The Mavericks fell to the Clippers 109-99, though the game was closer than the score indicates. Dallas got as close as 103-99 with 3:15 left in the fourth quarter, but failed to score again. The Clippers are just one of the teams in the league that expose the talent gap between the Mavericks and the true contenders in the NBA.
Luka Doncic led the way for the Mavericks, scoring 25 points, grabbing 10 rebounds, and dishing 16 assists. Kristaps Porzingis chipped in 22 points and seven rebounds. Kawhi Leonard led the Clippers in scoring, putting up 22 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists. Paul George struggled most of the game, but hit two big 3-pointers down the stretch to seal the game.
Here are three stats from a frustrating loss:
5: The number of free throws the Mavericks shot.
Despite Doncic penetrating into the paint over and over, the Mavericks only got to the line five times. Per ESPN Stats and Info, it’s the fewest free throws by a team in a game this year. It’s also ties the franchise record for fewest free throws in a game. The officials didn’t swallow the whistle against the Mavericks. They really just let the teams play. The Clippers only shot 11 free throws themselves.
3: The number of times Luka Doncic has finished with at least a 25-10-15 line this season.
Doncic notched his 34th career triple-double against the Clippers, and his ninth this season. He passed Bob Cousy on all-time triple-double list, taking sole possession of 11th place. The rest of the NBA has combined to produce exactly one 25 point, 10 rebound, and 15 assist line this season.
17: The points scored by the three starters who are not Doncic and Porzingis.
Doncic and Porzingis combined to score 47 points. Dorian Finney-Smith, Maxi Kleber, and Josh Richardson could only put up 17. That’s the biggest reason the Mavericks lost. It’s unreasonable to ask Doncic or Porzingis to put up 30 or more points every night in order to get a win. If not for Tim Hardaway Jr.’s 21 point surge off the bench, this would have been a blowout. Kleber and Richardson combined for 1-of-7 from behind the arc. The Mavericks can’t continue to get such poor production from their starters.