A vintage James Harden helps the Los Angeles Clippers to crush the Dallas Mavericks 109-97

Monday, 22 April 2024 at 00:25
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The Los Angeles Clippers played a wonderful series opener against the Dallas Mavericks, as LA dominated the game after James Harden explosion in the second quarter. Dallas struggled against the Clippers defense, with both Doncic and Irving shooting way below their regular season efficiency. Impressive win without Kawhi Leonard for Ty Lue's team to put the series 1-0 in LA's favor.
Dallas arrived to this matchup looking amazing, winning a lot of games after the trade deadline and filled with confidence. The Mavericks had some serious issues against LA's defense, and lacked of efficiency over the entire game. They shot 38.8% from the field against nearly 46% for the Clippers.
Ty Lue's team played without their best player, as Kawhi Leonard continues to have problems with his right knee. The two-time NBA Champion has been sidelined since March 31st and it's still uncertain when he will be able to come back. Despite that, the rest of the squad stepped up big time, showing a lot of energy on the defensive side, controling Doncic's attempts to put his team closer in the scoreboard.
The Beard was fantastic this game, leading the Clippers' offense with 28 points and 8 assists. The former 2018 NBA MVP rounded up an excellent performance, shooting 6-11 from dowtown. Paul George and Ivica Zubac helped Harden, scoring 22 and 20 points respectively. Russell Westbrook scored 13 points and was crucial for LA's defense.
Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving finished the game with 33 and 31 points each. Luka shot poorly, 11-26 from the field and 4-12 from three. The Clippers' defense did a great job on him. Besides Luka and Kyrie, only PJ Washington scored double figures.
The series continues this Tuesday at 10 p.m ET at the Crypto.com Arena. The Mavs will have another chance to steal homecourt advantage from the Clippers, but they will need for the rest of the squad to improve their scoring if they want to win.