The Dallas Mavericks fell to the Los Angeles Clippers Wednesday night in Dallas, losing 120-111. At first it looked like the Clippers would run away with the game easily, but the Mavericks fought back in the second half, refusing to go away. They eventually came up short, but the game was entertaining and showed that these Mavericks have some grit.
Luka Doncic led the Mavericks with 28 points, and also scored another triple-double, grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing out 10 assists. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 21 points off the bench.
Kawhi Leonard led all scorers with 30 points. He also grabbed 10 rebounds and had five assists. James Harden scored 17 points and dished out 11 assists.
Here are three numbers from the game:
+9: The Clippers margin in fast break points
The Clippers built their lead early on by getting down the court fast and scoring before the Dallas defense set up. The Mavericks were able to curve this in the second half, and eventually got some fast break points of their own. But it was too late to undo the damage, and it’s no coincidence that the Clippers’ margin in fast break points is the same as their margin of victory.
8: The number of free throws the Mavericks missed
Another unfortunate folly by the Mavericks. Doncic missed six of those free throws. He’s been much better at the charity stripe this season, but tonight, that all fell apart. The Clippers, meanwhile, only missed two free throws. They didn’t lose this game because of fast break points or missed free throws alone, but the combination of these mental lapses caught up to Dallas in the end.
this one feels like one of those games where if the mavs lose, the margin of loss will = the exact number of missed dallas free throws— mike taddow (@MikeTaddow) December 21, 2023
3: The number of steals by Hardaway in the third quarter
Hardaway is often maligned for his defense, but tonight, he stepped in up, especially in the third quarter. He had three steals in the third quarter. This helped spur the comeback that kept the game close and gave the Mavericks a chance to win the game. Hardaway was also up to his usual charge-drawing antics. Overall, it was a good defensive performance by the Mavericks’ shooting guard.