“Injury Concerns for Dallas Mavericks’ Daniel Gafford in Playoff Matchup Against Los Angeles Clippers”

During Game 2 against the Los Angeles Clippers, Dallas Mavericks’ starting center Daniel Gafford exited the game with approximately 8 minutes remaining in the second quarter due to an apparent lower back injury, as reported by the TNT broadcast. Gafford was seen clutching his back after contesting a shot at the rim and appeared to struggle to get up the floor before eventually heading to the locker room during the next dead ball. The Mavericks’ PR team has indicated that Gafford’s return is uncertain as he deals with the lower back issue.

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Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks acquired Gafford from the Washington Wizards before the trade deadline, trading Richaun Holmes and a 2024 first-round pick from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange. Gafford played a significant role in the Mavericks’ strong defensive performance towards the end of the season, leading the NBA in defensive efficiency over the final 15 games. In his time with Dallas, Gafford has showcased his prowess, averaging 11.2 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game while boasting an impressive 78% field goal shooting percentage in 29 games.

Gafford’s absence leaves a void in the Mavericks’ lineup, particularly as he has formed a formidable partnership with rookie Dereck Lively II, providing Dallas with two skilled big men capable of running the rim and protecting the basket. Lively had recently returned from a knee injury, with Game 1 against the Clippers marking his first appearance since March 31st against the Rockets.

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