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A closer look at the run that propelled the Mavericks past the Clippers

Dallas’ 32-2 run across the first and second quarters Friday erased an 11-point deficit

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Dallas Mavericks Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

At the 1:13 mark of the first quarter, Clippers guard Terrance Mann connected on a shot to give Los Angeles a 33-22 lead over the Dallas Mavericks. The duo of James Harden and Kawhi Leonard (26 points in the period) had shredded Dallas’ defense all quarter and Mann’s bucket restored a double-digit lead for LA.

Then, Kyrie went on a personal 8-0 run to end the quarter. When the second quarter began, Dante Exum converted his layup attempt to make it 10 straight points for the Mavericks. Dereck Lively II chipped in a few baskets, Derrick Jones. Jr contributed, Luka Dončić did Luka Dončić things and almost in the blink of an eye, Dallas had a 54-35 lead.

From 1:13 to the 6:05 mark in the second quarter, Dallas emptied the clip on a 32-2 run that deflated the Clippers and energized the American Airlines Center crowd. Dallas shot 10-15 in the stretch while holding Los Angeles to 1-11. It was the run that basically won the Mavericks the game, finishing it off 144-126.

After Leonard and Harden dominated the first quarter, the Mavericks defense held the Clippers four All-Stars (Leonard, Harden, Paul George, Russell Westbrook) to 0-of-6 shooting during the span while Dallas’ All-Star duo converted five of their eight attempts, including four of six three-pointers.

It was a run that showed Dallas would not roll over like they did on Wednesday in a loss against the Raptors. The run came towards the end of a brutal five-quarter stretch for Dallas that saw them drop a home game to the Toronto Raptors. Friday’s first quarter looked to be an extension of that game as Los Angeles got to its spots offensively and forced Dallas into tough looks defensively.

With Dončić’s uncanny shot-making ability (41.4% on 9.4 three-point attempts per game), Lively’s defense (Dallas is 7-1 when he plays), and Irving’s return to his old self (season-high 27 points in Friday’s win), Dallas was able to overcome quiet nights from Grant Williams and Josh Green.

This team still hasn’t hit its stride, but when the Mavericks are clicking, 32-2 runs are just a taste of what they can do. Dallas is 7-2 with an improved defense and an offense that blitzes teams unlike any others. It’s time to start taking the Mavericks seriously.