Deprived of Kawhi Leonard, the Los Angeles Clippers were ridiculed by the Dallas Mavericks, who led 50 points at halftime, at Staples Center: 124-73!
It sometimes happens that the long-awaited posters disappoint, with a leaden suspense from the first minutes. But this Clippers – Dallas has set records! Between Californians underdogs for the title, who had won their first two games, and Texans still very tough and led by superstar Luka Doncic, who had lost their first two games, we could expect a close encounter. It was not the case, and it is the least that we can say with, in the end, a victory of the Mavs 124-73! Admittedly, the Clippers were deprived of Kawhi Leonard, who had to be put eight stitches in the mouth after a shock with his teammate Serge Ibaka in the last game.
But from there to propose a first half as unworthy … The Californians have quite simply become the first team in the history of the NBA to be led by 50 points at half-time (27-77)! They shot 24% in this historic first half, with 13 points for Paul George and 5 for Serge Ibaka, while Luka Doncic (18pts, 7rbds, 4bds) and Josh Richardson (15pts, 3rbds) enjoyed the side of the Mavs. Nicolas Batum, present in the Clippers’ major five, didn’t really help his teammates either, settling for a rebound during this nightmarish first half. The Clippers, returning from the locker room, signed a 10-0 to return to -40, but there was obviously not the slightest suspense during the rest of the game.
Both teams turned and Dallas managed to maintain an impressive gap, which climbed to +57 in the middle of the final quarter, to finally be +51 at the final buzzer, the biggest loss in history of franchise. Simply incredible ! The Clippers finished with 34.2% success on shots, including a pitiful 4 of 33 at 3 points. Paul George was the perfect embodiment of this defeat, with 15 points, including 0 from 6 long distance. Serge Ibaka (13pts) was the only other Clippers player to exceed 10 points. Opposite, Doncic passed very close to the triple-double in just 26 minutes (24pts, 9rbds, 8bds) and Dallas thus signs its first victory of the season. This match, at the kick-off at 12:30 p.m., was it just an accident for the Clippers? We will know very quickly, with the reception of Minnesota, undefeated, Tuesday.
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