Who knew a playoff win felt so good? Well, I did — four years ago — but it feels nice for it to be back. After holding our breath for the entire fourth quarter, we can now exhale knowing that the Mavericks have safely escaped Game 2, evening the series against the Clippers at 1-1.
Some numbers for your consideration:
15-2: the Mavericks run to open the first quarter
After an atrocious opening in Game 1, the Mavericks looked like a completely different team to start this game. Doncic looked extremely sharp, putting up an eight point, four rebound, and three assist line during the opening stretch. The Mavericks’ hot start meant the Clippers didn’t lead once this game, something that came in handy when Los Angeles tried to rally late in the fourth.
29.4: the Clippers three-point percentage
The Clippers only made ten threes tonight, and they did not do it efficiently. Their struggles from deep prevented them from making any kind of comeback late in the fourth. A large part of their struggles could be attributed to Paul George, who went 2-for-10 from deep. The Mavericks made three more three-point shots than the Clippers despite having only one off the bench.
16: Trey Burke’s point total off the bench
Burke was incredible tonight on offense. His dribble moves allowed him to create separation for open shots or drive to the basket with ease. He showed a very Iverson-like package tonight and was a huge part of the Mavericks’ bench survival. Burke provided 16 of the Mavericks 47 bench points which was 10 more than the Clippers. He ended the game with a plus/minus of only +2 due to some struggles on defense, but he played his role as an explosive scorer to perfection tonight.
-10.9: Kawhi Leonard and Paul George’s NET rating when on the floor together
This horrible number is largely due to George’s struggles. Leonard did everything he could offensively, finishing the game with 35 points. But for whatever reason, whenever these two were on the floor at the same time, things went poorly. They had a very high defensive rating of 123.2; not exactly the kind of number you’d expect from two of the best two-way wings in the league. Whatever the Mavericks did to force them into that corner I hope they do again in Game 3.
Here’s the postgame podcast, Mavs Moneyball After Dark. If you can’t see the embed below “More from Mavs Moneyball”, click here. And if you haven’t yet, subscribe by searching “Mavs Moneyball podcast” into your favorite podcast app.