The Mavericks fell behind 15-2 – with Luka Doncic committing five quick turnovers – in his first playoff game.
The Mavericks jumped ahead 15-2 – with Doncic scoring most of Dallas’ points and assisting a 3-pointer and two dunks for the rest – in his second playoff game.
He sure improves quickly.
Doncic and the Mavericks never relinquishing their lead in a 127-114 win over the Clippers in Game 2 Wednesday. The pleasantly competitive 2-7 series is tied with Game 3 Friday.
Nos. 7 and 8 seeds haven’t won a playoff series since 2012, when the eighth-seeded 76ers upset the top-seeded Bulls. Dallas probably won’t snap the streak. The Clippers remain the better team.
But the Mavericks are at least mounting a legitimate challenge.
Yet, the Mavericks kept re-taking control, one way or another.
After finding a groove in his record-setting postseason debut, Doncic (28 points, eight rebounds and seven assists) continued his stellar play through the first half tonight.
When Doncic got contained, partially by foul trouble, backup point guard Trey Burke (16 points on 7-of-11 shooting) weaved through L.A.’s defense. Reggie Jackson (starting at point guard for Patrick Beverley, who had a calf injury), Williams and Landry Shamet weren’t nearly good enough defending at the point of attack.
Boban Marjanovic (13 points on 6-of-8 shooting with nine rebounds, +12 in 10 minutes) tilted the game toward his style in brief stretches. The Clippers didn’t counter to take advantage of the mammoth center’s flaws.
Seth Curry (15 points) knocked down his shots, mostly inside the arc. Plenty of his teammates connected from outside. Dallas shot 13-of-29 on 3-pointers (45%).
The Clippers’ second star, Paul George, wasn’t nearly as good. He went scoreless in the first half and shot 4-for-17.