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Mavericks Looking to Take 3-2 Series Lead in G5

Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks drives to the basket while defended by James Harden #1 of the Los Angeles Clippers
Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks drives to the basket while defended by James Harden #1 of the Los Angeles Clippers | Image by Tim Warner/Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks are set to take on the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night as both teams attempt to take a commanding 3-2 series lead.

The two teams have split each of the games on their home courts, with neither being able to take a series lead larger than two games as they prepare to play in Los Angeles. Tip-off time is at 9 p.m.

Mavericks guard Luka Doncic has filled the stat sheet in the first four games with averages of 29 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 8.5 assists.

However, the 25-year-old has struggled to score efficiently due to tough defense from the Clippers, shooting just 38.6% from the field and 26.5% from the three-point line, though he has slightly increased his free throw percentage from 78.6% in the regular season to 80.6% in this series.

It has been a different story for Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving, who has been one of the most efficient players in the entire NBA Playoffs from all areas of the court.

The 14-year veteran has averaged 28.8 points per game in this series while shooting 51.3% from the field and an incredible 48.5% from the three-point line.

Irving exploded for 40 points on 14-25 shooting in Game 4, bringing the team just shy of a 31-point comeback that would have tied the largest in NBA Playoff history.

The Mavericks will now look to steal another game on the road after being one of the best road teams in the NBA during a regular season in which the team finished with a road record of 25-16, per Stat Muse.

On the other hand, the Clippers have been one of the more average teams in the NBA while playing on their home court, finishing as the 15th most effective home team with a record of 25-16, according to State Muse.

Both teams are set to be missing major parts of their team heading into Game 5, as neither team has been able to remain fully healthy in the first four games.

The most impactful injury-related loss for the Mavericks heading into Game 5 is Tim Hardaway Jr. The forward is dealing with an ankle injury and has already been confirmed to be out for the game.

Although he was inefficient in the first two games of the series, averaging just 3 points in 11 minutes per game, Hardaway Jr. was an important part of the team during a regular season where he averaged 14.4 points in 26.8 minutes per game.

Los Angeles is also set to play without a key component of their team, as forward Kawhi Leonard will miss his third game of the series due to a knee injury.

Leonard has struggled on the court when healthy during the series, averaging just 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 assists while shooting 45.8% from the field but failing to make a three-point shot on five attempts.

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