NBA

Clippers vs. Mavericks live stream: Watch NBA playoffs, TV channel, Game 3 tip time, prediction, odds, line

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Even the most ardent believers in the Clippers curse couldn’t have predicted what has happened to them thus far in the first round. It took them two rounds to collapse last season. It only took them two games this time around. Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks took both games on the Clippers’ home court, and now have a chance to sweep them out of the playoffs before they ever return to Los Angeles.

The Clippers know the odds. Only 6.3 percent of teams that fall down 2-0 in a series end up coming back. Only four post-merger teams have ever done so after dropping the first two games at home. This is DEFCON 1 for a team with legitimate championship aspirations. Here’s how you can tune into Friday’s Game 3 of their series against the Mavericks as they attempt to save their season. 

(4) Los Angeles Clippers vs. (5) Dallas Mavericks

  • Date: Friday, May 28 | Time: 9:30 p.m. ET
  • Location: American Airlines Center — Dallas, Texas   
  • TV: ESPN | Live stream: WatchESPN
  • Odds: DAL +115; LAC -135 | O/U: 219.5 (via William Hill Sportsbook)  

Featured Game | Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Clippers

Storylines

Clippers: There are legitimate basketball concerns here. How can they stop Luka Doncic from torching them in pick-and-roll? Why do they keep settling for jumpers late in the game? What should they do with their rotation? But none of that matters if the Clippers can’t get their heads in the game. After they were knocked out last season, Paul George said that it wasn’t a championship or bust season. After Tuesday’s loss, he said there was “no level of concern.”

This isn’t the attitude it’s going to take to complete this comeback. All of the pressure is on the Clippers right now, not just because of this team’s history last season, but the franchise’s history overall. If George won’t acknowledge the severity of the situation and Kawhi Leonard remains quiet as ever, where is the sense of urgency going to come from? Are the Clippers capable of treating this like the life-or-death situation it might be for this core? Can they muster the sort of response a championship team needs to be able to? The basketball concerns matter, but more than anything, we need to see if the Clippers have the guts for such high-stakes basketball, and if they don’t? They didn’t deserve to escape the first round anyway.

Mavericks: Call me crazy, but I don’t think the Mavericks are going to continue shooting 57.7 percent on wide-open 3s or 42.5 percent on tightly covered ones. They’ve ridden some of their hottest shooting of the season into two wins, but what happens when things get tougher? What happens when the Clippers make defensive adjustments and their own players just cool off? Dallas has won two shootouts. 

Can they win any other way? Can they grind out points in the paint and at the line when the 3s stop falling? This will, in a way, be the greatest test for Luka Doncic in this series. The first two games have been downright easy for him. It’s unlikely that the next two will be. How does he respond, and can his teammates continue to follow his lead?

Prediction

There are a number of valid basketball reasons to pick the Clippers. Shooting regression. An extra day off giving their coaching staff time to adjust. Their regular-season superiority. But ultimately, you need to ask yourselves this: Do you think the Clippers are going out like this? With such a whimper? Do you think a comfortable Mavericks team can beat a desperate Clippers group? The answers to those questions should guide here, and I’m going with the Clippers. Clippers -2



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