Ty Lue Says He's Not Concerned After Clippers' Game 2 Loss to Luka Doncic, Mavericks

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVMay 26, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 22: Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks and Head Coach, Tyronn Lue of the Los Angeles Clippers share a moment during Round 1, Game 1 of the the 2021 NBA Playoffs on May 22, 2021 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images)
Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images

Los Angeles Clippers head coach Ty Lue said Tuesday he's not worried after his team dropped the first two games of its first-round playoff series against the Dallas Mavericks.

The Clippers, who opened the series with home-court advantage, dropped both games at Staples Center, including a 127-121 loss Tuesday, and now head out on the road already facing an uphill battle to advance.

"I'm not concerned," Lue told reporters. "We gotta win four games, and you come in on an opposing team's floor and play, there's no pressure on you to make shots. You just try to come in and steal a game, steal two games. But now they gotta go home and keep up the same shooting. It's easy to go on the road and do that with no pressure. We'll see in Game 3."

The main concern for L.A. comes on the defensive end. It allowed Dallas to shoot 50 percent from the field with 17 threes in Game 1, and it was much the same story in Game 2, with the Mavs shooting 58.5 percent with 18 threes.

"It's not magic," Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard said. "We got to come out and play basketball. Get stops. That is the name of the game right now. They're shooting too great in the first two games, and we have to help each other. Too many straight-line drives, dunks, layups. We got to hang our hat on the defensive end."

Point guard Luka Doncic has led the charge for the Mavericks. He's tallied 70 points, 18 assists, 17 rebounds and 10 threes through the first two games as the Clips have struggled to find a defensive answer.

While from the outside it appears the series is trending quickly to Dallas, Los Angeles' Paul George echoed his head coach's comments about not being concerned amid the 2-0 series deficit.

"It's a competition," George said. "We got to rise to the occasion. The fact of the matter is if we don't, we're done for. There is no level of concern. We just got to play our game, we got to play through this. We got to incorporate our defense. Luka is going to get his touches. We just got to do a better job defensively of quieting everyone else."

The Clippers played well offensively in Game 2, led by Leonard with 41 points and George with 28, but unless they start stringing stops together at the defensive end, it won't be enough.

Although the situation may seem dire, FiveThirtyEight still gives the Clippers a modest 44 percent chance to come back from dropping the first two games to advance.

If Los Angeles is going to make a comeback, it needs to start turning things around in Game 3. Tip off is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. ET on Friday in what's virtually a must-win game for Leonard, George and Co.