- The Los Angeles Clippers and Dallas Mavericks meet for Game 6 of their first round series on Thursday
- After a Game 5 win, the Clips are one win away from a place in the Western Conference semifinals
- Get the latest odds, betting discussion and a pick below
In what has been a back and forth series, the Los Angeles Clippers put themselves in a commanding position with an emphatic Game 5 win. The Dallas Mavericks need to win the final two games to progress and remain uncertain about the status of Kristaps Porzingis.
With Luka Doncic playing on a sprained ankle, the Mavericks desperately need Porzingis to return for Game 6. The Clippers are still without Patrick Beverley, but they saw Montrezl Harrell and Paul George bounce back on Tuesday.
The latest Los Angeles Clippers vs Dallas Mavericks odds heavily favor the Clips to wrap the series up on Thursday.
Los Angeles Clippers vs Dallas Mavericks Game 6 Odds
|Team||Spread||Moneyline Odds at FanDuel||Total|
|Los Angeles Clippers||-8 (-110)||-360||N/A|
|Dallas Mavericks||+8 (-110)||+290||N/A|
Odds taken August 26th
George Bounces Back
Much had been made of Paul George’s struggles in the playoffs. The former Indiana Pacer shot a combined 10-for-47 in Games 2, 3 and 4. He bounced back in a big way in Game 5, posting 35 points on 12-for-18 shooting, including 4-for-8 from beyond the arc.
Over half of those points came in the first half as the Clippers built a substantial lead – George breaking out of his shooting slump was arguably the difference between the two teams.
George is a notoriously streaky shooter. This could just be the start of a purple patch. If he replicates his Game 5 outing in Game 6, this series is likely over. Interestingly, his shot quality was marginally better in Game 5, increasing to 0.51 from 0.49 in Game 4, but this wasn’t a massive change in the looks he was getting. He just started making them.
Paul George broke out of his shooting slump tonight.
4-8 3P pic.twitter.com/K7KBTNg8qI
— StatMuse (@statmuse) August 26, 2020
Having George playing like he did on Tuesday stretches the Mavericks defense further. George was on the periphery for much of this series – the Clippers become that much harder to stop if they have another elite offensive player alongside Kawhi Leonard, who was knocking down mid-range shots for fun.
Dallas Greatly Misses Porzingis
A magical performance from Doncic snatched Game 4 for Dallas. The absence of Porzingis hit harder in Game 5. The Clippers shot 76.9% at the rim on Tuesday, which sits in the 96th percentile of all games this season per Cleaning The Glass.
In general the Mavericks’ defense struggled, but without Porzingis in the paint they were particularly vulnerable.
The bench loves it, @MONSTATREZZ. pic.twitter.com/Mef6TZN6mB
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) August 26, 2020
The defense collapsed on dribble drives from Clippers players, opening up shooters on the perimeter. LA shot a preposterous 60% on non-garbage time threes. The defense wasn’t that bad, but with Dwight Powell injured and Porzingis sitting out, the Mavericks’ defense had no interior presence.
Boban Marjanovic’s lack of mobility made him an easy target and the Clippers drew fouls when he was at the rim – Marjanovic finished with four personals in 17 minutes.
Offense, and particularly shooting, is the first thing that comes to mind with Porzingis. The Mavs missed that part of his game, too, but it’s his defensive presence they need more than anything for Game 6.
Mavs to Fight Back on Thursday
The Dallas defense wasn’t great in Game 5, but it wasn’t as bad as the score suggested. The Clips had an outrageous shooting night, hitting 63% of their threes and the same mark overall.
Even with the offensive talent on this roster, another performance like that is improbable. Los Angeles made Dallas pay for their 13 turnovers – they were ruthless in transition. In contrast, the Mavs were unable to get out on the break because of how many shots were going down for the Clippers. Just 8.5% of their possessions started with transition.
Per TNT’s broadcast, Kristaps Porzingis thinks his right knee soreness developed because of a “contact situation” in Game 1 before he was ejected.
— Callie Caplan (@CallieCaplan) August 26, 2020
The availability of Porzingis is clearly a huge factor. It seems likely he will be a gametime decision again. With Porzingis believing it is a contact injury, there seems a good chance he will suit up for what could be Dallas’ final game of the season.
George finding some form is a worry for the Mavs, but it’s unlikely Marcus Morris, Landry Shamet and Reggie Jackson go a combined 10-for-13 from three in Game 6.
A quieter shooting night from the Clippers, an improved offensive performance from Dallas and perhaps a kinder whistle from the officials will make this another tight game (as the first four in the series were). Dallas look a good bet to force a Game 7.
Pick: Dallas Mavericks moneyline (+290)