Mavs set first-half record in 124-73 NBA rout of Clippers

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – The Dallas Mavericks powered to an NBA-record 50-point halftime lead on the way to a 124-73 demolition of a Los Angeles Clippers team floundering without injured Kawhi Leonard on Sunday.

Mavs point guard Luka Doncic scored 18 of his 24 points in the first half, when Dallas essentially put it out of reach, taking a 77-27 lead into the break.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it’s the largest NBA halftime margin ever, surpassing the Golden State Warriors’ 47-point halftime lead over the Sacramento Kings on November 2, 1991.

Josh Richardson added 21 points and Tim Hardaway Jr chipped in 18 for the Mavericks, who had opened the season with two defeats, including a 138-115 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on the same Staples Centre court on Friday.

Paul George led the Clippers with 15 points and Serge Ibaka added 13.

But they clearly missed Leonard, who needed eight stitches on a cut in his mouth after he collided with Ibaka in the fourth quarter of a victory at Denver on Friday.

Eight of the Clippers’ 14 turnovers came in the first half. They opened the third quarter on a 10-0 scoring run, but any momentum was short-lived for a team that coach Tyronn Lue said, “didn’t have a lot of pop.”

Lue, who took over as coach this season after the departure of Doc Rivers, said he didn’t think there was anything to be learned from the defeat.

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic goes up for a basket past Los Angeles Clippers guard Patrick Beverley during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles on December 27. PHOTO: AP