Led by Luka Doncic's 39 points, the Dallas Mavericks defeated the LA Clippers in Game 2 of their first-round series.
The Mavericks now return to Dallas with a 2-0 series lead over a team that entered the 2021 NBA Playoffs with the third-best odds to win it all.
Paul George said the Clippers have no level of concern entering Game 3, but should they? Our NBA.com Staff weighs in.
Kyle Irving (@KyleIrv): Very, very concerned.
When LeBron James comes off of a Game 1 loss and says he's not concerned, that it was just a feel-out game, I believe him because he's proved time and time again that it's the truth. When Paul George says there's no concern for his team that has fallen down 2-0 in the series where they're headed to Dallas to play in front of a jam-packed crowd and playoff atmosphere, what have the Clippers done in the past to make me believe they'll make progress toward a comeback?
I'm just going to go ahead and say it: they're not beating this version of Luka Doncic four times out of the next five games. It's not happening.
Doncic is looking like the best player in the NBA right now, nevermind best player in the series. Even if the Clippers get one game in Dallas, are they going to be able to contain Doncic enough that they can pull off three more wins? I'm not sold.
I picked the Clippers to win this series in five games prior to the start of the playoffs. Man, was I wrong.
Gilbert McGregor (@GMcGregor21): Oh, LA should be highly concerned.
Behind Luka's play, the Mavericks have put themselves in a lovely position, stealing two games at the Staples Center to have a 2-0 series lead with the series shifting back to Texas. We've seen a Kawhi Leonard-led team overcome a 2-0 series deficit before but even that series didn't start off with two consecutive home losses.
The Clippers need to quickly find an answer to make things difficult for Doncic, but given his play to open the series, it might be too late. More troubling than Doncic's play is that Dorian Finney-Smith, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jalen Brunson have stepped up in spurts.
If they continue to star in their roles … it might be a first-round exit for the Clips.
Scott Rafferty (@crabdribbles): They should definitely be concerned, but I'm not quite ready to say this is over.
Not necessarily because I think the Clippers will still win this series, but I'm not ready to count them out just yet, partly because the Mavericks have shot the lights out through two games. In Game 1, the Mavericks went 17-for-36 (47.2 percent) from 3-point range. In Game 2, they went 18-for-34 (52.9 percent). The Clippers, meanwhile, shot 11-for-40 (27.5 percent) in Game 1 and 13-for-33 (39.4 percent) in Game 2.
Keep in mind, the Clippers were the best 3-point shooting team in the NBA this season while the Mavericks were around league average.
Again, this is clearly the Mavericks' series to lose now, but them coming back down to earth could make this more competitive than it has been to this point.
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