Five free throws. They are the ones that the Mavericks threw throughout the game, the lowest mark of the season equaled by the Spurs, who hours before tried the same in their victory against the Pistons. A rather controversial fact and that has caused an explosion of anger on the part of TexansNothing according to an arbitration that they have complained about throughout the game, with constant protests and a message from Luka Doncic at a press conference that has fallen short of what could have been. “I’m not going to say anything. I’m not trying to get a ticket. So they have whistled tonight. Hopefully they’ll do better next time“, assured the Slovenian, who was, once again, the leader of a team who shot with 49.4% on field shots, 41.5% on triples … and 80% on free throws. But of course, scoring only four out of five. All of them, in fact, were thrown by Doncic except one, which was thrown by Kristaps Porzingis. And no one else, in the entire franchise, came to the staff line.
Luka Doncic: “I’m not going to say anything. I’m not trying to get fined. That’s how they called it tonight. Hopefully, they’ll call it better next time. ” https://t.co/u1OrCNEvNT
– Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) March 16, 2021
The sequence was clear: one free throw in the first quarter, none in the second, two in the third and two more in the fourth, in which the referees only called the Clippers three fouls out of the 12 totals they had. Something that the locals found an embarrassment, even more so in Texas, and that prevented them from fighting for a game they never left but in which they always were, thanks to the good success from the perimeter and their good percentages in the area. Of course, the absence of pitches from the staff and the 14 losses (five in the fourth quarter) did too much damage to Rick Carlisle’s team, who saw Doncic, despite everything, set another excellent performance: 25 points, 10 rebounds, 16 assists and 2 steals with 9 of 23 in field goals and 4 of 11 in triples. Of course, the Slovenian lost up to 7 balls, 4 of them in the last 12 minutes, when he scored 8 points but the Mavs finished with -3 with him on the court.
The Clippers were better in the first quarter (23-31), but none had a difference greater than three points. At halftime, the Los Angeles advantage was 5 points (50-55), increasing slightly before the last period (78-85). There, the Texans could do nothing, very irascible already with the arbitration and with a lot of accumulated tension that resulted in constant protests and visible outrage. Tyronn Lue’s team, by the way, threw 11 free throws, that is to say that a total of 16. The lowest mark is the 11 that Magic and Pacers in 2019. You have to go further back to see the previous one: 12, in a game between Lakers and Clippers (wow), 1980. Of course, the decompensation in this case has not liked the most affected, who have been in charge of showing their disagreement even with unconvincing statements at a press conference. I don’t want to be fined but…
Up to seven Clippers players (in which Serge Ibaka did not play) exceeded ten points, with Kawhi Leonard as the leading scorer (22, with 8 rebounds, 7 assists and 4 steals), and a good double-double by Ivica Zubac (15 + 11). In the Mavs, in addition to Doncic, the 22 points and 7 rebounds of a Porzongis stood out very well from the launch (9 of 14), but inconsistent and bad in defense (-22 in the +/-); also the 21 of Tim Hardaway, also excellent in the shot (and with 5 of 9 in triples). With this result, the Clippers continue to stalk the Lakers in the fight for third place in the West, while the Mavs remain in playoff spots, eighth, but noticing the Warriors’ breath on the neck. And with the farce that the arbitration has hurt them too much in a match that they could perfectly have won even with that handicap. What’s more, Doncic attempts 7.8 free throws per game this season. There is that.
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