Star-studded Clippers visit blazing-hot Doncic, Mavericks

NBA

Two days after dispatching a pair of superstars at Houston, the Dallas Mavericks will hit the court at home Tuesday night in an attempt to pull off the same type of feat.

The Mavericks will play host to Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and the Los Angeles Clippers, fresh off Dallas’ 137-123 victory Sunday over James Harden, Russell Westbrook and the Rockets.

Luka Doncic and Co. continue to impress as they will enter on a five-game winning streak that started after a surprise defeat to the New York Knicks on Nov. 14.

Against the Rockets, the Mavericks started fast with a 45-point first quarter and never looked back, although the Rockets did get within five points on multiple occasions early in the fourth quarter before Dallas put it away.

Doncic will face the Clippers after blitzing the Rockets for 41 points and 10 assists. Tim Hardaway Jr. had a season-best 31 points and Kristaps Porzingis had 23 points with 13 rebounds.

The Mavericks are getting it done with one of the best offenses in the NBA, scoring 119.1 points per game, while also delivering on the boards with 47.8 rebounds per game. During their winning streak, the Mavericks have averaged 129.8 points and have scored at least 137 points in each of their last three games.

Dallas also values possession with just 13.2 turnovers per game, getting high efficiency when they do have the ball.

“I think we like playing with each other,” Porzingis said, according to the Dallas Morning News. “We hold each other accountable. We trust the coaching staff with the game plan and we follow it. … And we’re trying to have fun and play with intensity. It’s slowly coming all together and that’s why we’re winning games.”

That would be an apt description of the Clippers’ fortunes as well. The team has played just six games with Paul George, who was added in the offseason in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder but was late to the party as he recovered from surgeries on both shoulders. The Clippers are 5-1 with him on the court.

With Leonard and George finally together, the Clippers have defeated the Boston Celtics, Rockets and New Orleans Pelicans in succession. Los Angeles’ 134-109 victory over the Pelicans on Sunday was their fifth consecutive and seventh in their past nine games.

And in an intriguing development, in the three games that Leonard and George have played together, neither was the team’s leading scorer. The bench duo of Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell have shared high-scoring honors in each of the last three games.

“We’re a deep team, man, as you can see,” Harrell said, according to the Los Angeles Times, as his 34 points Sunday tied a career high. “On any given night anyone can have a big night. Any given night three or four guys can go off for a big night. It’s a great thing to have. It’s definitely going to help us going into the long stretch.”

In the shorter stretch, Tuesday’s game kicks off a three-game road trip for the Clippers, with games also in Memphis and San Antonio. The Clippers are 11-1 at home but just 1-4 on the road.

–Field Level Media

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