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It was announced just minutes before the game that Luka Doncic would not play in this matchup against the LA Clippers. The young superstar is dealing with knee and ankle sprains, and with him out, the Mavericks have dropped three-straight games.

As has become a trend for the Clippers this season, their defense is able to keep them in games where their offense struggles. That was no different on Sunday afternoon, with the Clippers being able to pull out a win in a game where they scored just 97 points.

Paul George led the way with 29 points and 6 assists, but he got contributions all around. Reggie Jackson added 23 points, including several big shots down the stretch that helped secure the victory. The Clippers are undefeated when Reggie scores at least 20 points this season, and when asked about this development postgame, coach Ty Lue credited Reggie with being able to make big shots from anywhere on the floor.

This was arguably Ivica Zubac's best game of the season, as he went for a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Coach Ty Lue said that Zubac was dominating the paint, and has done so for a significant stretch of games now. Coach Lue also praised his verticality on defense, which is something that has always been solid for Zubac.

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Without Luka, the Mavericks just weren't able to get solid contributions from the players they rely on in his absence. Kristaps Porzingis had a solid game with 25 points on 10/18 shooting, and Jalen Brunson added 20 of his own; however, Dorian Finney-Smith, Maxi Kleber, and Tim Hardaway Jr. combined for just 6/25 shooting. The poor shooting of those three felt like the difference in this one.

After the game, head coach Ty Lue said he opted to go small to close the game because he wanted the Mavericks to post-up Porzingis. He was able to convert a few times down the stretch, but also missed some crucial attempts inside the arc. According to Ty Lue, this was the game plan. Coach Lue added that "Win or lose, if we play the right way then I feel good about it. Today we played the right way."

This is the first of two consecutive games that these two teams will play against one another, with the rematch coming on Tuesday. It goes without saying, but everything changes if Luka Doncic plays.

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