Mavericks’ Kristaps Porzingis to miss Game 5 vs. Clippers
Dallas center Kristaps Porzingis will not play in Game 5 of the Mavericks’ first-round playoff series against the Clippers on Tuesday after being ruled out by the team because of the soreness in his right knee that sidelined him during Dallas’ Game 4 victory.
The Mavericks also listed forward Dorian Finney-Smith as questionable to play because of a strained left hip and soreness in his right hip.
For the Clippers, guard Patrick Beverley (strained left calf) remains doubtful to play. Coach Doc Rivers said Monday that he was not planning on having Beverley available for Game 5 but hadn’t ruled him out.
Even without Porzingis, the 7-foot-3 center who has averaged 23.7 points during his first playoff series, the Mavericks rallied from a 21-point deficit Sunday to beat the Clippers and even the series at two games apiece after a game-winning shot by Luka Doncic in overtime.
“We know we’re 2-2, we know every game is a must-win,” Clippers center Ivica Zubac said Tuesday at the team’s shoot-around. “I think guys are aware of that and it’s always whatever you do it’s in the back of your mind. We’re 2-2, Game 5 is coming, we’ve got to win. Everyone’s locked in, everyone’s focused and I think we’re going to have a great game tonight and get a win.”
The loss left the Clippers, who finished the regular season with the second-best record in the Western Conference, trying to recapture its control over a team led by Doncic, who has starred in his postseason debut by averaging 31.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 9.8 assists while shooting 51%.
The Clippers hope Paul George can ‘get out of his head’ and regain his confidence and shooting stroke in a key Game 5 against Dallas on Tuesday night.
Forward JaMychal Green said Monday that the team needed to recapture the “gritty” edge of last season.
“I think it’s harder to get that edge this year, because we’re not the underdogs anymore,” Zubac said Tuesday. “We’re not coming into the gym and they’re looking at us like we just a team that anyone can beat.
“We’re favorites, but we gotta act like it. Doc always says we’re the best team, but we gotta act like it. I think that’s what we’ve gotta show tonight, we gotta come in and act like the best team on the floor.”
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