Game 6: Clippers at Mavericks
9 p.m. ET, ESPN | Mavericks lead 3-2
• This Mavericks-Clippers Series is just the third NBA playoff series where the road team won the first five games (excluding the bubble playoffs last year when the teams played at a neutral venue). It happened for the first time in 1984 in a first round series between the Nets and the Sixers as the road team won every game of the five-game series. It last happened in 1995 in the final of the Western Conference between the Spurs and the Rockets. In this case, Houston broke through in Game 6 to win the series at home. Can the Mavericks follow the same scenario 26 years later and win the series in Dallas?
• After scoring just 19 points in the loss to Dallas in Game 4, Doncic responded by scoring 19 points in the first quarter of Game 5. He finished with 42 points, 14 assists and eight rebounds in 43 minutes. The only other player to have at least 42 points and 14 assists in a playoff game since 1984 has been LeBron James (May 3, 2018, Cleveland in Toronto). Doncic scored or assisted on 31 of 37 goals scored by Dallas (83.8%); it’s the highest percentage in an NBA game in league history – regular season or playoffs – according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
• Luka Doncic leads all playoff scorers to 35.0 points per game in the first round. He shoots 47.9% from the field and 42.9% from both 3 points and the free throw line. During the regular season, Doncic was a 73.0% free throw shooter but only made 15 of 35 attempts in that series.
• The Mavericks won it all three games that featured clutch time – score less than five points in the last five minutes of the fourth quarter or extra time. In nine minutes total, the Mavs edged the Clippers by 22 points. Dallas shot 7-16 (43.8%) from the field, 4-7 to 3 points (57.1%) and 9-9 from the foul line, while LA shot 2-11 (18.2 %) on the field, 0-6 from the 3 point range and 1-3 from the free throw line.
• The Clippers generated larger open plans – the closest defenseman at least six feet away – during that series (17.0 to 15.2 for the Mavericks). However, Dallas has a 10 percentage point advantage in effective field goal percentage on those open looks (67.1% vs. 57.1% for LA).