Los Angeles (CBSLA/AP) – Luka Doncic scored 42 points, Tim Hardaway Jr. hit two free throws with eight seconds left, and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Los Angeles Clippers 105-100 on Wednesday night to take a 3-2 lead in the first-round playoff series .
Kawhi Leonard said, “I am definitely disappointed with the loss, but we believe in ourselves that we are able to go out and get another win.” “Like I said, we’re just focusing on what’s next and we’ll see what we can do better.”
According to the Alias Sports Bureau, this is the third playoff series in NBA history—and the first since 1995—in which the Roads team has won the first five games.
Clippers head coach Ty Lew said, “You know, we won two of our matches at our home ground and won two tough games.” “We have to do the same thing again.”
The Mavs could close out their first series win since winning the 2011 NBA Championship at home with a win in Game 6 in front of a full home on Friday.
Hardaway Jr. added 20 points, the only other Mavs player in double digits. Doncic’s points were two from the playoff highs of his career. He had 14 assists in his career and added eight rebounds.
Paul George led five Clippers starters in double digits with 23 points and 10 rebounds after playing with four fouls in the fourth quarter. Leonard and Reggie Jackson each added 20 points.
The Clippers bounced back after falling 16 points early in the fourth. Despite turnovers and misses by George and Leonard, they advanced the Mavs from 16-6 to 95-91.
But Hardaway stole the ball from George and hit a 3-pointer. Kristaps Porzingis followed with another 3 and the Mavs led 101-91.
Still, the clippers were not done. They ran through nine straight points to reach 101–100 on consecutive 3-pointers by Jackson and Marcus Morris, and a three-point play by Leonard.
Terrence Mann roared from the small masked crowd, but Nicolas Butham missed a lap during a wild scuffle in which Morris fouled Hardaway. He gave both a lead of 103-100.
Doncic showed no effect from the neck strain. He rallied the Mavs into third place as he led the Clippers 33-21 after a 56-54 lead at halftime. Dallas closed the quarter on 22-3, including 11 by Doncic, for an 89-75 lead.
After Jackson hit three straight 3-pointers, two, the Clippers halted. George picked up two quick fouls and Leonard made two turnovers. Rajon Rondo tossed an airball and missed a jumper, and Leonard closed the third with two misses.
The Clippers upset former teammate Boban Marjanovic in the third. The 7-foot-4 Serb tossed the ball several times when Doncic tried to pass inside him. Doncic eventually took things into his own hands, scoring most of the rest of the period.
Maxi Kleber and Morris became embroiled in the first quarter, with Kleber doing a technical evaluation and Morris getting Flagrant-1 after video review. Morris’ left hand slammed into Kleber’s throat and he responded by pushing Morris to the baseline. They also collided in the second quarter, with Morris falling to the floor.
After missing his first four shots of the game, the Clippers scored five straight 3-pointers. Doncic answered for the Mavs, hitting four 3-pointers on the way to 19 points in the first quarter. He had 27 by halftime, the only Mavs player in double digits.
Mavericks: Marjanovic made his first debut in the series and his second appearance as part of his attempt to make it big. He finished with nine points and seven rebounds.
Shear: Hall of Famer Jerry West takes off his mask to pose for a fan photo at halftime.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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