On Sunday, the LA Clippers beat the Dallas Mavericks in a scrappy 97-91 win. The Mavs were without Luka Dončić, but got solid contributions from Kristaps Porziņģis and Jalen Brunson. For more on Sunday’s game, check out David’s recap here. The two teams will finish the mini series on Tuesday night at STAPLES. See the rest of our Clippers-Mavericks game preview below!

Clippers vs. Mavericks Game Information

Where: STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, California

When: 7:30 p.m. PT

How to Tune in: Bally Sports SoCal, NBA League Pass, AM 570

Projected Starting Lineups

LA Clippers: Reggie Jackson – Eric Bledsoe – Paul George – Marcus Morris – Ivica Zubac

Dallas Mavericks: Jalen Brunson – Tim Hardaway, Jr. – Dorian Finney-Smith – Kristaps Porziņģis – Dwight Powell

Injury Report

L.A. Clippers: OUT: Kawhi Leonard (right knee); Jason Preston (right foot); Keon Johnson (G League assignment); Nicholas Batum (Health and Safety Protocols). PROBABLE: Marcus Morris (Knee)

Dallas Mavericks: QUESTIONABLE: Luka Dončić (left knee and ankle); Frank Ntilikina (right calf); OUT: JaQuori McLaughlin (G League assignment); Eugene Omoruyi (G League assignment)

The Big Picture

The Clippers were able to slowly pull away from the Mavericks in the second half on Sunday, largely behind 15 second-half points from Reggie Jackson. Moreover, while the offense continued to struggle, the defense was able to force 15 Dallas turnovers and keep them at 40% and 20% from the field and three respectively.

Just two days later, the Clippers will have the same advantages they enjoyed on Sunday: The Mavs do not have someone who can stick Paul George; they are 23rd in the league in respect to three point efficiency; and, they’re not particularly deep.

Despite the Clippers’ myriad of injuries, the Clippers still have the talent advantage over the (Luka-less) Mavericks. So long as Reggie Jackson is relevantly efficient and either Mann or Kennard supply some bench scoring, the Clippers should be able to notch another win on Tuesday.

The Antagonist

Although the Clippers’ played a role in the Mavericks’ poor shooting, it’s also true that the Mavs missed some pretty good shots. In the end, the Clippers only won Sunday’s game by six points, and needed a trick shot from Reggie Jackson to ice the game. The Mavericks have enough shooters for someone to get hot and out pace the Clippers’ meager offense. And that’s before we get to the question of whether or not Luka will play.

We can also expect the Mavericks to come out with an extra ounce of urgency because this game is really, really important. The Clippers are 10-7, while the Mavs are 9-7. Although it’s too early to worry about playoff seeding, it should be noted that the loser of Tuesday’s game likely slides down to the play-in range of the standings. The winner, of course, stays above the fray. And, regardless of standings, this game is important for the season series, which could come into play if tie-breakers are needed. After this mini-series, these teams only play one more time, so the Clippers can lock up the tiebreaker now.

Clippers vs. Mavericks Game Notes:

  • Zubac is a Force: Zubac only played 27 minutes on Sunday, but he played really well. He had a double-double (16 and 10) on 6/7 shooting. He was also 4/6 from the free throw line. His highlight from the game was a nice drive through the lane, starting from the free point line, finishing with a dunk. The Clippers will need to find ways to keep Zubac on the floor late in games or when teams hunt him in pick and rolls. He’s become a real force on offense, and the Clippers should use him more often.
  • Reggie Jackson as the Difference Maker: Shout out to Dr. Shap and Mirjam Swanson (from the OC Register) for tracking this stat: The Clippers are currently 7-0 when Reggie scores 20 or more points. The good news is that Reggie is a very capable, three-level scorer. The worry is that his efficiency has a good deal of variance, so it’s not rare for him to have a poor shooting night. The Clippers will need to let Reggie be a “Wild Horse” (as Dr. Shap said on our most recent podcast) and be aggressive on offense. At the very least, it will take pressure off of Paul George.
  • Marcus Morris Back: After missing the past 15 games with knee soreness, Marcus Morris is probable to play tonight. Morris will almost certainly return to his role as the Clippers’ starting power forward, and should provide a much-needed injection of shooting. Hopefully Morris looks fully healthy – in his first two games this year, he was woefully slow on defense and very off on offense. Still, if he’s ready to go, it will be a nice scoring boost for a Clippers’ team that has struggled offensively in recent game.

That does it for our preview of the second game of this Clippers-Mavericks mini-series. Check out the site and our podcast for more news and analysis.

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