Ty Lue Says Clippers Want to Make Luka Doncic a 'Scorer,' Limit Other Mavs Players

Adam WellsMay 29, 2021

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) takes a shot as Los Angeles Clippers center Ivica Zubac (40) defends in the second half in Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series in Dallas, Friday, May 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

The Los Angeles Clippers finally got on the board in their playoff series against the Dallas Mavericks with a win in Game 3, despite Luka Doncic dropping 44 points on them. 

Head coach Tyronn Lue told reporters on Saturday that part of the Clippers' adjustments after the first two games was to make Doncic "a scorer and try to take the other guys out."

Lue said after Friday's 118-108 win that his team “decided to switch more and try to make (Doncic) play more one-on-one and just try to wear him down.”

Doncic has been a man on a mission in this series. The two-time All-Star is averaging 38.0 points, 8.7 rebounds and 9.0 assists against the Clippers. He's shooting 51.9 percent from the field and 45.9 percent from three on 12.3 attempts per game. 

The biggest difference from Dallas' two wins and Friday's loss was the performance of Tim Hardaway Jr. 

Hardaway averaged 24.5 points on 17-of-27 shooting (11-of-17 from three) in the first two games. The 29-year-old remained effective behind the arc in Game 3, going 4-of-6, but he missed all eight of his two-point attempts and finished with 12 points. 

Kristaps Porzingis has been inconsistent so far in the series. The Latvian star had a solid Game 2 with 20 points, four rebounds and three steals in 32 minutes. He tied a season-low with just nine points on 3-of-10 shooting in Game 3. 

The Clippers defense did get better as the game went along. After allowing 34 points in the first quarter, they held the Mavericks to under 30 points in each of the final three quarters. 

Dallas' 22-point fourth quarter was its lowest-scoring quarter of the playoffs. 

Los Angeles' offense was terrific, with four of five starters scoring at least 15 points. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George combined for 65 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists. 

The Clippers will look to even the series at two when they play the Mavericks in Game 4 at American Airlines Arena on Sunday at 9:30 p.m. ET. 


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