Dallas Mavericks' Kyrie Irving Breaks Down Positives from Game 1 Blowout Loss vs. Clippers

Kyrie Irving breaks down thing that went the Dallas Mavericks way in their Game 1 loss to the LA Clippers.
 Apr 21, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving (11) is defended by
Apr 21, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving (11) is defended by / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
In this story:

The Dallas Mavericks and LA Clippers are again squaring off in the playoffs. The two teams have become regular foes in postseason basketball, but this time around, the two squads look a bit different.

For the Mavericks, they have point guard Kyrie Irving alongside superstar Luka Doncic. Still, even with the new-look squad, the Mavericks dropped Game 1 on the road. They ended losing 109-97, though the final score suggested the game was much closer than it truly was.

By halftime, the Clippers led the Mavericks 56-30. The offense simply wasn't there for Dallas, who scored eight second-quarter points en route to the loss.

Both Irving and Doncic had incredible second halfs, though, which might have been the only positive in the game. Iriving scored 31 points on 10-of-18 shooting, adding seven rebounds and four assists in his 39 minutes played. Doncic scored 33 points, 13 rebounds and six assists in 42 minutes.

After the contest, Irving alluded to the second half being a positive building block for the Mavericks heading into Game 2, which will also be played in Los Angeles.

“Going into the second half I think we really challenged them.," Irving said after the loss. "I know we outscored them in the second half. We got stops. Some tendencies we saw from guys on their team, and they were really going opposite and really challenging us to guard those different looks."

Irvind and the Mavericks outscored the Clippers 67-53 in the second half. If they're able to start off the conest how they ended Game 1, the Mavericks have a solid chance to tie up the series the next time out. Thankfully for Dallas, a seven-game series can take substantial swings on a game-by-game basis.

"It’s a war out there, metaphorically speaking. So we got to enjoy and have fun but we got to bring it
to these guys. We are going against some hall of famers. I don’t even know if we even are
favorites in this series and so we just have to pay attention to what we can control," Irving continues.

Jason Kidd and the rest of the coaching staff will hit the drawing board ahead of the next matchup, but it's hard to imagine the Mavericks offense looking as flat as it did on Sunday in Game 2. If Irving and Doncic can get off to a quicker start next time around, the end result will look much, much different.

Kade Kimble


Kade has been covering a wide variety of teams ranging from the NFL to the NBA and college athletics since joining Sports Illustrated's FanNation in 2022.