Luka Doncic got the clamps put on him Tuesday night by the LA Clippers’ suffocating defense.
“That’s who are as a team,” Paul George told reporters after scoring 17 of his 26 points in the first quarter, en route to a 114-99 road win against the Dallas Mavericks.
Kawhi Leonard finished with a game-high 28 points, while Doncic was held to 22 points on 4-of-14 shooting.
“That’s who we are as a team,” said George, who had all four of his 3-pointers in the first quarter. “We pride ourselves on defense. Offensively, we’ve got guys that can score the ball, but we want to make it tough on a nightly basis on whoever we’re playing.
“We knew coming into this, we knew what the Clippers had already, and we knew what we could bring. That’s what we’re doing right now. We’re becoming one of the best defensive teams in the league.”
Doncic finished 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists, well below his season averages in each category. He was 4-of-14 from the floor and missed all eight of his 3-point attempts, scoring the majority of his points from the free throw line, where he was 14-of-16. Doncic committed seven of the Mavs’ 20 turnovers.
“We came out with a defensive mindset on the road,” Leonard said. “Wanted to do the best job we could on Luka. He’s been killing it lately, playing at a very, very high level. We just wanted to make it difficult for him tonight, get some deflections, and I think we were able to do that.”