The series is tied 2-2 after the Mavericks won an epic Game 4 behind the exploits of Luka Doncic. The 21-year old Slovenian wonder kid has been a big headache for the Clippers as he continues to put up impressive numbers. Kawhi Leonard will lead the Clippers once again and the Klaw hopes that his partner Paul George will bounce back after a poor effort in Game 4. Kristaps Porzingis is questionable for Dallas while L.A. will be without Patrick Beverley in this contest.
The Dallas Mavericks should be feeling good about themselves right now. Dallas is coming off a stunning Game 4 win over the Clippers where Luka Doncic hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer in OT to sink L.A. The Mavs came back from 21-points down to steal the win and tie the series at two games apiece.
Doncic put up a 40-point triple-double in one of the greatest performances we’ve ever seen in NBA playoff history. Dallas won the game even if Kristaps Porzingis didn’t play due to right knee soreness. Porzingis had an MRI but Dallas has not announced the results and the Latvian Unicorn is questionable for Game 5.
Tim Hardaway Jr. is averaging close to 20 points per game while Seth Curry and Trey Burke have combined to average 29.8 points per game in the postseason. Boban Marjanovic and Max Kleiber have also provided key contributions for Dallas in this series.
Dallas is the third-best scoring team in the NBA at 117.0 points per game on the season. They are 4th in the league in rebounding at 46.9 boards grabbed per contest and are 14th in passing at 24.7 assists per game. The Mavericks rank 16th in scoring defense ar 112.1 points per game allowed.
The L.A. Clippers have found themselves in a real fight. The Clippers entered the series as heavy betting favorites over Dallas as they swept the Mavs during their regular-season series. But the playoffs have been a different story as Luka Magic has taken over. With Doncic playing like a legend, this is now down to a best-of-three series.
Aside from missing Patrick Beverley due to injury, the Clippers are missing the production of superstar Paul George. Playoff P has been noticeably off in the series and he is averaging only 15.8 points per game and shooting 29% from the field against the Mavs. In Game 4, PG shot 3-14 from the field and scored just 9 points.
Lou Williams scored 36 points in Game 4 while Kawhi Leonard added 32. Leonard and Williams lead the Clippers in scoring and they have plenty of capable scorers on hand. However, the Clippers won’t reach their full potential if Paul George continues his disappearing act.
The Clippers are the 4th best scoring team in the NBA at 116.3 points per game this season. They are 3rd overall in rebounding at 47.7 boards grabbed per contest. L.A. is also ranked 22nd in passing at 23.7 assists per game and they are also 13th in scoring defense at 109.9 points per game.
The Mavericks are 2-4 SU in their last six games played. Dallas is 3-2 SU in their last five games played on the road. The Clippers are 14-6 SU in their last 20 games played. L.A. is 4-1 SU in their last five games played away from Staples Center. Head to head, the Clippers are 6-2 SU in their last eight games played against the Mavs, and Dallas is just 1-6 SU in their last seven road games against L.A.
I won’t blame you if you pick the Mavericks here. It’s hard not to get caught up with the Luka Magic after Doncic’s Game 4 heroics. However, let’s be grounded in reality. The L.A. Clippers have the most talented roster in the NBA and they are a team that is built for the postseason. Sure, the Mavs have taken two games already in this series but we’re not even sure if Dallas will have Porzingis back for this game.
Yes, the Mavs won Game 4 without Porzingis but remember that Doncic had a historic night in that game. I love Doncic and I believe that he is a very special player. There is no questioning his skills and abilities but to expect him to produce the same output on a nightly level would be foolish.
On the other hand, Paul George has yet to make his mark in this series and while critics are blasting Playoff P for disappearing in another playoff series, I think PG will have a better game here. Dallas ranked 19th in defensive efficiency this season so the opportunity to score has been there for him. It’s just a matter of PG making his shots.
Prediction: L.A. Clippers
Dallas is 6-12 ATS in their last 18 games played. The Mavs are 2-3 ATS in their last five games played, 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games played against the Western Conference, and 2-6 ATS in their last eight games against the Pacific Division. L.A. is 14-6 ATS in their last 20 games played. The Clippers are 4-1 ATS in their last five games played on the road, 6-2 ATS in their last eight games against the Southwest Division, and 6-3 ATS in their last nine games played in the month of August.
Three out of the four games of this series have been decided by 8 points or fewer so there’s no doubt that the Mavericks can keep up with the Clippers. I think the big question here is whether Porzingis plays or not. Sure, Dallas kept up with the Clippers in Game 4 despite playing without Porzingis but as I said earlier, it would be foolish to expect Doncic to have a historic night every game. I think this game will be another hotly-contested contest but I expect the Clippers to pull away and cover the spread.
Predictions: Clippers -6.5
The total has gone over in seven out of the last 10 games played by the Mavericks. Dallas has seen the total go over in 21 out of 39 games played on the road. The total has gone over in eight out of the last 10 games played by the Clippers. The over is 7-2 in L.A.’s last nine games played against the Western Conference. Head to head, the over is 6-4 in the last 10 meetings between these two teams, including four out of the last five.
The first game of this series was the lowest scoring game so far with a total of 228 points between these two teams. The next three games have yielded a total of at least 241 points. Dallas played to the over in 60.8% of their regular-season games, the highest percentage by any team that is currently in the postseason. Dallas also ranked next to the Rockets in three-pointers attempted so they are a team that likes to put on the points.
It’s also worth noting that the only game in the series which has gone under was Game 1 where Patrick Beverley has played. In the three games that they played without Beverley, the Clippers have allowed an average of 128 points per game while the Clippers have scored 125.7 points per game during that period. With the total set at 235.5, I think these teams have more than enough firepower to push the total to over.
Prediction: Over 235.5
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