What a win and what a performance from Luka Doncic. Anyone who says they knew how this series was going to unfold is a liar, and not even a good one. This game gave us some Wizard Rick Carlisle adjustments, Luka brilliance, big shot and a nail-biter of a finish. Let’s look at some stats from the Mavericks 105-100 Game 5 win against the Clippers.
411 inches: the combined height of the starting lineup
Speaking of adjustments, Rick caused a bit of a pre-game kerfuffle among the Maverick’s Twitter contingent when word got out that he was planning on starting seldom-used but always beloved big man Boban Marjanovic alongside the equally towering Kristaps Porzingis. The second and third tallest active players in the league contributed over 175 inches, or 42%, of what was the second tallest postseason starting lineup in the last 40 years.
Per @EliasSports, there has only been one starting lineup in last 40 postseasons taller than the Mavs’ tonight: a 2003 Mavs lineup featuring Shawn Bradley, Raef LaFrentz, Dirk Nowitzki, Michael Finley and Steve Nash.— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) June 3, 2021
The Mavericks have been burned in the last two games by the Clippers going small but Carlisle, ever the lineup tinkerer, decided to toss out a curveball tonight. Who’s to say it didn’t work? Clippers coach Tyronn Lue somehow predicted Boban’s start in his pregame press conference, but that didn’t stop Dallas from jumping out to a 7-0 lead to start the game. A much more lively effort after Sunday’s start to finish beating.
31-of-37: Dallas field goals either scored or assisted by Luka Doncic
Dorian Finney-Smith assisted a Tim Hardaway Jr. layup for Dallas’ first bucket of the game. For the rest of the first half, only one score didn’t involve Luka — a putback dunk from Dwight Powell. In the first half, 18 of the Mavericks 20 field goals had Luka’s fingerprints on them. If someone tells you that Doncic isn’t one of the top three offensive creators in the league, they’re an even bigger liar than that first guy and why do you hang out with some many lying jerks?
per @EliasSports, Luka Dončić is only the third player in @NBA history to score or assist on 80.0%+ of his team’s field goals in the postseason.— Mavs PR (@MavsPR) June 3, 2021
The other two players: LeBron James and Allen Iverson. https://t.co/ERaTiqDqSD
14-0: The run Dallas went on to close out the third quarter
Neither team was really ever able to take control of this game. Dallas had a brief 10 point lead in the first, but it didn’t last. From the second quarter all the way to the waning minutes of the third, neither team ever led by more than five. When Dallas went down 73-75 with 3:47 to go in the third, it seemed like more of the same. However, from that moment on, Dallas would rip off 14 straight points while holding LA scoreless, amassing a 12 point lead heading to the fourth. (A lead they’d need every single bit of, as the Clippers refused to die and got within a Kawhi 3 point attempt of breaking the hearts of Mavs fans).
5-0: Dallas’ all-time playoff record at the Staples Center
As more and more time passes since Dirk’s last season, fewer and fewer connections remain between his time and the dawning of the Doncic era. One thing that seems to animate both superstars, though, is dominating LA teams in the Staples center during the postseason.
In Dirk’s lone series against the Lakers, Dallas famously swept the two-time champs from the playoffs on their way to a championship. Now, newly out of the bubble, Doncic has put the Mavericks on his back to grab three victories against LAs other team and keep their postseason record in Staples pristine. Now let’s win this damn thing at home. Mavs in six!
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.