DALLAS (AP) — Paul George scored 17 of his 26 points in the first quarter, Kawhi Leonard finished with 28 and the Los Angeles Clippers took control early in a meeting of teams with matching five-game winning streaks, beating the Dallas Mavericks 114-99 on Tuesday night.
The Clippers used several defenders to end Luka Doncic’s franchise-record streak of four games with at least 30 points and 10 assists. George had a career-high six steals as Los Angeles held the Mavericks under 100 points for the first time this season.
The Clippers limited the 20-year-old phenom to 4-of-13 shooting, including 0 for 7 from 3-point range. The Slovenian star made 14 of 16 free throws and finished with 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
Patrick Beverley got in foul trouble as one of the defenders assigned to Doncic, but getting his fourth early in the second half just brought back Lou Williams sooner. The high-scoring reserve finished with 21 points, going 4 of 7 on 3-pointers.
The Mavericks had taken the Southwest Division lead with a win at Houston for their fifth straight victory, but the expected title contenders from LA offered a dose of reality for a team looking to end a three-season run without reaching the playoffs.
Dallas was trailing by three when Doncic joined the rest of the starters on the bench in the final minute of the first quarter. By the time those five came back together in the second quarter, the Los Angeles lead was 48-32.
The LA bench scored 16 of the 20 points during the run, with Leonard getting the other four. The NBA’s highest-scoring bench finished with 44 points. Dallas, fourth on that list, scored 37 bench points, most with the outcome no longer in doubt.
Kristaps Porzingis drained a 28-footer 22 seconds into the game, then missed five straight shots before making one from the Mavericks logo at center court, measured at 35 feet, for the final bucket of the first half. Still, LA led 62-46.
The 7-foot-3 Latvian finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds as the first meeting of Dallas’ young European pairing against the LA duo tilted heavily in favor of George and Leonard. The LA stars combined to go 19 of 42 from the field, and 5 of 13 from 3.