The Dallas Mavericks set an NBA shot-clock era record by leading the Los Angeles Clippers by 50 points at intermission Sunday en route to a 124-73 victory. Yes, Kawhi Leonard was out, but it's safe to say even someone of his talent couldn't have helped the Clippers, who trailed 77-27 at intermission.
The Clippers entered the game 2-0, the Mavericks 0-2, but it didn't take long to figure that Dallas wouldn't be winless and LA wouldn't be unbeaten for long. Dallas went on a 23-3 spurt to take a 25-5 lead with 3:23 left in the first quarter -- and the Mavs were off and running.
The lead was 36-13 at the end of the first quarter and reached 40 at 56-16 with 7:35 to go in the second quarter. Trey Burke's 3-pointer with 23.5 second left in the half made it 77-27.
How did the Mavericks do it? Well, as you'd expect, they dominated in every phase. Dallas was 29-for-50 (58%) from the field, compared to the Clippers' 9-for-37 (24.3%). From behind the 3-point arc, the Mavs were 9-for-20 (45%), while LA was a miserable 1-for-19 (5.3%). That was the Clippers' worst 3-point percentage in a single half in the past 25 years, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
More numbers from the first half:
Rebounds: Mavs 32, Clippers 16
Assists: Mavs 16, Clippers 3
Steals: Mavs 6, Clippers 0
Fast-break points: Mavs 20, Clippers 2
Points in the paint: Mavs 34, Clippers 10
Only four Clippers scored in the first half, with Paul George (4-for-12 from the field, 0-for-6 on 3s) leading the way with 13. Dallas' Luka Doncic, meanwhile, had 18 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. That was more assists than the Clippers had as a team. Doncic and Josh Richardson combined for 33 first-half points, six more than the Clips.
And, naturally, the world of social media had something to say about the rout as other NBA players felt the Clippers' pain:
nah this is wild 🥴😭— Ja Morant (@JaMorant) December 27, 2020
😧— 14 (@RjHampton14) December 27, 2020
👁— Jusuf Nurkić (@bosnianbeast27) December 27, 2020
Not even an NFL Sunday could shield the Clippers from infamy after their ugly performance:
I just happened to turn away from the football games and thought I was seeing things. The Mavericks were up 77-27 over the Clippers at halftime.... pic.twitter.com/pMXPYb4yV8— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) December 27, 2020
I've never seen anything like that before in the NBA and the Clippers are at home!😳— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) December 27, 2020
Damn Kawhi must just be the best player in the world if he effects the Clippers like this...down 50 at half?! Jesus Christ— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) December 27, 2020
The Clippers would open the second half with an 11-0 run, but the Mavericks' lead got as high as 57 as Dallas handed the Clips the worst loss in their less-than-stellar franchise history. Dallas maintained a lead of at least 40 points for the final 31:11 of the game. That is the longest stretch by any team over the last 25 seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Information.