Two of the NBA’s biggest and brightest take center stage Monday night when Kawhi Leonard and the No. 2 seeded Los Angeles Clippers take on Luka Doncic and the No. 7 seed Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the NBA playoffs.
Game 1 starts at 9 p.m. ET and will be televised on ESPN. But if you don’t have cable, here’s how to watch a live stream of the game online:
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As of August 1, ESPN is one of the 107 live TV channels included in the main FuboTV bundle, which comes with a free seven-day trial:
Once signed up for FuboTV, you can watch ESPN and the Mavericks vs Clippers live on your computer via the FuboTV website, or on your phone (Android and iPhone supported), tablet, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, or other supported device via the FuboTV app.
If you can’t watch live, FuboTV comes with 30 hours of cloud DVR space, as well as a 72-hour look-back feature, which allows you to watch the game on-demand within three days of its conclusion, even if you don’t record it.
ESPN is one of 31 channels included in the Sling Orange package. It costs $20 for the first month and $30 per month after that. If you want the cheapest way to watch as much NBA playoff basketball as possible, this is the best option, as it also includes TNT (Sling Orange) and NBA TV (Sling Orange plus Sports Extra add-on):
Once signed up for Sling TV, you can watch ESPN and the Mavericks vs Clippers live on your computer via the Sling TV website, or on your phone (Android and iPhone supported), tablet, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, or other streaming device via the Sling TV app.
If you can’t watch live, Sling TV comes included with 10 hours of cloud DVR.
ESPN is one of 68 total channels included with Vidgo. This is the cheapest long-term option with ESPN, and it comes with a free seven-day trial:
Once signed up for Vidgo, you can then watch ESPN and the Mavericks vs Clippers live on your computer via the Vidgo website, or on your phone (Android and iPhone supported), tablet, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV or other compatible streaming device via the Vidgo app.
ESPN is included in Hulu With Live TV, which comes with 60-plus live TV channels and Hulu’s extensive on-demand library of TV shows and movies. You can watch immediately with a seven-day free trial:
Once signed up for Hulu With Live TV, you can watch ESPN and the Mavericks vs Clippers live on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone (Android and iPhone supported), tablet, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Echo Show, or other streaming device via the Hulu app.
If you can’t watch live, Hulu with Live TV comes with both its extensive on-demand library and 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage (with the ability to upgrade to “Enhanced Cloud DVR,” which gives you 200 hours of DVR space and the ability to fast forward through commercials).
Mavs vs Clippers Preview
This will be the 21-year-old Doncic’s first time in the playoffs and the Mavs’ first postseason appearance since 2016. Doncic has been one of the most exciting players to watch in the NBA this year, but he hasn’t exactly played his best ball against the Clippers.
The Mavs have lost to the Clippers three times this season, and while his stat line was solid against them (he averaged 29.0 points, seven rebounds and seven assists), he shot just 27 percent from beyond the arc, and he had an uncharacteristically high five turnovers against Kawhi and company. Doncic will need plenty of help from his teammates, particularly the 7-foot-3 Kristaps Porzingis, who is this close to averaging a triple-double, scoring 20.4 points and snagging 9.5 boards a game.
Leonard who is trying to win his second NBA title and first with the Clippers, thinks Porzingis will be a particularly unique challenge due to his vast range, particularly from downtown.
“He’s what? 7-something? 7-2? 7-foot? Can shoot the ball, can dribble, make plays out of the post, even from the three-point line, dribble driving. Just have to keep a high hand up and try to challenge his shots. He’s very skilled,” Leonard said about Porzingis this week.
The Clippers have managed to keep Doncic from beating them with his dazzling play this year, and they have done it with a well-rounded attack. The Clips allowed 109.9 points a game this season, which was 13th in the league. They are also averaging 116.3 points a game, which ranks fourth in the NBA just behind Dallas. The Mavs are giving up just over 112.0 points a game, so defense could very well decide the outcome of the series.
Still, if the Clippers cannot keep Doncic in check, things could get very interesting.
Clippers head coach Doc Rivers recently said the following about Doncic: “He has the passing of Jason Kidd, but has the scoring ability of Larry Bird. That’s what makes him such a difficult cover.”
That’s quite a compliment from an NBA legend like Rivers, but it also reveals how seriously his team will take covering the dynamic Doncic. That dynamic alone should make this one of the more intriguing first-round series.
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