Dallas Mavericks Dominate in Pivotal Game 5 Against Clippers: 3 Game-Changing Plays

It was all Dallas in the second half as they roll to a Game 5 victory
Apr 28, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA;  Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving (11) dribbles during Game 4 against the Los Angeles Clippers
Apr 28, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving (11) dribbles during Game 4 against the Los Angeles Clippers / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks dominated the second half en route to a 123-93 Game 5 win to take a 3-2 series lead over the Los Angeles Clippers, outscoring LA 67-47 over the final 24 minutes. This was a game controlled by the defense, as the "role" players really shined in this game.

Between PJ Washington and Derrick Jones Jr. locking down on the perimeter, Maxi Kleber having his best shooting performance of the season, and Dereck Lively II bringing energy and hustle down low, it was a clinic by the Mavs.

It was a contested first quarter, as there were 12 lead changes in the first 12 minutes and the Mavericks only took a 1-point lead after the first. They'd never surrender the lead again for the rest of the game.

We start our plays in the second quarter.

The Mavericks had been waiting for someone besides Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving to score some points and alleviate some of the pressure on the Mavericks' stars. Enter Maxi Kleber, who came into this game with 15 total points while attempting only 11 shots in this series so far.

This drive-and-kick by Doncic to Kleber opened the floodgates for the German, as he'd hit four three-pointers in the second quarter alone, and finished the game with 15 points while shooting 5/7 from 3, matching his point total for the series. The rest of the Mavericks were just 9/32 from 3 and it's fair to say they don't push to a double-digit halftime lead without Kleber's contributions.

By the way, that 5/7 performance by Kleber is the most 3-pointers he'd made in a game this season. He hit 4 against the Bucks in February and had no other games this season hitting more than two triples.

Kyrie Irving is a magician, there's no other way to describe his handles and this finish.

It's important to understand the context of what led up to this. Irving had just been called for a loose-ball foul on the possession before, and it was a questionable call at best. He was on the ground first, got to the ball first, and Amir Coffey dove over Irving, yet the foul was still called on Irving.

On the very next sequence, Irving pick-pockets his former Brooklyn Nets teammate James Harden, shows a little razzle-dazzle with some behind-the-back moves, and finishes the layup while fouled by Norman Powell for the and-one. And of course, he'd covert the and-one, making the bonus free throw.

This play opened up a 14-0 run for the Mavericks in the third quarter, taking them from a 9-point lead to a 23-point lead following a massive Derrick Jones Jr. slam. The Clippers missed 16 of their 17 field goal attempts to end the second quarter and start the third, but the Mavericks' offense was converting on the other end.

The Clippers made one last-ditch effort to get back into the game in the third quarter. After the Mavs went up 25, the Clippers responded with a quick 11-2 run, cutting the lead down to 16 with a few seconds remaining in the quarter.

Josh Green has struggled to score in this series, entering the game shooting just 3/10 from the floor from the series. In this game, he was just 1/3, yet that one make was a 4-point play in the corner to push the lead back to 20 entering the fourth quarter.

The lead would never get below 18 again, as the Mavericks would cruise to a 30-point win in a must-win Game 5, pulling Doncic and Irving with around 6 minutes left in the game, getting the two some much-needed rest.

Here are some stats to give some more context to this game: Jaden Hardy (14 points) outscored the Clippers' James Harden (7) despite playing just 5 minutes to Harden's 33. That alone tells you what kind of game it was for the Clippers trying to score the ball. LA entered Game 5 shooting 43.5% from 3 in this series, but shot just 9/35 in this game for 25.7%, their lowest 3-point percentage of these playoffs.

No one for the Clippers had more than 15 points; Luka Doncic had 35 points by himself while playing through illness and a sprained knee. Dallas dominated just about every facet of this game.

Dallas will have two chances to close this series out, starting in Game 6 at home Friday at 8:30 p.m. CST, and will be wearing their black "City" edition jerseys.

READ MORE: Luka Doncic Leads Dallas Mavericks to Game 5 Victory Over Clippers, Lead 3-2 in Series

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Austin Veazey


Austin Veazey joined NoleGameday as the Lead Basketball Writer in 2019, while contributing as a football writer, and started as editor for MavericksGameday in 2024. Veazey was a Florida State Men’s Basketball Manager from 2016-2019. Follow Austin on Twitter at @EasyVeazeyNG