Analysis | Pushed to the limit against the Mavericks, Kawhi Leonard’s Clippers finally pushed back

But resolve is a quality that can’t be bartered or bought, and unfortunately it’s one that has eluded the Clippers throughout their history. Los Angeles entered its NBA first-round playoff series against the Dallas Mavericks with the edge in superstar talent, experience, depth and shooting, plus home-court advantage. Then it promptly lost the first two games at Staples Center, fell behind by 19 points in Game 3 and appeared to have no reliable defensive solution for Mavericks star Luka Doncic. Deja vu didn’t begin to describe the Clippers’ predicament; confounding collapses, such as blowing a 3-1 lead in a second-round series against the Denver Nuggets in the bubble last year, have been the rule, not the exception.

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