The LA Clippers returned to form by defeating the Dallas Mavericks, 119 to 98. Although the Clippers were expected to win this game, they needed to get back on track by snapping their 2 game losing streak. The game was close in the opening minutes, but the Clippers quickly exploded to a double digit lead during the 2nd quarter. Here is what made them successful:
Defense Leading Into Offense
The stingy Clipper defense returned tonight, holding the Mavericks to 98 points. Los Angeles scored 20 fast break points & 16 points off of turnovers, and that’s what helped break this game open. The Mavericks were able to shoot the occasional open three, but nothing came easy for them. Here’s a perfect example of defense leading into offense.
While the Clippers ball movement is still finicky at times, tonight it was great. There were times of the ball being stuck on one side of the floor, but that comes with every team. Los Angeles had a fantastic 27 assists against Dallas tonight. To put that in perspective, the Warriors average 30.9 assists a game (1st in the league). Six Clippers had 3 assists or more, and here’s a look at some of them.
Attacking the Paint
The best stat of the night: The LA Clippers scored 48 points in the paint. Many of their shots were high percentage shots, started by great ball movement and defense. The Clippers have always been looking for “downhill” guard movement, and Austin Rivers delivered. Austin contributed with 19 points in 25 minutes, and the team as a whole shot 53.2% from the field and 46.4% from three.
The Final Clip: The Clippers played great defense, moved the ball, and got into the paint at will tonight.