DALLAS - The Dallas Mavericks host the Los Angeles Clippers in a crucial Game 3 of the best-of-seven first round in the NBA Playoffs. Dallas jumped to a 2-0 series lead in Los Angeles, but will the Mavs maintain their focus for Game 3, or did the high of the game two victory make Dallas complacent?
Oh, and can the “Flame-Thrower” stay hot?
“Right now he's a flame-thrower, on fire,” Dorian Finney-Smith-Smith said of Dallas teammate Tim Hardaway Jr. “Some people have a hot day, a hot week. Tim's having a hot decade. That's what we like to say."
The Clippers are still searching for an answer for Luka Doncic, who totaled 31 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in the series opener, and added a spectacular 39 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in Game 2. In Doncic's first eight playoffs games, all against the Clippers, the Slovenian star is averaging 32 points (.503 FG%, .382 3FG%), 9.5 rebounds and 8.8 assists.
But Finney-Smith is right; the Clips haven’t figured out Luka’s helpers, either.
The Mavs look to continue their lights-out shooting, the team is 35-of-70 (50%) from three-point range in this series.
HOME SWEET HOME: The Mavs are expecting a crowd of approximately 16,000 fans, one of the largest crowds in the NBA since the league was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is Dallas' first home playoff game in five years, since the Mavs first-round series against the Oklahoma City Thunder,
HOT HARDAWAY JR.: So … How hot? Hardaway Jr. has been a huge piece of Dallas' two postseason wins with clutch buckets in both. In the past two games, Hardaway is averaging 24.5 points on 62.9 percent shooting from the field and 65.3 percent shooting from deep... WOA.
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COMING SOON: After Game 3 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, the teams remain in Texas for game four on Sunday, May 30 at 8:30 p.m. CT (TNT broadcast).
ODDS: The Mavs entered the day as 2.5-point underdogs to the Clippers, and the total over/under is 219.5 total points, odds by FanDuel.
FUN FACT: No team in NBA history has ever come back to win a series after trailing 0-3 in a series.
RECORDS: DALLAS MAVERICKS (42-30) (2-0) VS. LA CLIPPERS (47-25) (0-2)
WHEN: Friday, May 28, 2021 at 8:30 p.m. CT
LOCATION: American Airlines Center (Dallas, TX)
TV/RADIO: ESPN/BSSW, ESPN 103.3 FM, Univision 1270 AM
FINAL WORD Does Clippers' star Paul George or coach Tyronn Lue have any sense of concern, being down 0-2 to Dallas?
"There is none," George said. "We got to rise to the occasion. Fact of the matter is if we don't, we're done for. There's no level of concern."
"I'm not concerned," said Lue. "They won two games on our home floor and now we got to return the favor."