Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers thought his team was "emotionally weak" in a Game 4 135-133 overtime loss against the Dallas Mavericks. Mavericks guard Doncic, who played with a sprained left ankle, scored 43 points, grabbed 17 rebounds, had 13 assists and hit a step-back game-winning three-pointer to tie the series at two games apiece.
The Clippers had a comfortable lead, the Mavericks played without star forward Kristaps Porzingis, Doncic was injured and yet the team from Los Angeles failed to get a win. "Honestly, I thought we were very emotionally weak tonight," Rivers said, per ESPN.
".. If I knew [why], I would be Sigmund Freud. But at the end of the day, we're up 20, and we're getting technical fouls. Things like that give the team juice. Throughout -- and I've been saying this for three games now -- we're so much better than what we're playing.
But honestly, give Dallas credit. ... They're minus [Kristaps] Porzingis. But they just kept playing. They played together. They moved the ball. "And you can see the difference in spirit. Like, they make a run, and everybody's excited.
You know, they make a run on us, and we cave in. So that's on all of us. Me, too. I've got to get our guys right."
Rivers believes the Clippers will be ready for Game 5
"We're fine that way," Rivers said of what the loss does to the Clippers mentally.
"The series is 2-2. You can make a case it should be 3-1. ... But at the end of the day, the series is 2-2. "We gotta play better. Listen, defensively, without Porzingis, they scored 135 points, and we're supposed to be an elite defensive team.
Right now we're not. ... They just stared us in the face and beating us off the dribble." Meanwhile, the shooting slump of Paul George continued as the Clippers forward shot 3-for-14 from the field and scored only nine points.
In Game 2, George shot 4-for-17 and in Game 3 he shot 3-for-16. "It's just tough for me right now," George said. "It's hard to say because I am getting the looks, the shots, the floor is open, and the defenders aren't great, but I'm just having a hard time finding the ball through right now."
"Give them (Mavericks) credit. They're playing well, they're defending, they're shooting the ball, Luka is playing phenomenal -- you gotta give credit where credit is due. But to be honest, in hindsight, if I shoot the ball better, this series would be a lot different."