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Best Bets: Mavericks vs. Clippers

This first-round playoff series between the Clippers and the Mavericks is all knotted up heading into Game 5 after Luka Doncic’s game-winning shot in overtime carried Dallas to a win on Sunday. Los Angeles floundered down the stretch, and will look to bounce back against a team that is not supposed to be better than on paper. The Mavericks will once again be without All-Star big man Kristaps Porzingis, who is dealing with right knee soreness, but he was out the previous game and the Clippers couldn’t take advantage of that. 

Doncic will once again have to put the Mavs on his back to carry them to a win, while the Clippers are still waiting for the arrival of Paul George in the playoffs. With the series tied, this game is an incredibly important one to win for either team. Here’s everything you need to know about the Clippers-Mavericks Game 5 matchup on Tuesday night.

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Date: Tuesday, Aug. 25 | Time: 9 p.m. ET
Location: Disney Wide World of Sports — Orlando, Florida
TV: TNT | Live stream: TNT app
Odds: Clippers -7 | Over/Under: 234.5 (via William Hill Sportsbook)


Clippers: The biggest storyline for the Clippers going into Game 5 is without a doubt Paul George. In the first four games of this series, George has largely been M.I.A., leaving most of the offensive responsibility on the broad shoulders of Kawhi Leonard. He’s averaging just 15.3 points per game in this series, well below what we’ve come to expect from “Playoff P,” and his efficiency has been absolutely abysmal. This series would likely be in a far different place if George was playing better on offense, and there’s no time to start getting back on track than in this decisive game Tuesday night. L.A. has relied heavily upon Leonard and Lou Williams, and in two games that hasn’t been enough against Dallas. George needs to show up tonight to prove that he’s out of his shooting funk, but also so that the Clippers don’t fall down a game in this series. 

Mavericks: Dallas has already exceeded expectations in this series, due to Doncic’s ridiculous heroics game-after-game. The Mavs will enter Game 5 without Porzingis for the second-straight contest, putting most of the burden on Doncic’s 21-year-old back. Game 4 proved, though, that other players around Doncic can step up when needed, as evidenced from Trey Burke’s 25-point performance, and Tim Hardaway Jr.’s additional 21 points. Those guys will need to replicate that same success in this contest in order to have a shot, because after losing Game 4 in gut-wrenching fashion, the Clippers will likely be on their A game tonight.


The Clippers are a far better team than what we’ve seen in Game 4 down the stretch, and in the Game 2 loss. Something tells me that Doncic game-winning shot will be the fire need for L.A. to get back on track and take care of business in this game, especially since Dallas will be without Porzingis. Pick: Clippers -7


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