The Clippers dropped their third preseason game, the only one they’ll play on the road, 122-114 to the Mavericks in Dallas. Keep reading for a full recap of the Clippers’ preseason loss to the Mavericks.
Isaiah Hartenstein solidified his hold on a roster spot. Not only did the fourth-year big man outplay fellow roster aspirant Harry Giles III, he inspired confidence that he can carry reserve minutes at center while Serge Ibaka works his way back from injury. Hartenstein recorded 16 points, eight rebounds, and five assists in 18 minutes, converting six of his seven field goal attempts. He also did this:
Luka Dončić: still a handful. The 22-year-old MVP contender — frontrunner? — saw the Clippers and went on a tear, slashing 14/8/9 in 18 first-half minutes. Maybe he got his pre- and post-seasons mixed up. As expected, Luka sat out the second half, but like the Clippers, I’d say that was enough.
Luka had a running mate. The embattled Kristaps Porzingis stuffed the stat sheet, putting together a 15/5/4 line with three blocks and two steals. Dallas’ big man will have a lot to say about the Mavericks’ playoff seeding.
Terance Mann had a scary moment. The rising wing rolled his ankle in the third quarter but returned to action shortly thereafter. His health will be crucial as the Clippers look to navigate this year’s campaign with less depth than we’ve been accustomed to.
The Clippers can still shoot their way into games. The good guys converted 13 of their 33 tries from deep, good for 39.4%. That bombardment helped overturn a double-digit first-quarter lead and keep the game close at halftime. Luke Kennard led the way with five treys to finish with a team-high 19 points. And they needed it; the Clippers lost the the battles for rebounds (-21), points in the paint (-24), free throws made (-4) and attempted (-9), fast break points (-6), and turnovers (-2).
The kids struggled to score. Tyronn Lue left the fourth quarter to his youngest players, and without a point guard like Jason Preston, who was lost to foot surgery for an extended period, they struggled to get organized. After a 41-point third quarter blitz built largely by the regulars, Brandon Boston, Keon Johnson, and company took the baton and scuffled to the finish line. They will have better nights.
The Clippers return to action on Monday night. Check back here for more coverage, as the Clippers host the Timberwolves in their final dress rehearsal.
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