This will be the end of the road for either the Dallas Mavericks or Los Angeles Clippers as they clash in Game 7 of their first round series on Sunday. This has been an unusual series, as home court has actually been a disadvantage for both teams. Each team has lost all their home game and now the series moves the Los Angeles, where the Mavs played their best basketball so far.
The Mavericks took a 2-0 lead with close, hard-fought wins in Los Angeles and many thought that the Clippers were done but they went to Dallas and made a statement in Games 3 and 4 to tie the series but the Mavericks recovered their momentum with a 105-100 win in Game 5 on Wednesday, behind 42 points, 14 assists and eight rebounds from Luka Doncic, who was dealing with lingering neck and shoulder pain but still put behind his struggles from the last two games and carried his team.
The Clippers countered with a 104-97 win in Game 6, with Kawhi Leonard going off for 45 points and six rebounds on 18 of 25 shooting and 5 of 9 from beyond the arc. Reggie Jackson was also a difference-make with 25 points, nine rebounds and four assists and Paul George added 20 points and 13 rebounds. The Mavericks and Clippers were in a boxing match the whole way until Kawhi broke that open with tough makes. Game 7 will take place on Sunday at 3:30 PM ET at STAPLES Center.
Team to Win (Regular Time)
• Dallas Mavericks: 1.38
• Los Angeles Clippers: 3.25
• Dallas Mavericks: +6.5 (1.90)
• Los Angeles Clippers: -6.5 (1.91)
• Over 212.5 (1.90)
• Under 212.5 (1.91)
Key Points to Consider
I love Kawhi and PG-13’s games and they have to step up significantly again, play with urgency and take over. Leonard is still a bit stiff as a shot creator and George hasn’t displayed the “my time” edge he had in key moments with the Pacers. Leonard and George have to lead games early, that is when they’re at their best. George has to go in attack mode to start the game and Leonard has to close it.
The Mavericks, on the other hand, are relying too much on Doncic and while he can put up 40 or 50 points and carry them, they can’t expect him to do that every night. Doncic had 29 points on Friday and it wasn’t enough. The Mavs need him to get at least 40 points and his supporting cast to produce more.
The Mavericks are 5-0 ATS in their last five games as a road underdog, 7-0 ATS in their last seven road games against a team with a home winning percentage greater than .600, 5-1 ATS in their last six games following a straight up loss, 7-2 ATS in their last nine road games and 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games against a team with a winning straight up record.
For the Mavericks, Luka Doncic is projected to finish with 28.0 points, 8.6 assists and 7.2 rebounds, making 9.7 field goals in 21.2 attempts.
For the Clippers, Kawhi Leonard is expected to score 26.5 points with 6.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists, making 9.7 field goals in 17.2 attempts.
Four-star (out of four) AccuScore hot trend pick on the Mavericks in this one. Average score in simulations is Los Angeles Clippers 111.3 to Dallas Mavericks 109.2.