3 Takeaways From Mavs-Clippers
After losing Game 4 on a buzzer-beating three-pointer from Luka Doncic, the Los Angeles Clippers responded in a major way in Game 5.
The Clippers now have a 3-2 series advantage and will look to close out the series against the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday.
Here are the key takeaways from Game 5 of this Western Conference first round matchup.
1. Paul George's version of 'Playoff P' shows up
Much has been made about the struggles of Paul George through the first four games of the series, and rightfully so.
Entering Tuesday, George was averaging 15.3 points, while shooting 27.3% from the field and 20% from three-point range.
However, he broke out of that shooting slump in a big way in Game 5.
George scored 35 points – 1 point less than the previous three games combined – while displaying the shooting touch that has made him a perennial All-Star.
After the game, he spoke on his struggles prior to tonight, and revealed how he was able to get back on track.
2. Kawhi is locked in
While George has struggled at times this series, there have been no such struggles for Kawhi Leonard so far, as he's dominated the Mavs through five games.
Leonard scored 32 points on 12-for-19 shooting in Game 5, matching a personal best in the process.
Leonard was indeed on fire, but so were the Clippers as a whole. LA shot 63.1% from the field and connected on 22 of their 35 three-point attempts.
No Clippers starter shot below 50%, and 10 of the 13 LA players that saw action on Tuesday connected on more than half of their shots.
3. Dallas loses its cool
Luka Doncic has been the talk of this series, especially after his 43-point triple-double in Game 4, which included the game-winning three.
But in Game 5, it wasn't smooth sailing for the Mavericks All-Star, who scored 22 points while shooting 6-for-17 from the field.
The physical play of the Clippers affected Doncic early and it snowballed throughout the game, resulting in him seemingly being irritated with the referees all night.
Doncic received a technical foul in the second quarter, but he wasn't the only member of the Mavericks annoyed by the officiating, considering head coach Rick Carlisle was ejected from a playoff game for the first time in his career.
The Mavericks will look to rebound on Thursday in order to stay alive and force a Game 7 this upcoming weekend.