Doc Rivers isn’t counting on Patrick Beverley to be available for Game 5 vs. Dallas
Clippers coach Doc Rivers is not planning on injured guard Patrick Beverley being available to play Tuesday in Game 5 of the team’s first-round series with Dallas, but he didn’t rule out the possibility of a return.
“I haven’t heard one thing that he may play,” Rivers said Monday, one day after a 135-133 loss to the Mavericks in overtime leveled the best-of-seven series at 2-2. “That doesn’t mean he might not. Right now I’m not planning on it, and so because of that, we have to make tough choices at the end of every game. That’s just the way it is.”
A strained left calf suffered Aug. 4 has led Beverley to miss eight of the last nine games, including three consecutive. Without Beverley, the Clippers have started guards Reggie Jackson and Landry Shamet in his place.
Beverley warmed up before practice Monday by shooting and running, but his level of participation in practice is unknown.
The Clippers allowed Dallas to shoot 50% in Game 4 even with Mavericks center Kristaps Porzingis sidelined because of a sore right knee. Mavericks guards whom Beverley would have been able to help defend, had he been healthy, keyed the victory. Luka Doncic scored 43 points, including the game-winning shot, Trey Burke added 25 points, and Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 21. Off the bench, Seth Curry scored 15 points.
“I think it’s just a matter of Game 3 we really set the tone physically, set the tone with our base and how locked-in we were defensively,” Clippers guard Landry Shamet said. “I don’t think we had that same edge throughout the entire [Game 4] last night. We did early, I think, but kind of wore off as the game went.
Luka Doncic’s standout performance in the Dallas Mavericks’ Game 4 playoff win shows how much the Clippers must overcome to create a new playoff legacy.
“It’s a matter of harnessing that, bottling that, using that for 48 minutes. Obviously what Pat does can’t be replicated. We miss him out there. But that’s part of it. Injury is a part of the game, and we’ve got to find a way to win without him.”
The Mavericks listed Porzingis as questionable to play in Game 5 and coach Rick Carlisle called the center’s status uncertain.
“He’s been undergoing treatment and has seen the doctors here and we’ll know a little more tomorrow,” Carlisle said. “But this may be a game-time decision.”
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