Clippers’ ‘intensity’ proves difference
DALLAS — Paul George and Kawhi Leonard gave the young European duo from the Mavericks the best look yet at life among the elite in the Western Conference.
George scored 17 of his 26 points in the first quarter, Leonard finished with 28 and the Clippers took control early in a meeting of teams with matching five-game winning streaks, beating the Mavericks 11499 on Tuesday night.
The Clippers used several defenders to end Luka Doncic’s franchise-record streak of four games with at least 30 points and 10 assists, knocking the 20year-old to the floor early on a 4-of-14 shooting night. Doncic had 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
Kristaps Porzingis was 4 of 13, the 7-foot-3 Latvian combining with the Slovenian star to go 8 of 27 compared to 19 of 42 for the Clippers’ top duo. George added a careerhigh six steals to help hold the Mavericks under 100 points for the first time this season.
“They’re looking to win a championship; they played like it was a playoff game,” said Porzingis, who hit a 28-footer 22 seconds into the game and another 3-pointer from the logo at center court just before halftime but finished 3 of 8 from long range. He had 15 points and 10 rebounds.
“They played aggressively and they showed us that we have to learn how to play these games. We have to bring that same intensity.”