Harrell Leads Clippers Past Mavericks
Frank Robinson More Than a Pioneer
By Cameron Buford, whatsgoodinsports.com
In the Clippers first home game since the NBA’s mid-season All-Star break, the Clippers face the Dallas Mavericks as they try to hold on to their current playoff spot. Coming into the game the Clippers have won 6 out of the past 10 games, while the Mavericks came into this game winning only 3 of their last 7 games. This game will also be the final game in Staples Center for Dirk Nowitzki, as he plans to bring his 20-year career to an end. As Dirk played his last game in Staples Center, the Maverick Superstar rookie will be playing his first game in Staples against the Clippers; and boy… did this young rookie impress tonight!
The game was pretty much nip and tuck throughout, as there were 10 lead changes in the game and the Clipper enjoyed the biggest lead of, any team at any time, by 11 points. By halftime, the Mavericks impressive rookie Luka Doncic was working on his triple-double by amassing 13 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds. Montrezl led the Clippers with 14 points of his own at the half.
For the 20th time, out of 62 games this season, Montrezl Harrell has tallied 20+ points. Tonight, he scored a career-high 32 points, while shooting 14 out of 17. At one-point Harrell got a long rebound and took the ball from the Mavericks three-point line, dribbled around a couple defenders for a one-man fast break dunk, that brought the Clippers fans to their feet.
After the game, Harrell was happy to talk about how he is has been developing his games during the offseason. “I still going around playing in Summer Leagues; Drew League, Dyckman… I just play the keep playing the game because I love it.” When asked about the game he played tonight, “When I work with my trainer, I’m working on ball handling drills, coming off pick and rolls!”
Doncic finished the game with his fourth triple-double of the season, while his entire rookie class has a total of zero triple-doubles this season. Luka’s 28 points and 10 assists led the Mavericks, though he was tied with 10 rebounds leading the Mavericks. In his pre-game comments, Head Coach Rick Carlisle was discussing the consistency that made Dirk this legendary player, when asked if he sees that same consistency in Luka he said, “I believe Luka will be one of those guys, Yes!”
As time wound down in the fourth quarter, Do Rivers called a timeout to allow the Clipper fans to give Dirk a standing ovation for his Hall of Fame career that spanned 2 decades. Though Dirk only scored 12 points while on shooting 3 for 10, Mavericks, European Basketball fans and Clippers fans came out to see the Dirk play his 1500 game in the league as well as his final game at Staples against the Clippers.
Dirk responded by saying in his post-game comments, “It was very much appreciated of the reception and I’ll keep pushing until the end!” “I never thought I’d get to my 1500th game.” When asked about the comparison of his rookie season to Luka’s, Dirk stated hilariously, “these kids are different now. They have their Instagram; their social network and they love looking at themselves. They got a different swag about themselves, than I had!”
This was another example of what makes the NBA fantastic. On Monday night at Staples NBA fans got to see a champion play in his final game in their arena, we also got to see a budding Superstar as he develops in this league and most importantly, we got to see the home town Clippers get a W and maintain their position in the playoffs.
NBA basketball continues to be fantastic, and their playoffs will be even better! It appears the Clippers are going for the playoffs regardless of the possibility of losing their 1st round pick should they get in? Doc Rivers showed his class by encouraging the Clippers Fans to celebrate Dirk on his way out. It was cool to see the changing of the guards for the Mavericks as well. Let me know your thoughts on if the you think the Clippers can hold on to their playoffs position or about Dirk’s Hall of Fame career or Luka’s emergence in the league by sharing your thoughts with us by commenting in the comment section of this article on www.whatsgoodinsports.com or reaching out to us on twitter @whatsgoodinsports. Your feedback is very much welcomed and appreciated!