- The Dallas Mavericks defeated the L.A. Clippers 124-73 on Sunday night.
- The 51-point loss is the worst in Clippers history and Dallas’ 50-point halftime lead was the largest in the history of the NBA.
- Paul George blamed the loss on sluggish play due to playing in Denver on Christmas Day.
The L.A. Clippers were off to a great start to their 2020-21 NBA campaign.
On opening night, they defeated their cross town rivals and the defending NBA champions Los Angeles Lakers during the latter’s Ring Night. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard looked impressive during the win. Then on Christmas Day, the Clippers annihilated the 2020 Western Conference finalists Denver Nuggets, 121-108 to “avenge” last season’s infamous 2nd round playoff loss.
But just when the Clippers took down the top two finishers in the Western Conference last season in their first two assignments, they reached an all-time low when they suffered a 51-point loss at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks who had lost their first two games of the season to the Phoenix Suns and Lakers. The Mavericks entered Sunday’s game as a +3 point underdogs at the spread betting market at SportsBetting.ag and a slight +137 at the moneyline. But they played like no tomorrow while handing the Clippers their worst beating ever.
Biggest Halftime Lead in NBA History
with the biggest halftime lead in NBA history……….. ?#Lexus pic.twitter.com/AjSW4L32nW
— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) December 27, 2020
Dallas entered Sunday winless in their first two games and they played with a sense of urgency that the Clippers didn’t have. Luka Doncic and Josh Richardson each scored 13 points in the first quarter. That’s the first time in 20 years where two Mavs players have scored at least 13 each after one period. Doncic and Richardson also scored the same number of points as the entire Clippers team produced after twelve minutes and Dallas was up 36-13 after one.
The Clippers got outbrebounded 32-16 in the first half and they also missed 18 out of their 19 three-point attempts in the opening two quarters. While the Mavericks were scoring at will, the Clippers shot just 9-37 in the first half and finished with the largest first half deficit in the history of the NBA’s shot clock era at 50 points, 72-22. Paul George scored 13 points in the first half but missed all six of his three point attempts.
L.A. showed its only sign of life at the start of the third quarter when they opened with a 10-0 run to cut the lead to, well, 40 points. But Dallas got back on track as they made four consecutive three-point baskets to restore their lead to 50. The Mavs were up 104-57 at the end of three quarters. Dallas’ biggest lead was at 120-63 but the team was content with letting their reserves finish the game.
Blame it on Christmas
“I take full responsibility.”
Paul George after the loss to the Mavs today. pic.twitter.com/iyoxArqpR0
— NBA TV (@NBATV) December 27, 2020
So the Clippers played without Kawhi Leonard who missed the game after receiving eight stitches to close a laceration on the left side of his face after a freak collision with teammate Serge Ibaka on Christmas Day. Leonard averaged 23.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game in their first two outings so that definitely hurt Ty Lue’s rotation on Sunday. But losing a game is one thing, getting blown out by 51 points is another although Paul George says that it’s not a big deal.
George finished the game with only 15 points on 4-13 shooting including 0-6 from deep. He took full responsibility for the loss but at the same time, blamed it on Christmas. According to George, the team played on Christmas Day in Denver and that was the reason for their sluggish play:
Paul George said Clippers didn’t celebrate Christmas with families until yesterday after playing in Denver. “I take full responsibility… Tough situation being on road on Christmas… I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas yesterday and that was the reason for a sluggish day.”
— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) December 27, 2020
The Clippers shot just 26-76 from the floor or 34.2%. They also made only four out of 33 three-point attempts or 12.1%. L.A. was also outrebounded 54-36 and they only had a total of 13 assists in the game. But more than the Clippers’ struggles was Dallas’ strong desire to win. The Mavs shot 49.4% from the floor, making 17 more field goal attempts than the Clippers. They also sank 10 more triples and seven more foul shots than L.A. to completely dominate the game. The Mavs look to even their season on December 30th against the Charlotte Hornets while the Clippers look to erase the humiliating defeat against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday.