By Dorothy J. Gentry
The Dallas Mavericks went into December 27th’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers with an 0-2 record.
They were determined not to start the season at 0-3; especially not to the team that sent them home in the first round of this summer’s Bubble playoffs in Orlando.
And they didn’t. The Luka Doncic-led Mavericks defeated the 2-0 Clippers 124-73 and made history along the way.
They started the game leading 9-2 and never looked back. In an offensive onslaught, the Mavs led the Clippers by 50 points at halftime—77-27—the biggest halftime lead in league history since the NBA adopted the shot clock.
The final score was also the biggest Clippers loss in franchise history.
“I wasn’t thinking about the playoffs. New season, New goals,” Doncic said afterward. “We showed who we are. People judged us the first two games. It’s a long season.”
Doncic finished with 24 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists. He was followed by the Mavs’ newest player Josh Richardson with 21 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists.
“They just decided they were going to be the hardest-playing team in the gym. Real proud of the way we responded to two sub-par games,” Head Coach Rick Carlisle said on the team’s mentality.
Paul George was the leading scorer for the Clippers, who were without star Kawhi Leonard, who did not play due to a facial laceration he suffered in the Clippers’ Friday night win against the Denver Nuggets. He had to have eight stitches in his mouth as a result of taking a blow to the face in the game.
“I take full responsibility. We weren’t ready to go. We got our butts kicked. That’s on me,” said George postgame.
The Mavs are now 1-2 and will be home all week and will welcome in 2021 as they hold their home opener on December 30th against the Charlotte Hornets at 7:30 pm. They will also host the Miami Heat on New Year’s Day.
No fans will be in attendance as the franchise has decided against fans in American Airlines Center as the pandemic continues.