The Dallas Mavericks are on the board, winning its first game of the 2020-21 season 124-73 against a helpless Los Angeles Clippers. It was a complete dismantling by the Mavericks, who raced out to a 30-point lead by the end of the first quarter. The Clippers etched themselves in history after being down by 50 points at the half.
Dallas Mavericks Pound Los Angeles Clippers into History 124-73
Dallas Mavericks Hand Clippers a Historic Loss
Right from the outset, the Clippers were sloppy, slow, and lost without franchise superstar Kawhi Leonard. The 30-year-old sat out the contest after receiving eight stitches inside his mouth following a Serge Ibaka elbow versus the Denver Nuggets. Josh Richardson and Luka Doncic completely dominated the first quarter, combining for 26 points on 10-18 shooting. The pair outscored the Clippers by themselves as Los Angeles could only muster a putrid 13 points on 22.7 percent shooting and 0-9 from three.
Things got even worse in the second quarter. The Clippers allowed Dallas to land 65.2 percent of its shots en route to 41 points. Jalen Brunson and Tim Hardaway Jr. chimed in, adding 16 points with eight of 10 players scoring at least a point in the second quarter for Dallas. Dwight Powell and Maxi Kleber were the only players to remain scoreless but neither took a single shot. The Clippers couldn’t catch a cold, scoring 14 points on 26.7 percent shooting and 10 percent from three.
Dallas became the first team to lead by 50 at half time in the modern shot-clock era.
Mavs 77, Clippers 27 at the half. Per @ESPNStatsInfo, that's the biggest halftime deficit in an NBA game during the shot-clock era, which started in 1954-55.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) December 27, 2020
The Clippers had a 10-0 run early in the third quarter but to no avail. Dallas held comfortably in the final two frames to win by 51.
In the absence of Leonard, there is no clear leadership on the floor. Paul George is a star in the NBA but does not possess a dominant personality to lead a team. Additionally, there are still some small kinks on the roster with the team appearing disconnected in Leonard’s absence.
The Clippers also need a legitimate floor general to run the offense. Patrick Beverley is a small combo guard but he’s not comfortable running an NBA offense. They will need to find or execute a trade to find a point guard who can initiate the offense.
Dallas star Doncic needs more playing time to get into playing shape. Like James Harden, Doncic is so skilled he can put up numbers on any given night but it’s clear he still possesses an offseason body. With more time, Doncic will play his way into game shape and just needs to avoid injuries to do so.
The Mavericks have a strange situation in its backcourt with Brunson and Trey Burke providing the same thing. Both are undersized microwave scorers and finding playing time with rookie selection Tyrell Terry is going to be challenging.
This was a tremendous win by Dallas, who finally got on the board after tough losses against the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns. With starting center Kristaps Porzingis out for the foreseeable future, the Mavericks will need to ride on the back of Doncic.
As for the Clippers, it’s back to the drawing board. With the way they played, there’s nowhere to go but up.
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