- The Los Angeles Clippers look to send the Dallas Mavericks packing at home in Game 7.
- Kawhi Leonard dominated Game 6, cooking the Mavs in 1-on-1 situations.
- The Clippers have won three of the last four games in this series.
LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Clippers stunned the Dallas Mavericks in Game 6 of their first-round series, behind Kawhi Leonard’s 45 points.
Mavericks star Luka Doncic was up-front about the impact Leonard had on the game.
Luka Doncic on Kawhi Leonard: "He destroyed us. That’s what it is. He had a hell of a game. That’s what he does."
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) June 5, 2021
There’s no two ways about it - Kawhi was everywhere on defense, fighting through screens to stick to Luka whenever possible. He combined this with an ultra-efficient offensive performance, putting up 45 points on 25 shots, and icing the game practically by himself in the fourth quarter.
The road team has won each of the six games played so far in this series, although it’s hard to dodge the fact that the Clippers have won three of the last four games of the series - after making big adjustments after Game 2.
It seems as though the Clippers have found a relatively stable solution to beat the Mavericks in aggregate - but there’s only one game left, and they put themselves in a hole by losing the first two games of the series before figuring this out.
In other words, the Clippers probably win any individual game, but the Mavericks certainly have the ingredients to steal one. Step one for the Mavericks is Luka has to go completely nuts. In their three wins, he’s scored 31, 39 and 42 points.
It’s basically a prerequisite for victory that Luka go off, but it’s not enough on its own - they lost a game in which he put up 44 points, nine assists and nine rebounds.
The Mavs also need other players on the team to step up. Tim Hardaway Jr. is a notable one - he had a very good Game 6, but it wasn’t enough without Luka exploding.
If step one is a Luka explosion, step 2 is players like Hardaway being able to create offense on their own without Doncic on the floor.
If both of those things happen, Dallas can take the win in Game 7. If one or both of them do not, they’ll be relying on contributions from players like Kristaps Porzingis, Josh Richardson and Dorian Finney-Smith.
For the Clippers, the road to success is a bit simpler - prevent one or both of those two things from happening, and just play your normal basketball.
The online sportsbooks agree that the Clippers are legitimately favored in this game.
Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Clippers Game 7 Odds
- Dallas Mavericks +220
- Los Angeles Clippers -270
The fact is that the Clippers are a better team than the Mavericks - they have more talent, and if these teams were to play 100 times, would likely win more than 50% of them.
The Mavericks do have a road to winning this game and this series, but it’s harder for them to reach that point than it is for the Clippers.
Game 7 of this series will be one to remember for sports betting fans, and both teams have a real shot at it, although the Clippers are obviously favored overall.