DALLAS — The Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers will play Game 3 of their postseason series in Dallas at the American Airlines Center. LA earned a 109-97 victory in Game 1 before the Mavs answered with a hard-fought 96-93 win in Game 2. Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving will lead the offensive attack once again, but PJ Washington may be on the verge of a huge performance.

Before we dive into the numbers, here is what head coach Jason Kidd said after practice on Thursday about Washington's impact on the Mavericks offense.

“The threes that he made for us were big,” Kidd said of Washington. “His ability to play in the open court, to get to the rim, to get to the free throw line is huge. We're going to need him to continue to do that.”

Washington was third on the roster in points scored Tuesday, recording 18 points on 5-10 shooting from the field and 3-4 shooting from beyond the arc. LA has protected the paint well, so Dallas will probably continue to shoot three-pointers at a fairly high rate.

It will be interesting to see what kind of approach the Clippers have on defense. Game 3 is an important one, as LA will want to do everything they can to avoid going down 1-2 in the series. As a result, the Clippers may focus even more on containing Doncic and Irving.

And PJ Washington should have plenty of opportunities to score.

PJ Washington ready for Clippers-Mavericks Game 3

Dallas Mavericks forward P.J. Washington (25) shoots the ball during the third quarter of game two of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs against the Los Angeles Clippers at Crypto.com Arena.
Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

So the opportunity may be there for Washington, but there are stats to support my prediction for Game 3 as well.

The following statistics are via StatMuse:

In 14 home games for the Mavericks during the 2023-24 season, Washington averaged 12.6 points per game on 44 percent field goal shooting. On the road, Washington averaged 10.9 points per game on 40.1 percent field goal shooting.

Okay, he was better at home, but 12.6 points per outing does not exactly inspire confidence for a big playoff performance. Washington stepped up against difficult opponents at home, however.

He scored a respectable 14 points in his Mavericks debut against the Oklahoma City Thunder following the trade. He later dropped 20 points on efficient shooting against the Indiana Pacers. Although the Golden State Warriors were not terrific in 2023-24, they were still an intimidating opponent. Yet, Washington set his Mavericks career-high in points scored against Golden State with 32.

Of course, spending time shooting with two of the best players in the NBA will not hurt matters either. Washington has been in a shooting group with Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving quite often at practice recently, something Jason Kidd addressed on Thursday.

“Luka and Kai I think have been together pretty much the whole year,” Kidd said. “But I think when you look at PJ starting to shoot with those guys I think he's been there for a little bit now… Always tend to find someone to invite to their shooting group for competition purposes but also to help. So it's been great for our leaders to do that.”

So between a plentiful amount of opportunities, a drive to perform well in important games, and spending time shooting with Doncic and Irving, PJ Washington is set for a clutch performance in Game 3 against the Clippers.