The Clippers-Mavericks first-round playoff series continues to be an entertaining matchup.
For the third straight game, both teams scored 110 or more as the Clippers clinched Game 3 with a 130-122 win, thus taking a 2-1 series lead. Seven players scored in double figures for the Los Angeles team, as they led by as many as 18 in this one.
The Clippers led by double-digits for much of the second half and the Mavericks never let them run away with it but the biggest story from Game 3 was Doncic's injury.
Here's more on that and the other takeaways from Game 3 between the Clippers and Mavericks:
Doncic's injury and status for Game 4
After turning his left ankle late in the third quarter, Doncic tried to play through it at the beginning of the fourth quarter after he returned from the lockerroom but it simply wasn't the same.
He played just under three minutes in the fourth quarter and checked out of the game for good. The Mavericks announced it to be a left ankle sprain .
Postgame, Doncic told the media 'It's not that bad" while adding that he would be undergoing an MRI tomorrow.
Mavericks' Luka Doncic said he will undergo MRI for left ankle injury on Saturday. "It's not that bad. A little sprain." pic.twitter.com/cLnqroS63h- Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) August 22, 2020
Rick Carlisle, Mavericks' head coach, stated that Doncic's availability for later games in the series is unclear right now as they will know more tomorrow.
Rick Carlisle said it's not clear yet the severity of Luka Doncic's sprained left ankle pic.twitter.com/FMLEkZibKZ- Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) August 22, 2020
Kawhi carries the Clippers
As a collective, the Clippers just outplayed the Mavericks in this game. The LA franchise outshot their opponents, committed fewer turnovers, blocked more shots, and recorded more steals.
Reigning Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard led the team's balanced offense with his 36 points on 13-of-24 shooting from the field and 9-of-10 from the free-throw line.
His game-high points tally meant he finished with 100 points through the first three games of the postseason, a franchise record .
A franchise first.@kawhileonard becomes the first Clipper with 35+ points, 5+ rebounds and 5+ assists in a playoff game. pic.twitter.com/FREVrPrZQW- LA Clippers (@LAClippers) August 22, 2020
Among the other Clippers, Landry Shamet was the biggest contributor with 18 points (7-13 FGs). Starting center Ivica Zubac finished with 15 points, six rebounds, and a game-high + 13 in his 29 minutes. Montrezl Harrell, who continues to slowly build his way back into shape after joining the team late, finished with 13 points in 18 minutes.
Meanwhile, Paul George's shooting struggles continued in this series. Although, he contributed across the board with nine rebounds, seven assists, and two steals, he only shot 3-of-16 from the field which includes 1-of-8 from 3-point land.
Mavs battle but come up short
Despite the injury, Doncic was able to make history for the third straight game.
With his 13 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists, he became the first player in franchise history to record a playoff triple-double. He also became the third-youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double in the playoffs.
Even after Doncic left the game, the Mavericks didn't fold. The team battled and as a result, multiple players recorded breakout games.
Kristaps Porzingis finished with playoff career-high tallies of 34 points and 13 rebounds, becoming the first Maverick with a 30-10 playoff game since Dirk Nowitzki in 2011.
The guard duo of Seth Curry (9-11 FGs) and Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 22 points apiece, a playoff career-high for both.
The Curry is spicy tonight 🌶️#dALLasIN | @sdotcurry pic.twitter.com/mKrNUTpmk5- Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) August 22, 2020
For Game 4, a lot will depend on Doncic's status. How will the Mavericks fare if he can't return? Will the Clippers take a commanding 3-1 series lead?
We'll find out when both teams battle again in Game 4 on Monday, Aug. 24th at 1:00 AM IST.
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