Luka Doncic Dominant as Mavericks Cruise Past Kawhi Leonard, Clippers

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMarch 18, 2021

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) celebrates his basket as Los Angeles Clippers' Marcus Morris Sr., rear, walks past and Mavericks' Kristaps Porzingis, right, looks over during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Dallas, Wednesday, March 17, 2021. Doncic scored 42 points in the 105-89 Mavericks win. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

Luka Doncic posted 42 points on 16-of-28 shooting (6-of-11 from three-point range) as the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 105-89 at home in American Airlines Center on Wednesday.

All five Mavericks starters scored in double figures with Kristaps Porzingis adding an 11-point, 13-rebound double-double. Dallas shot 50.6 percent from the field.

Paul George led L.A. with 28 points, and Kawhi Leonard contributed 20 more for the Clippers, who played without starting point guard Patrick Beverley (knee) and center Serge Ibaka (back).

The 21-18 Mavs led 77-71 going into the fourth quarter and never led by fewer than six points in the final 12 minutes en route to their sixth win in eight games. The 26-16 Clippers have lost five of seven games.


Notable Performances

Mavericks PG Luka Doncic: 42 points, 9 assists, 6 rebounds

Mavericks C Kristaps Porzingis: 11 points, 13 rebounds

Mavericks G Josh Richardson: 14 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals

Clippers F Paul George: 28 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists

Clippers F Kawhi Leonard: 20 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists

Clippers C Ivica Zubac: 14 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals


Luka Magic Strikes Again

The Mavericks' 9-14 start is far in the rearview mirror now. The team is getting healthy at the right time, and Luka Doncic is playing MVP-level basketball for a dangerous squad moving its way up the Western Conference standings.

The Clippers had virtually no chance to stop the scorching-hot Doncic on Wednesday night, and he was excellent on both ends. In addition to his efficient scoring night, he also had five combined steals and blocks, nine dimes and six boards.

He was a human highlight reel yet again as a Dallas win became a mere formality down the stretch.

He casually pulled up for three to get Dallas going early on.

Dallas Mavericks @dallasmavs

Some use luck, others use magic ☘️🪄 #MFFL | https://t.co/iVP5CtvJI9 https://t.co/fM3R2S1brt

Doncic routinely got the better of a star defender in George. In this instance, it was en route to finding Porzingis for a lob:

Dallas Mavericks @dallasmavs

One-two punch 🔮🦄 #MFFL | @AcmeBrick https://t.co/BlBw6RQmUL

He took care of business himself with a four-point play.

Dallas Mavericks @dallasmavs

.@luka7doncic hits the four-point play from LONG RANGE. #RufflesRidge | @RUFFLES https://t.co/dHKxl3zlYD

Doncic didn't need much space to operate Wednesday night. He took advantage of a switch between George and Reggie Jackson to hoist a deep three when given a little breathing room.

Dallas Mavericks @dallasmavs

29 and counting... https://t.co/thJEgt0D0q

And sometimes he just created his own path to find teammates for more highlights, like this lob to Maxi Kleber for a jam:

Dallas Mavericks @dallasmavs

😱H MY! https://t.co/LblWXKcUxU

But ultimately, Doncic was the star of the show, and this was arguably the best moment of them all:

Dallas Mavericks @dallasmavs

🍀 LUCK OF THE DONCIC 🍀 https://t.co/3Tr9TmplVY

The Mavs are now 12-4 in their last 16 games. They look far more like the team that gave the Clippers a run for their money despite injuries (and questionable officiating) in last year's playoffs than the franchise that started so slowly this year.

With Doncic, anything could be possible in 2020-21. But for now, the Mavs are focused on stacking wins in the second half of the year.


What's Next?

Dallas will visit the Portland Trail Blazers for a two-game road set beginning Friday at 10 p.m. ET. L.A. is headed home to face the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday at 10 p.m. ET.