos responded by winning two on the road in Texas.
“At the end of the day, we want to protect our home, but it is not our main concern. We have other things to do, we still have the opportunity to close at home if we make it to Game 7. To be champions we must win more on the road than at home, “added George.
Mavericks took the lead early in the game, but Clippers remained on the lookout. The third quarter affected the Angelenos, in particular with the deliveries of the ball. They lost the ball on 5 occasions for 6 rival units. Dallas, meanwhile, did not score points that way throughout the second half. Mavericks held up to a 16-point lead in the final quarter after a 22-point run against just 3 answering units from Clippers. With everything and their own mistakes, those led by Tyronn Lue still had a chance to win the game.
With 8 seconds left, the Angelenos missed a chance to get ahead when trailing by a 101-100 point. Terence Mann didn’t finish the play in transition, looking for Nicolas Batum for the wide shot, but the Mavs defense protected the rim. In one more attempt, now looking to even things out at 103 points, Kawhi Leonard came off balance and missed the 3-point attempt.
“Paul George made his fourth foul early in the third set and that affected us a lot. He had to quit the game and we asked Kawhi to do quite a bit, I think he got a little tired. We also had ball deliveries and we couldn’t shoot as we should. Just having 21 points in that third set affected us on offense, “said Ty Lue.
Luka Doncic suffered from neck discomfort that prevented him from showing his best version last game. This Wednesday he came back on fire contributing 42 points and 14 assists in his team’s victory. In the final quarter, the Clippers managed to contain Luka to just two units on baskets (1 of 8 from the field goal) to give themselves a chance, but they stayed close.
“We must complicate things (for Luka) as much as possible. It is good on all levels, it is difficult to contain it. We must choose the shots that he makes with which we can survive, but not that he hits as many. We must take more of the ball from him, “said Ivica Zubac.
Clippers know there is no tomorrow so coach Ty Lue’s message is overwhelming: “You have to win it at 7 now.”