Sick? Sore knee? Nobody could tell as Luke Doncic scores 35, leads Mavericks to Game 5 win vs. Clippers

Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Five

Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Clippers – Game Five

Earlier in the day, Luka Doncic admitted if this were the regular season he likely would sit out and rest — his knee was sore, plus he had a cough and was congested. “Not good. Could be way better, but it is what it is,” was how he described his knee.

By all accounts, James Harden and Paul George were healthy for Game 5 in Los Angeles.

Watching the game, you would never have known it.

Doncic scored 35 points with 10 assists and seven rebounds, dominating his minutes on the floor. Harden and George combined to shoot 6-of-25 (24%) including 3-of-13 from 3 for a total of 22 points.

Behind a terrible shooting night for all the Clippers (save Ivica Zubac, who was 7-of-8), the Mavericks took total control of the game in the third quarter and ran away with Game 5 in a laugher, 123-93.

With the win, the Mavericks take a 3-2 series lead into Friday night’s Game 6 in Dallas.

Dallas picked up their pace of play in the second half of Game 4 and that Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said carrying that over was vital to the blowout win.

“I think just the carryover from Game 4,” Kidd said. “Just talking about it, watching it. Being able to play with pace on the offensive end. Just trying to make it tough and take the three out of the game and I thought the guys did a great job of contesting threes and then make some.”

“When it comes to the pace, we want to play fast..” Mavericks center Daniel Gafford said. “It’s always rewarding to anyone that runs the floor because you have Luka [Doncic]and Kyrie [Irving] trying to find you in transition. Or it just opens up the floor for them, whether they get a layup, or a three ball in transition.”

If this was the Clippers’ last home game in Arena (they move to the new Intuit Dome next fall), it was a terrible last impression — 30 points is the worst Clippers playoff loss in history.

“We just didn’t play well all around. Defensively, offensively, we just didn’t play a good game, that’s okay, turn the page, they still have to win four games,” Clippers coach Tyrone Lue said. “We know we can win on their floor, we’ve shown that in the past two playoff series.”

Dallas got 14 points from Kyrie Irving but it wasn’t his night as he needed 14 shots to get there. Dallas got a good bump from their bench, with Maxi Kleber scoring 15 on 5-of-7 shooting and Dereck Lively scoring 12 on 5-of-5 shooting.

Dallas could use all of that in Game 6, but what it really needs is another dominant Doncic performance.

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