Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic Was Targeted On Defense By Clippers; 'I Accept It'

The Clippers Went After Doncic on Tuesday night in Game 2 and stood up to the challenge
Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George (13) defended by Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77)
Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George (13) defended by Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Clippers have been dead set on making Luka Doncic work on the defensive end this series, thinking they'd get the same results they had in Game 1. That wasn't the case in Game 2, as the Clippers shot just 2/17 from the floor on Tuesday night on shots where Doncic was the primary defender, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

"I accept it," Doncic told the media after the game. "It gets me going on the defensive end, too, so if they do want to attack me, that's fine. I think I played good defense today. So, just gotta stay locked in."

Game 2 is in the discussion of the best defensive game Doncic has had in his NBA career, one of the few question marks of his career thus far, even waving off double teams or help, insisting on getting the stop by himself. He delivered time and time again. Here's him putting a seatbelt on Kawhi Leonard.

There are plenty of other clips like the one above where Doncic is embracing the challenge and winning the individual battles. Head Coach of the Mavericks, Jason Kidd, said after the game "We know that they're going to put him in every pick and roll, and a couple years ago, understand, we had to tell him to participate, but I think he's participating at a high level on both ends."

The Clippers have been trying to throw as many different looks as possible at Doncic on both ends of the floor. After game 1, the Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue said "Juts giving Luka (Doncic) as different looks to try and wear him down because he is a great player. You have to throw different looks at him. You have to play hard."

Going after Doncic on the defensive end of the floor is just another way for them to continuously try and wear Doncic down, but don't expect that to change heading into game 3. "They've definitely been playing physical," said Clippers star Paul George after the game, "but that's playoff basketball, nothing out of the norm."

Game 3 will be Friday at 7 p.m. CST at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.

READ MORE: Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving Guide Dallas Mavericks to Game 2 Victory Over Clippers, Tie Series 1-1

Stick with MavericksGameday for more coverage of the Dallas Mavericks throughout the NBA Playoffs 

Follow Austin Veazey on Twitter

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