The Los Angeles Clippers were worried about their two-game skid. The Dallas Mavericks were worried about their own.
The Mavs' worries continue on Sunday as in a matinee game in L.A., Paul George scored 29 points to out-do Kristaps Porzingis' 25 points and eight rebounds to push Dallas to a 97-91 loss.
Both teams tried to fix their problems and find their range from the arc, and shot it from there at virtually the same rate.
Dallas shot 30 treys. The Clippers shot 29.
Dallas made six of them. The Clippers made 12.
The Mavericks, of course, played their third consecutive game without star Luka Doncic because of a sprained left knee and ankle. He seemed to give it a pre-game go but in a game-time decision was shut down in anticipation of him being able to play in the rematch between these two clubs on Tuesday, in L.A.
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Not lost on KP, by the way, is the fact that when Dallas last saw the Clippers, in the NBA Playoffs, then-coach Rick Carlisle used him as a perimeter decoy. Now, suddenly under Jason Kidd, he's inside/outside/all-purpose and ...
“Yeah,'' Porzingis smiled. "What a contrast, right?”
Right, but ... in the area that matters - winning - no c
Jalen Brunson ran the show and supported KP as he scored 20 points for the Mavericks, who have lost all three games while playing without Doncic to open a four-game road trip that features a "double-header'' first at Phoenix and now here.
The Mavericks did have a shot early and a shot late. They led by as many as nine points first half. And they pulled to within three at 78-75 midway through the fourth quarter. But Reggie Jackson's contributions to the Clippers (10-7) helped throughout, and late in the game L.A. went on a 9-0 run to grab an 87-75 lead, and then held on one more time.
This was a rematch of the Clippers vs. the Mavs in the first round of the last two NBA Playoffs, and the familiarity aspect of that continues on here Tuesday, hopefully with Dallas (9-7) finding some health (not only with Luka but also with Frank Ntilikina, who injured a calf) and also some consistent perimeter offense.