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Stats Rundown: 5 stats that helped the Mavericks destroy the Clippers, 144-126

Dallas poured it on to get the team’s first In-Season Tournament win and hand the Clips their fourth-straight loss.

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) passes around LA Clippers guard James Harden (1) during the second quarter at American Airlines Center.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

It’s nice to see the Mavericks (7-2) put a game out of reach early on now and then, isn’t it? The Mavs have shown growth in the clutch to start this season, but Friday’s 144-126 win against the Los Angeles Clippers (3-5) at the American Airlines Center was the first time Dallas has been able to put away their opponent early, turning crunch time into garbage time.

Luka Dončić had one of those scorching shooting nights Mavs fans have become accustomed to, leading all scorers with 44 points. Kyrie Irving added 27 points and six rebounds in just 28 minutes.

Kawhi Leonard led the Clippers with 26 points in the loss. Guards James Harden and Russell Westbrook each tallied 14 points and five boards. The Mavericks’ 144 points are the most the Clippers have given up in a regulation game since January 2017 against Golden State.

The decisive 32-2 run

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: The Mavericks got off to a clumsy start, watching the Clippers score the game’s first eight points before falling behind 31-19 late in the first quarter. But from there, the Mavs went on a 17-0 run that bled into the second quarter.

They gave up a bucket inside to Ivica Zubac with 9:25 left in the second and responded with another 15-0 run. Dončić found a streaking Jaden Hardy, who finished in the lane to make it 54-35 with just over six minutes to play before the half.

At one point the Mavs had a 35-4 run going. Moments later it was a 41-9 run. The Mavs won the decisive second quarter by a score of 47-18. That’s the second-largest scoring margin in a quarter for the Mavericks in franchise history.

Dončić: 17-of-21 from the field

Luka just couldn’t miss and was, once again, a joy to watch. He was locked on from distance but diced through the lane with regularity as well. After missing his first shot of the night, he proceeded to make 10 of his next 11 as the Mavs went on their game-changing run. He finished the night 17-of-21 — that’s 81% shooting.

Dončić went 6-of-9 from 3-point range, grabbed six rebounds and dished six assists. It was his 30th career 40-point game, making Dončić just the third player all-time to have that many 40-point games before the age of 25. Michael Jordan and LeBron James are the only two with more.

Luka & Kyrie vs. Clippers’ Big 4

Dončić and Irving combined for 69 points and 11 3-pointers in the win. The newly-formed Clippers’ Big 4 (if you can call it that) of Leonard, Harden, Russell and Paul George combined for 62 points and just five made 3-pointers.

3-point shooting disparity

The Mavericks continued their torrid shooting from the 3-point line as a team to start the season, hitting 19-of-42 for the game, or 45.2%. Irving was 5-of-9, and forward Dante Exum came off the bench to make 2-of-3 as well.

Meanwhile, the Clippers converted just eight of their 27 3-point attempts, or 29.6%.

DJJ’s first career double-double

Dallas forward Derrick Jones Jr. recorded his first career double-double in the win, finishing with 11 points and 10 rebounds in 28 minutes. He was one of five Mavericks who scored in double figures against the Clippers. Jones has started every game for the Mavs so far this season.

The Mavericks outscored the Clippers by 36 points in DJJ’s minutes on the floor Friday. He was the Mavs’ best in the single-game plus/minus column, for what that’s worth.

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