But the main news from this event is that Luka Doncic injured his ankle and that he might skip Game 4, which would be a massive setback for Rick Carlisle and his team. With 3:58 left in the third, Luka defended Kawhi Leonard‘s drive but while doing so, he sprained his ankle, being forced to leave the floor. The young Slovenian came back later, tried to play, but unsuccessfully.
He ended the game with 13 points and 10 rebounds and assists each, becoming the third-youngest player with a triple-double in the playoffs, behind Magic Johnson and LeBron James.
Dallas was near until the middle of the second period, which is when the Clippers began to pull away and increase the intensity of the play. A 7-0 run would lift them to a 42-35 lead, and that was just an initial spark that provided a 68-54 advantage at the halftime.
From that moment on, the Clippers were confidently holding that distance, not allowing the Mavs to make any moves or runs. Eventually, when Luka got out, it was obvious that the franchise from Texas doesn’t have the firepower to catch up with the LAC. The no.2 seed in the West had the edge up to 18 points.
Kawhi Leonard had 36 points, and was 13-for-24 from the field. The Claw was pretty near the triple-double with 9 boards and 8 dimes. Apart from him, six more players among the Clippers posted double-digit numbers. Paul George added 18, Ivica Zubac scored 15 with 6 rebounds, Marcus Morris 14 and 8 rebounds.
Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell didn’t have their usual productivity, but their contribution off the bench was solid. Trez had 13 points, and Lou 10 with five dimes.
Kristaps Porzingis was superb in this one with 34 points, 13 rebounds, shooting 11-for-18 from the field, 5-for-9 for three. Tim Hardaway Jr., had 22 with six rebounds, and Seth Curry posted another good game off the bench. The brother of the two-time MVP ended the night with just two misses from the field, scoring 22 points.
If Doncic skips Game 4, the situation for the Mavs will be very tough. The chances of advancing to the next stage would be close to zero. That contest is set for Sunday, at 3:30 pm ET.