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Mavericks vs. Clippers – Game 5: Can Dallas Justify NBA Lines & Steal the Series?

The 4-5 seed matchup in the first round of the NBA playoffs is more often than not the most interesting series. The Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers are proving that. The Mavericks are favored by NBA lines, with the series tied at 2-2 heading into Game 5 in Los Angeles.

With Game 5s being crucial in the NBA playoffs, tracking the health of the two best players in the series will be essential. Dallas’ Luka Dončić is dealing with a knee injury that could have led to a poor performance in Game 4. Kawhi Leonard also missed Game 4 with a knee injury, but the Clippers won 116-111 while holding a 31-point lead at one point.

Mavericks to Justify Favorite Status in Game 5 vs Clippers
Mavericks to Justify Favorite Status in Game 5 vs Clippers

The Clippers’ two wins in this series came in Games 1 and 4 without Leonard. That is something to pay attention to, mainly because the Mavericks could be favored due to his absence.

 

Mavericks vs Clippers Game Information

  • Game: Mavericks (50-32) vs. Clippers (51-31)
  • Location: crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, CA
  • Day/Time: Wednesday, May 1, 10:00 p.m. ET
  • Mavericks vs Clippers Live Stream: NBA Game Pass

 

Mavericks vs Clippers Odds

 

  • Mavericks are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 Wednesday games.
  • Mavericks are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games as a road favorite of 5.0-10.5.
  • Under is 6-0 in Clippers last 6 games as an underdog of 0.5-4.5.
  • Under is 6-0 in Mavericks last 6 games following a straight up loss.
  • Under is 6-0 in Mavericks last 6 games following a ATS loss.
  • Under is 5-0 in Mavericks last 5 games playing on 2 days rest.

 

Mavericks Need a Better Start

How the Mavericks start will be crucial for them in Game 5 and their efforts to go home with a series lead. In both of their losses during this series, they got off to horrific starts offensively and defensively. In Game 1, the Clippers were up 34-22 at the end of the first quarter and 56-30 at halftime.

Similarly, in Game 4, the Mavericks were down 39-16 at the end of the first quarter as the Clippers hit eight threes. The Mavericks did close the gap to 66-49 before halftime. Furthermore, because Kyrie Irving scored 40 points, the Mavericks rallied to take a 105-104 lead with 2:05 left in the game before ultimately losing.

However, despite battling back on their home court, the Mavericks could not grab a 3-1 series lead heading back to Los Angeles. What Dončić has done this season makes it hard to blame him, but he only made 1 of 9 3-point attempts, which did play a role in the Mavericks’ loss. He took 24 shots to get to 29 points while adding 10 rebounds and 10 assists, but he still ended up with minus-10.

If the Mavericks can get off to a better start, as they did in Games 2 and 3, they could head back to Dallas, only needing one more win to advance.

 

Are Clippers Better Without Leonard Right Now?

In Leonard’s absence, it was clear that Paul George and James Harden knew they had to step up, which they did. Both played massive roles in the Game 4 win, especially George, who had a big first half by scoring 26 points and going 6 of 9 from behind the arc.

 

 

George and Harden finished the game with 33 points each while combining for 15 assists and 12 rebounds. The two were the biggest reasons for the Game 4 victory, evening the series. Unlike in Game 1, when they got help from Ivica Zubac, who scored 20 points in Leonard’s absence, in Game 4, there was far less support. Zubac scored the next highest with 13 while Terance Mann and Norman Powell each had 11.

While the Clippers may want Leonard back on the court, it might not be the best idea. In the two games he played, the Clippers lost as Leonard averaged only 12 points and eight rebounds. He does not seem healthy enough to offer the support the Clippers need, and the Mavericks are taking advantage of that.

 

Mavericks Find a Way in LA

It is unlikely that the Mavericks will start this game like they did in Games 1 and 4, which might be why the NBA lines favor them to win. On top of that, it isn’t likely that the Clippers, without Leonard, will be able to keep this going. Even in Game 4, with Dončić struggling, the Mavericks still came back from a 31-point deficit. That should help them have some momentum going into Game 5.

 

 

Questions of the Day

How important is Game 5?


According to the NBA, teams that win Game 5 in a 2-2 series go on to win the series 84.1% of the time.

What is the best prop bet in this game?


Given that Luka Dončić could still be dealing with knee issues, look for Kyrie Irving to have another big offensive game to compensate.

 

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