Mavericks vs Clippers NBA Free Pick & Prediction [Game 5]

We are down to a best-of-three series between the Mavs and Clippers

Dallas (2-2) at LA Clippers (2-2)
When: Wednesday, May 1st 2024
Where: Arena,
Los Angeles, CA

Time: 10:00 ET | TV: TNT
Opening Odds: Dallas -1/210.5

We are down to a best-of-three series in the Western Conference first round playoff matchup between the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers. Arena will be the setting for this all-important Game 5 matchup that has seen both teams win a game on the road. The Clippers held off a furious Dallas rally in Game 4 to even the series up with a 116-111 road victory. Both of L.A.’s victories in this series have come without Kawahi Leonard on the floor, while both losses have come with him in the lineup. Leonard already has been ruled out for Game 5, Clippers coach Tyronn Lue confirmed on Tuesday.

The Clippers made eight three-pointers in the first quarter on Sunday and went 14-of-21 from 3-pont land in the first half. The Mavericks stormed back to lead 105-104 with 2:15 remaining on a Kyrie Irving layup, but the Clippers had enough down the stretch to even the series. The Mavericks are dealing with their own injury issues as Luka Doncic is playing through a right knee sprain, though he will likely play. Doncic went 1-of-9 from 3-point range in Game 4 yet he still recorded a triple-double with 29 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.


Dallas would be better off not to get in such a hole from the onset, as both their losses in the series has been large early deficits. The Clippers had a 27-point lead in the first half of their Game 1 victory after nailing six of their first eight three-pointers. Irving did his best to bring the team back with 24 second-half points and 14 in the fourth quarter alone in Game 4. The Mavericks also got very little from the bench on Sunday with the reserves combing for just 13 points and a -25 rating. The 17 turnovers also didn’t help Dallas.


Leonard returned to the bench for Game 4 with knee soreness so the Clippers leaned into their outside shooting early to take a 31-point lead in the second quarter. Paul George and James Harden each scored 33 points and were a combined 11-of-15 from beyond the arc. That kind of production makes up for Leonard’s absence, but can they repeat that? L.A. got solid bench play with 22 combined points and a +22 rating. The Clippers ended Game 4 by shooting 62.1 percent from 3-point land.

I know the Clippers have won both games with Leonard out, but that can’t last. They really need him because I don’t think George and Harden can win a series by themselves. Dallas is still the better team and should be favored. It’s not my favorite play, but I’ll lay the points with the Mavs.

Check out who Bobby Babowski has on his Free NBA Picks page for today.

Pick: Mavericks -3