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The Clippers look to avoid another playoff meltdown vs. the Mavericks


The Dallas Mavericks are set to add another chapter to the Los Angeles Clippers’ playoff misery.

With everyone in the NBA focusing on fan malpractice, the Clippers find themselves in a familiar position after losing the first two games at Staples Center.

Now, with the Best-of-Seven series shifted to the Lone Star State, the Mavericks could deliver a potentially decisive blow to Game 3 on Friday night.

No team has recovered from a 3-0 deficit in the NBA playoffs. The Clippers are hardly a candidate to break that trend, facing first-round elimination for the fourth time in six years.

“We’re nowhere yet,” said Kristaps Porzingis of Dallas. “It’s a good move to get to where we want to go. But there’s more to do. We have to put our heads in the right place and move on to the next.”

Also on Friday, the Atlanta Hawks get their first home playoff game since 2017, when they take on the Knicks after splitting the first two contests in New York, while the Brooklyn Nets go 3–0 over the Celtics When the Eastern Conference series changes. for Boston.

“” this is unacceptable. I don’t even understand it, “said John Collins of Atlanta. “You come to watch the game of basketball in the arena, where does the thought of spitting on someone in your mind? It’s very outrageous. “

In another game on Wednesday, a fan threw popcorn at Washington Wizards star Russell Westbrook, as he was skipping a game in Philadelphia with an ankle injury.

Both the Knicks and 76ers issued an apology and banned those involved in ugly incidents, which again raised concerns about the safety of players in a game where fans sit right next to the court.

The NBA said the rules of fan behavior would be “vigorously enforced” through the rest of the playoffs.

“The return of more NBA fans to our arenas has brought a lot of excitement and energy to the start of the playoffs, but it is important that we show respect for all players, officials and our fellow fans,” the league said.

The Clippers will tackle a large, boisterous crowd in Dallas, where more than 15,000 fans are expected for Game 3.

This does not bode well for Los Angeles, who competed with coach Doc River after losing to Denver in the second round of last year’s playoffs. With Tyronn Lue now on the sidelines, not much has changed for the Clippers.

The franchise, which began in 1970 as the Boston Braves and was also based in San Diego, never progressed past the second round of the playoffs.

Friday games:

Knocks on hawks

Series 1-1 draw on Game 3, 7 pm EDT, ESPN.

— Need to know: The Knicks rallied from a double-digit deficit in Game 2 thanks to a dominating performance across the board. He overtook the Hawks 54–41, taking a huge lead in second-change points.

– Keep an eye on: Nix G. Derrick Rose. The former MVP is an average of 21.5 points per game away from the New York bench.

– Injury Watch: Both teams are healthy beyond long-term injuries.

– Pressure is on: Collins. The Hawks forward was kept scoreless in Game 2, playing for less than 15 minutes due to foul trouble. He should do a better job of tackling New York’s physical game and grip about substitutes.

Trap in celtics

Brooklyn is 2–0 ahead. Game 3, 8:30 PM EDT, ABC.

– Need to know: Nets G Kyrie Irving will play in front of fans in Boston for the first time after going into 2019 as a free agent after two seasons. Pointing to the problems in New York and Philadelphia, Irving said, “I’m just looking forward to competing with my teammates and hopefully we can keep it strictly basketball, no combativeness or no racism going on.” There’s subtle racism and people are shouting (stuff) from the crowd.”

– Keep an eye on: Nates F. Joe Harris. While Brooklyn’s Big Three of Irving, Kevin Durant and James Harden get the most attention, Harris is the league’s most accurate 3-point shooter. He set a franchise record in Game 2 with seven 3s.

– Injury Watch: Nets f Jeff Green will have to sit out at least 10 days with an injury to his left leg.

– Pressure is on: The Celtics f Jason Tatum has missed 15 of his last 18 shots from the field and managed to score only nine points in Game 2, before a hit to the eye edged him. His eye is doing much better – and Boston needs to play better for any chance he has.

MAVERCIKS. Clippers on

Dallas leads 2-0. Game 3, 9:30 PM EDT, ESPN.

– Need to know: The Clippers franchise has never won a playoff series after losing the first two games.

– Keep an eye on: Mavericks G. Luca Donsik, as always. The All-Star averaged 35 points in the first two matches.

– Injury Watch: Mavericks F Maxi Kleber has been bothered for weeks with pain from the right Achilles tendon. He managed to go for 34 minutes in Game 2, finishing with 13 points and four rebounds.

– The pressure is on: shear to come out with a lot of urgency. Dallas made a strong start in each of the first two matches, putting Los Angeles on its heels.

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Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at https://twitter.com/pnewberry1963, his work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paulnewberry.

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More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

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