LA Clippers Pull Away in Second Half, Down Mavericks in Game 1
The LA Clippers took a 1-0 series lead over the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night, winning 118-110 behind big games from Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Marcus Morris.
LA's trio of forwards combined to score 75 of the team's 118 points, and each played terrific defense down the stretch. Leonard logged a team-high 29 points, while George sank a dagger from three-point range with less than a minute to play that put the Mavs away for good.
The Clippers got off to a hot start in the first quarter, beginning the game on an 18-2 run led by Leonard, George and Morris. However, the Mavericks immediately answered with a run of their own, turning a 16-point deficit into a 14-point lead early in the second.
It was a wild turn of events that had fans buzzing on Twitter, but the most significant moment of the game happened early in the second half.
Roughly three minutes into the third quarter, Mavericks star Kristaps Porzingis was ejected after picking up his second technical foul of the game. The first came after he reacted to a foul called against him early in the first half, while the second stemmed from an altercation with Morris.
After Morris and Luka Doncic got tied up under the basket, Porzingis stepped in to defend his teammate. Both teams got to shoving, and ultimately, double technical fouls were issued to Porzingis and Morris.
Neither side was pleased with the ejection. During the game, Doc Rivers said he hated that Porzingis was out, and during Morris' postgame media session, he said he didn't think it was enough to warrant a technical.
It's hard to say whether the outcome would have been different had Porzingis been available for the second half, but fortunately for Dallas, this was only Game 1 of what's shaping up to be a fun and competitive first-round series.
LA and Dallas will meet again on Wednesday night for Game 2