LOS ANGELES, CA – MAY 25: Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) guarded by Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) during game two of the first round of the NBA playoffs between the Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Clippers on May 25, 2021, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire)
- The Dallas Mavericks are 3-point home underdogs to the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 6 of their 1st Round series on Friday (June 4th, 9 pm ET)
- Six of the eight matchups this season between these two teams have failed to eclipse the total
- See below for analysis, odds, injury news and a betting prediction
It’s been a decade since the Dallas Mavericks won a playoff series, but they can change that on Friday. The Mavs host the LA Clippers at 9 pm ET, in front of what’s expected to be a full house, with a chance to punch their ticket to the Western Conference Semifinal.
Dallas leads the best-of-7 series 3-2, but hasn’t made it out of the opening round since 2011, the year they lifted the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
Clippers vs Mavericks Odds – Game 6
|Team||Spread||Moneyline at FanDuel||Total|
|LA Clippers||-3.0 (-110)||-144||O 216.0 (-110)|
|Dallas Mavericks||+3.0 (-110)||+122||U 216.0 (-110)|
Odds as of June 3rd.
How to Bet the 2021 Belmont Stakes Online – Where to Make a Bet, What Time Does the Race Start, and How You Can Watch
Despite being ahead in the series, and playing on their home court, the Mavericks are still a 3-point underdog, in a game that features a total of 216.
Luka Battles Through Neck Strain
Dallas escaped Game 5 with no new injuries, while the neck strain that slowed down Luka Doncic in Game 4, didn’t seem to affect him at all on Wednesday. Doncic scored a game-high 42 in the Mavs 105-100 victory, more on that later, and despite being listed on the injury report for Game 6, is a stone cold lock to be in the lineup.
Tim Hardaway Jr. on Luka Doncic’s 42-point game: “I guess his neck feels great now. … The performance he had today, it would’ve sucked if we didn’t come out with the victory.”
— Callie Caplan (@CallieCaplan) June 3, 2021
Dallas forward Maxi Kleber is listed as probable with an achilles injury, while shooting guard JJ Reddick remains unlikely to play at any point in the series thanks to a heel issue.
On the LA side, Serge Ibaka is the only name to pop up on the injury list so far. The big man hasn’t played since Game 2 due to a back injury, and has been listed as doubtful for Game 6.
Clippers vs Mavericks Projected Starting Lineups
|Luka Doncic||PG||Reggie Jackson|
|Tim Hardaway Jr.||SG||Paul George|
|Dorian Finney-Smith||SF||Kawhi Leonard|
|Kristaps Porzingis||PF||Nicolas Batum|
|Boban Marjanovic||C||Ivica Zubac|
One thing to watch out for is if the Mavs continue to stay big with their staring lineup. They inserted Boban Marjanovic at center in place of Dwight Powell for Game 5, giving Dallas a pair of giants in the front court. Marjanovic stands 7-foot-4, while forward Kristaps Porzingis is a lanky 7-foot-3.
Doncic Delivers Again
Back to Doncic, as the 22-year-old made history in Game 5. He made or assisted on 31 of the Mavericks’ 37 field goal attempts (83.8%), which is the highest percentage ever in a playoff game.
Luka Doncic last night:
✅ 42 PTS
✅ 8 REB
✅ 14 AST
Doncic either scored or assisted on 83.8% of the @dallasmavs field goals, the highest such percentage in a playoff game in NBA history:
83.8 – Doncic (last night)
81.3 – LeBron James (6/14/15)
80.6 – Allen Iverson (4/20/03) pic.twitter.com/PbCiJ3mSc4
— Justin Kubatko (@jkubatko) June 3, 2021
Doncic also eclipsed the 40-point mark for the fourth time in 11 career postseason contests, all versus the Clippers, which is the most by any player under the age of 23. If that wasn’t enough, he also grabbed 8 boards and dished out a career-high 14 assists.
Highest playoff PPG of all time (min 10 games):
33.4 — Michael Jordan
32.8 — Luka Doncic pic.twitter.com/f7xclDMXiy
— StatMuse (@statmuse) June 3, 2021
Paul George led LA with 23 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists, but a pair of costly turnovers down the stretch helped Dallas build a lead they would never relinquish. Kawhi Leonard added 20, but was a dismal 1-of-7 from beyond the arc, and committed 5 turnovers.
Another Low Scoring Affair On Deck
These were two of the top-nine scoring defenses in the league, and while you’d never know it by Doncic’s latest offensive outburst, it’s worth mentioning that Tim Hardaway Jr. was the only other Maverick to score in double figures. Dallas has actually been held to 108 points or less in three straight games, while LA has eclipsed 106 points in just two of the five playoff contests.
Dating back to the regular season, six of these team’s eight meetings have stayed under the total, while the Clippers have been an under machine since mid-April. 16 of LA’s past 21 outings have failed to eclipse the total, with the last two falling an average of 22.7 points below the number.
With the Clippers season on the line, and a raucous crowd on hand, expect the defensive intensity to be ratcheted up. That should result in another low scoring affair between two of the three slowest paced teams from the 2020-21 regular season.
Pick: Under 216 (-110)
Chris began his career at Hockey Night in Canada over 15 years ago. He has since worked at TSN for over 12 years as a writer, line-up producer, field producer, newsroom supervisor for Sportscentre, and presently as a promotions producer.