Kawhi Leonard tied his playoff profession excessive with 45 factors and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Dallas Mavericks 104-97 on Friday night time, forcing a Recreation 7 within the first postseason collection in NBA historical past with the highway group profitable the primary six video games.
The victory provides Leonard and Paul George their first likelihood to remove the group they beat in six video games within the Florida playoff bubble final August. Recreation 7 is Sunday in Los Angeles.
Luka Doncic scored 29 factors however was simply 2 of 9 from 3-point vary because the LA defence turned up the stress in key moments and held Dallas to 29 per cent taking pictures within the fourth quarter. Tim Hardaway Jr. had 23 factors however missed a 3-pointer and a layup within the closing minutes.
After coming house with a 2-0 collection lead and dropping twice, the Mavericks misplaced a close-out sport for simply the second time in seven video games below coach Rick Carlisle.
KAWHI FEELIN’ IT <a href=”https://t.co/SXDb3BmfM8″>pic.twitter.com/SXDb3BmfM8</a>
The Mavericks had been down 90-88 when Maxi Kleber missed an open nook 3. Leonard scored the subsequent eight LA factors, together with back-to-back 3-pointers for a 98-90 lead with 1:41 remaining.
Reggie Jackson scored 14 of his 25 factors within the first quarter to assist preserve LA shut early, whereas Doncic’s European sidekick, Kristaps Porzingis, was a non-factor with seven factors on simply seven pictures in 31 minutes.
The largest lead for both group from the center of the second quarter to the tip of the third was a seven-point Dallas edge within the third.
The Clippers erased that deficit rapidly with their greatest defensive depth of the sport to that time, sparking an 11-0 run capped by a 3-pointer from Leonard.
LA left Dorian Finney-Smith open for a 3-pointer that helped Dallas return in entrance, and the Mavericks later scored the ultimate 5 factors of the third for a 77-73 lead.
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