Sky Sports’ live coverage of the NBA continues on Sunday evening as the Dallas Mavericks head to Los Angeles for their series decider against the Clippers.
This series has been notable for the fact that in every occasion so far, the road team has won. That’s the first time in NBA history where that has happened.
Will the Mavericks keep the streak going tonight and prevail or will the Clippers see through their comeback from a 2-0 deficit earlier in the series?
Both teams entered the playoffs with 21-15 road records during the regular season – tied for the fourth-best road win percentage in the league – and matching point differentials (plus-4.3), which trailed only Utah.
So can the Mavericks make it seven-for-seven and set a record that can never be beaten? Or will the Clippers be able to defend their home court in the winner-take-all game?
Whatever happens, it’s sure to be a cracker!
Watch tonight live from 8.30pm on Sky Sports Action, skysports.com, the Sky Sports app and live on the Sky Sports YouTube channel.
Four things to think about ahead of the elimination game:
- Kawhi Leonard was brilliant in Game 6 as he finished with 45 points on 18-25 shooting from the field, 5-9 from 3-point range and 4-4 from the free-throw line. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Leonard became the fourth player in playoff history to score at least 45 points and 70% shooting or better in an elimination game, joining Wilt Chamberlain, Jamal Murray and LeBron James. Leonard is only the eighth player since 1984 to do that in any playoff games – let alone an elimination game.
- In addition to scoring 45 points, Kawhi Leonard was also the primary defender on Luka Doncic for a team-high 6:58 in Game 6, holding Doncic to seven points on 3-4 shooting, with two assists and two turnovers. While Doncic shot 75% against Leonard, the fact that Doncic only attempted four shots in 46.5% of his offensive matchup time in the game is key. For the series, Leonard has defended Doncic for 18:03 and allowed 22 points on 9-24 shooting from the field and 4-13 from 3-point range.
- In Game 6, the Clippers outscored the Mavericks 31-20 in the fourth quarter as they turned a four-point deficit entering the final 12 minutes into a seven-point win. This continued a trend as the Clippers have won the fourth quarter in five straight games in the series and on average outscored the Mavericks by 4.8 points in the final period. Conversely, the Mavericks have won five of six first quarters, but by only 1.3 points on average.
- Four of the six games in this series have featured clutch time, with the Mavericks winning three of those four games. Tim Hardaway Jr. has been Dallas’ top clutch scorer with 13 points on 4-7 shooting from the field, 3-5 from 3-point range and 2-2 from the free throw line in 12 clutch minutes. Kawhi Leonard is not far behind with 11 clutch points on 4-6 from the field, 2-3 from three and 1-1 at the free throw line.
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