December 13, 2020, Los Angeles, California, USA: Kyle Kuzma #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers defends against Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Los Angeles Clippers during their preseason NBA game on Sunday December 13, 2020 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Lakers defeat Clippers, 131-106. (Photo by PI/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire)
- The Los Angeles Clippers are three-point road favorites over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday night in Game 4 of their Western Conference first round series at American Airlines Arena
- The Mavericks lead 2-1 in the best-of-seven series
- A breakdown of Clippers-Mavericks and a prediction can be found below
The Los Angeles Clippers hope to claw their way back to even when they visit the Dallas Mavericks at 9:30 p.m. ET Sunday for Game 4 of their Western Conference first round series at American Airlines Arena.
The Clippers beat the Mavericks 118-108 on the road in Game 3 on Friday night as three-point favorites after losing the first two games of the series in Los Angeles.
The Mavericks could take a big step toward winning the series with a victory. Teams with a 3-1 lead in a series in the NBA Playoffs have won 247 of 260 times.
Los Angeles had lost four games in a row, including the regular season, before its Game 3 triumph. Dallas has won four of its last five games and eight of its last 10 but is a home underdog here.
Clippers vs Mavericks Game 4 Odds
|Team||Moneyline||Spread at FanDuel||Total|
|Los Angeles Clippers||-152||-3 (-110)||Over 221 (-108)|
|Dallas Mavericks||+128||+3 (-110)||Under 221 (-112)|
The Clippers’ Serge Ibaka is questionable for Game 4 because of a back injury that sidelined him in Game 3. He also missed 30 games during the second half of the regular season with the same issue.
Luka Doncic is questionable for the Mavericks on Sunday because of a cervical strain that caused pain in both shoulders during Game 3. Maxi Kleber, who has Achilles’ soreness, is probable.
Clippers vs Mavericks Projected Lineups
|Reggie Jackson||PG||Luka Doncic|
|Paul George||SG||Tim Hardaway Jr.|
|Kawhi Leonard||SF||Dorian Finney-Smith|
|Marcus Morris||PF||Kristaps Porzingis|
|Ivica Zubac||C||Maxi Kleber|
Dynamic Duo Revives Clippers
Kawhi Leonard and Paul George combined to scored 65 points and shoot 24 of 35 from the floor in leading the Clippers in Game 3.
Leonard had 36 points and eight rebounds while making 13 of 17 field goal attempts. George drained 11 of 18 shots while finishing with 29 points and seven rebounds.
Kawhi Leonard (36 PTS) and @Yg_Trece (29 PTS) brush off a slow start to give the @LAClippers their first win of the series! 🙌 #ThatsGame #RepublikaNgNBA pic.twitter.com/WuLG2Y4Q3f
— NBA Philippines (@NBA_Philippines) May 29, 2021
Through the first three games of the series, Leonard is averaging 34.3 points. George is scoring 26.7 points a game.
Reggie Jackson added 16 points for the Clippers. Marcus Morris chipped in with 15 points after scoring 13 combined in the first two games of the series.
Rajon Rondo had a team-high eight assists off the bench. He was booed mercilessly by the fans who remember how Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle banished Rondo during a first-round playoff series loss in 2015 to the Houston Rockets.
Rondo is trying to find different ways to haunt Carlisle.
Rick Carlisle says Rondo has been calling out the Mavs’ plays during the series: “That’s one of the reasons we’re trying not to run many plays.” 😂
Rondo played for the Mavs during the 2014-15 season pic.twitter.com/CmNCK3rEli
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 27, 2021
The Clippers shot 57.9% from the field, connecting on 44 of 76 tries, and had just nine turnovers.
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Doncic Shakes Off Pain
Doncic had a great performance in Game 3, even more so considering he was playing in pain. He scored 44 points, pulled down nine rebounds and dished nine assists.
Through the first three games of the series, Doncic has averages of 38.0 points, 9.0 assists and 8.7 rebounds.
Luka Doncic is INSANE and Dirk loves it #MFFL pic.twitter.com/nhT7XiMjOh
— Joey Hayden (@_joeyhayden) May 26, 2021
Doncic is just third player in NBA history to score at least 300 points in his first nine career playoff games, joining Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Doncic did not get a lot of help Friday. Kleber and Jalen Brunson were the Mavericks’ second-leading scorers with 14 points apiece.
Kristaps Porzingis and Dorian Finney-Smith both were 3 of 10 from the field. Porzingis had nine points and Finney-Smith finished with six.
Tim Hardaway Jr. also struggled as he scored 12 points on 4-of-14 shooting. He scored 50 points combined in Games 1 and 2.
The Mavericks hope to get this Hardaway in Game 4.
Tim Hardaway Jr. with the BIG TIME three 💰 pic.twitter.com/z766wruwEe
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 26, 2021
The Mavericks lost despite shooting 20 of 39 (51.3%) from three-point range and turning the ball over just eight times. Doncic had five of those turnovers.
Do Mavs Have Clips’ Number?
The Clippers’ win in Game 3 marked just their second in six games against the Mavericks in 2020-21.
In addition to winning two of three so far in this series, the Mavericks also went 2-1 against the Clippers in the regular season.
While Doncic hurting gives reason for pause, the Mavericks’ recent history versus the Clippers makes them look like a bounce back play at home in Game 4.
The Pick: Mavericks +3 (-110)
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John Perrotto has been covering and writing about sports for various outlets for over 40 years. His work has appeared in the likes of USA TODAY, ESPN.com, SI.com, Forbes.com, The Associated Press, Baseball Digest, and more. John is based out of Beaver Falls, PA.