Watch Russell Westbrook get ejected as Clippers fall to Mavericks 101-90

NBA: Playoffs-Los Angeles Clippers at Dallas Mavericks

NBA: Playoffs-Los Angeles Clippers at Dallas Mavericks

Russell Westbrook had been on edge all night. He’d picked up a Flagrant 1 foul in the first half for a hard foul on Jeff Green trying to stop a breakaway dunk. On another play, he’d bowled over Luka Doncic after Ivica Zubac had fouled Doncic (the referees reviewed that one but called Westbrook’s contact “incidental”).

His frustration seemed to mount as the Clippers fell farther behind and Westbrook shot 0-of-7, and it built up to this moment, where Westbrook was rightfully ejected.

The Mavericks’ P.J. Washington was given a technical foul for pushing Westbrook during the scrum, and Washington already had one from shoving Terrence Mann in the first half, so he was also thrown out.

“We’ve got to channel our aggression in other ways,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said via the Associated Press. “It’s getting chippy. I like the physicality. I like the tough possessions. I like all of that. But we’ve got to make sure we’re not getting the technical fouls, we’re not getting thrown out of the game, because everybody’s important.”

Dallas won the game 101-90 behind Doncic, who had 22 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. The win puts the Mavericks up 2-1 in this first-round series.

For the second game in a row, the Mavericks won it with defense, holding Los Angeles to 90 points. While James Harden scored 21 on 7-of-13 shooting, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard struggled. George shot 3-of-11 and spent most of the night in foul trouble. Leonard’s play was concerning. In his second game back after missing three weeks, Leonard was clearly bothered by the knee that had caused the absence.

“It just didn’t respond the way we wanted after the first game,” Leonard said of his knee. “But we’re going to get it right. Time will tell. We’re doing all the right things.”

Kyrie Irving scored 21 points, 19 coming in the second half, and Dereck Lively had 13 off the bench.

Game 4 is Sunday in Dallas and becomes almost a must-win for the Clippers.

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