Having lost their first two games of the season, the Dallas Mavericks stormed to a statement victory against the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday, winning 124-73.
The team’s young talisman Luka Doncic, 21, led the way with 24 points, eight assists and nine rebounds.
The Clippers were without star player Kawhi Leonard, but even with him they may have been floundering such was the dominance of the Mavs, who led 77-27 at the half — an NBA-record halftime lead.
At one point during the second quarter, the Mavs led by 40.
The second half was less one-sided. The Clippers outscored Dallas 30-27 in the third quarter but the damage had been done.
It was dominance in every aspect of the game.
The Mavs scored 43 of their 87 attempts (49%) from the field, compared to the LA’s 26 in 76 (34%).
Dallas made 14 of their 41 three-point attempts (34%), while the Clippers made just four in 33 (12%).
The Clippers turned the ball over 12 times to Dallas’ six. The Mavs stole LA’s ball 10 times — eight times more than their opponents.
The Mavs’ Josh Richardson, who scored 21 points, played down the victory’s importance after the game.
“There’s no huge secret,” Richardson said. “We just got up and played well. We played with a sense of urgency.”
Doncic added: “We showed who we are. People judge us like first two games of season, it’s a long season.
“We got to keep going like that. We got to play defense.”
Paul George, who scored 33 and 23 in the season’s first two games but managed just 15 points against Dallas — the most of any Clippers player — played down the significance of the loss.
“It’s not that big of a deal,” George said. “Yes, we got our butts kicked today, but it’s one game.”
Christmas lethargy may have been to blame, according to George.
“It was a tough game, coming from Christmas. I enjoyed my Christmas Day yesterday, today just popped up on me a little too fast,” George said. “I take full responsibility. It’ll be a different situation next game. We will be ready.”