Mavs Winning Streak Comes to an End in 114-99 Loss to Clippers
DALLAS - It turns out that the 'kryptonite' for the Mavs top-rated offense is the team with the most talented and physical group of perimeter defenders in the NBA.
"This was a game that you have to have a certain level of understanding of what you are getting into from a physical standpoint and I didn’t do a good enough job of preparing our guys for that," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. "The first half was very difficult, very frustrating. We didn’t play well. We had some good shots, but we gave up 13 offensive rebounds and we just didn’t play the way we needed to."
From the beginning, this was not a great matchup for Dallas, with the two-man army of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis facing arguably the league's best overall team, with arguably the leagues best star tandem.
That tandem, which hasn't gotten a lot of opportunities this season to show just how good it can be, did exactly that, combining for 54 points, with George adding an additional six steals and four rebounds to his stat line, while Leonard contributed eight rebounds and four assists while hitting 53-percent from the field.
"You have two wing players that are probably the most physical wing players – and the most athletic wing players – in the game," said Carlisle. "They are big, they are strong, and they are highly-skilled. Their centers are both very physical in different ways, and their guards play physical. They pick you up full-court and they hound you. This is a game we have to learn from and do better next time.”
Dallas, on the other hand, looked off on the offensive end from the opening tip, thanks in large part to the defensive play of the Clippers star pairing, who helped hold the Mavs to just 37.2 percent from the floor, and 27 percent from beyond the arc.
Doncic, who as our Dalton Trigg pointed out during the game, looked visibly frustrated for the first time in this young season, turning the ball over seven times. .
Still, in typical Luka fashion, an 'off' night still featured an impressive stat line of 22 points, eight rebounds, and six assists. Luka was just 4-of-14 from the field, but was frequently at the line, and made 14 of his 16 attempts.
Porzingis was just as frustrated, hitting 30.7 percent from the field and scoring 15 points. The new Mavs star did add 10 rebounds, however, giving him his seventh double-double in his last eight outings.
Said Carlisle: "We will just learn the level of intensity we need to play at to compete with one of the best teams in the league. We are trying to get to the top of the league and we are going to have to see teams like that a lot going forward. It is a good learning experience for us.”
The Mavs will be back in action after the Thanksgiving holiday when they travel to Phoenix to take on Devin Booker and the resurgent Suns (8-8) at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Dallas has won Its last two against Phoenix, but has lost eight of the last 11 matchups overall.