Mavericks Maintain Early Lead in Game 3 Win

Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks is defended by Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Clippers
Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks is defended by Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Clippers during the second half of game three of the Western Conference First Round Playoffs on April 26, 2024.| Image by Sam Hodde/Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 3 of the first round of the NBA Playoffs, taking a 2-1 series lead with a 101-90 win in American Airlines Center.

The Mavericks took a lead early in the second quarter and never trailed throughout the remainder of the game, as many of the team’s role players stepped up to provide meaningful contributions.

Dallas started the game off slowly, shooting just zero of eight from the three to start the game before making four straight threes to end the first quarter trailing just 23-18.

It was a different story in the second quarter, with the Mavericks scoring 36 points to the Clippers 18, taking a 54-41 lead at the half.

Despite playing just 11 minutes in the first half, Mavericks center Dereck Lively contributed 13 points through a combination of layups and dunks.

Lively’s points were highlighted by the Mavericks scoring 32 in the paint in the first half, which was equal to the total number of points in the paint during each of the first two games in this series.

Mavericks forward Luka Doncic also stuffed the stat sheet in the first half, putting up 14 points to go along with six rebounds and six assists. Clippers guard James Harden stood out in the first half for Los Angeles, posting 14 points on five-for-nine shooting.

The two teams played almost even throughout the third quarter, with the Clippers outscoring the Mavericks 26-24 to cut the lead to 78-67 entering the fourth quarter.

The Mavericks extended the lead at the start of the fourth quarter, taking their largest lead of the game at 19 points with nine minutes left in the game.

A hard foul from Clippers guard Russell Westbrook halfway through the fourth resulted in a scuffle between the two teams, with Westbrook and Mavericks forward PJ Washington being ejected from the game as a result.

Mavericks guards Doncic and Kyrie Irving combined to lead the team with 43 points, 15 assists, and 14 rebounds.

In addition to the impressive numbers put up by the team’s two starting guards, Mavericks forwards Washington and Derrick Jones Jr. combined for 21 points and eight rebounds to go along with great defense to help hold the Clippers to just 46% shooting from the field and 34% shooting on three-point field goals.

Although Game 3 was not an elimination game for either team, teams that take a 2-1 lead in a best-of-seven series in the NBA playoffs have won the round 78.8% of the time, according to The Dallas Mavericks.

Game 4 for the series is set to tip off on Sunday at 2 p.m. in American Airlines Center as the Mavericks attempt to extend the series lead to 3-1.

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