The Los Angeles Clippers have yet to win a road game this season.
The Clippers will aim to halt their slide when they visit the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night in the finale of a four-game road trip.
The contest is also part of West Group B play of the NBA’s inaugural in-season tournament. Los Angeles will be playing its first tourney game while Dallas will be competing in its second. The Mavericks lost to the Denver Nuggets 125-114 on Nov. 3.
Los Angeles, which recently acquired guard James Harden from the Philadelphia 76ers, is 0-4 in road games, including losses to the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets in the past eight days. The Clippers also fell at the Utah Jazz on Oct. 27.
Los Angeles coach Tyronn Lue was displeased with his team’s effort in road losses to the Knicks (111-97) on Monday and the Nets (100-93) on Wednesday.
Against Brooklyn, the Clippers were a measly 8-of-36 (22.2 percent) from 3-point range, one game after being just 11-of-32 (34.4 percent) against the Knicks.
“When we were getting open shots they were not taken and that forces us to take even harder shots,” Lue said. “So, just trying to find those guys on the floor, just not step on each other’s toes. But they got to be themselves. That’s the biggest thing, that’s the biggest message, be who you are and if you’re doing too much we’ll let you know.”
Paul George scored 24 points and Kawhi Leonard had 17 against Brooklyn. Russell Westbrook scored 13 points and Harden had 12 points and eight rebounds in his second game with the club.
George said it shouldn’t surprise anyone if it takes a little time to adjust to Harden’s arrival.
“We’re going to go through growing pains,” George said. “We’re going to come out of this and we’ll probably have to make another adjustment based on how the season goes later in the year.
“I’m not worried about this. We want to win these games. These are games that we feel we should win.”
Dallas is coming off its second loss of the season, a 127-116 home loss to the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday.
Luka Doncic registered 31 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and four steals and Kyrie Irving added 22 points.
But with rookie center Dereck Lively II sitting out due to a non-COVID-19 illness, the interior defense was weak and Toronto’s Pascal Siakam took advantage with season bests of 31 points and 12 rebounds.
“We missed him a lot,” Dallas coach Jason Kidd said of Lively. “There was no one in the paint (Wednesday night), and that just shows how important he is to our team.
“But it’s the next-man-up mentality, and we just didn’t do a good job on the perimeter or in the paint of protecting the paint and the rim.”
Lively, the No. 12 pick of this year’s draft from Duke, grabbed 10 or more rebounds in three of his first seven career games.
It wasn’t just the inner defense that was soft. The Mavericks allowed a season worst in points.
“You got to give credit to them,” Irving said. “But we’re going to look at film (on Thursday) and definitely look at some of our plays that we took off — whether it was down the stretch or in the first three quarters. We just need to be better and continue to build that trust, especially on the defensive end.”
The Mavericks and Clippers split last season’s four meetings.
–Field Level Media