Residence candy dwelling: Clippers beat Mavs 126-111 to win collection

LOS ANGELES — No chest-thumping, shouting or theatrics. With little or no change of expression, Kawhi Leonard altered the Los Angeles Clippers’ playoff fortunes.

Leonard narrowly missed a triple-double, ending with 28 factors, 10 rebounds and 9 assists, to assist the Clippers end off the Dallas Mavericks 126-111 on Sunday in Recreation 7 of the first-round collection.

Enjoying in entrance of a loud combine of seven,342 masked followers and cardboard cutouts, the Clippers did what neither workforce had been capable of pull off within the first six video games — win at dwelling. It was the primary time in NBA historical past the highway workforce gained the primary six video games of a playoff collection.

“We noticed all the pieces on this collection,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle mentioned.

The Clippers turned the fifth workforce in league historical past to lose the primary two video games at dwelling and are available again to win a playoff collection.

“It was an incredible win for us,” mentioned Tyronn Lue, who improved to 4-0 in Recreation 7s of his teaching profession. “It confirmed rather a lot about our workforce.”

The fourth-seeded Clippers superior to the Western Convention semifinals for the second straight 12 months. They’re going to play the top-seeded Utah Jazz beginning Tuesday evening in Salt Lake Metropolis.

Luka Doncic had 46 factors, 14 assists and 7 rebounds to guide the fifth-seeded Mavs, who’ve but to win a playoff collection since capturing the NBA championship in 2011. He completed the collection with 250 factors, 55 rebounds and 72 assists.

“Recreation seven is the hardest recreation. You’ve acquired to offer it all the pieces,” Doncic mentioned. “We’ve been within the playoffs twice since I’ve been there, misplaced each occasions. You receives a commission to win.”

Paul George added 22 factors, 10 assists and 6 rebounds for the Clippers. Their backups outscored Dallas’ reserves, 27-6, getting essential contributions from Terance Mann (13 factors) and Luke Kennard (11 factors). Kennard had performed simply 4 minutes earlier within the collection.

“They trusted me,” Kennard mentioned. “We trusted one another.”

The Clippers had been the league’s prime 3-point taking pictures workforce throughout the common season, however struggled at occasions within the collection. They regained their contact in Recreation 7, making 20 3s, led by Morris’ seven. The Mavs hit 10, with Doncic having 5.

Trailing by eight at halftime, the Mavs outscored the Clippers 19-6 to open the third and take an 81-76 lead. Doncic had simply two factors within the run, with Dorian Finney-Smith hitting two 3-pointers and Tim Hardaway Jr. including one other. Finney-Smith completed with 18 factors and 10 rebounds.

The Mavs gained the primary two video games at Staples Heart earlier than the Clippers tied it up with two wins in Dallas. The Mavs gained Recreation 5 in LA and Leonard powered the Clippers to a highway win in Recreation 6 with an enormous fourth quarter.

“All of us really feel like we must always have gained the collection,” Finney-Smith mentioned. “If anyone are available in and say they don’t really feel like we must always have gained, they’re loopy. We simply couldn’t win at dwelling.”

The Clippers took management with a 24-4 spurt — together with 12 in a row — to guide 100-85 going into the fourth. Morris made three 3-pointers and Kennard hit a pair. Leonard scored seven factors, highlighted by a dunk off George’s cross. Defensively, Leonard got here up with a giant block and Mann helped comprise Doncic, who had the Mavs’ solely factors over the top of the third.

“Kawhi got here with the mentality that he’s going to take this recreation,” mentioned Reggie Jackson, who added 15 factors. “He wasn’t going to be shy about his play in any respect. As soon as he acquired going early, defenses needed to change.”

Dallas lower its 19-point deficit early within the fourth to seven factors on Doncic’s fifth 3-pointer of the sport with just below 3 minutes remaining. However the Clippers’ personal long-range prowess carried them, with Jackson and Morris connecting on back-to-back 3s for a 120-107 lead.

Doncic matched his factors whole from Recreation 6 with 29 factors within the first half on 10 of 14 taking pictures.

LEONARD’S NUMBERS

Leonard is the fourth participant in postseason historical past to have no less than 200 whole factors whereas taking pictures no less than 60% from the ground in a single collection. The final participant to take action was Shaquille O’Neal of the Lakers within the 2000 NBA Finals.

JERSEY EXCHANGE

Doncic mentioned he and George exchanged jerseys within the locker room afterward. The Mavs misplaced to the Clippers in six video games of the primary spherical in final 12 months’s bubble in Florida. “It is powerful, when it’s the identical rival you clearly don’t need to lose once more,” Doncic mentioned.

HE SAID IT

“You simply do not get the max offers when you do not work as laborious as they do.” — Morris on Leonard and George’s work ethic.

TIP-INS

Mavericks: Kristaps Porzingis had 16 factors and 10 of his 11 rebounds on the defensive glass. … Hardaway acquired a Flagrant-1 foul for knocking George to the ground on a drive with 37 seconds left. … Carlisle dropped to 2-2 in Recreation 7s of his teaching profession.

Clippers: Lue has gained his first 4 Recreation 7s as a coach. Boston’s Pink Auerbach gained his first eight. … That they had one rebound within the first quarter. … Markieff Morris of the Lakers chatted up his twin brother Marcus at halftime. “He is telling me to decelerate and little issues he sees throughout the recreation,” Marcus mentioned. “We have been doing that since we had been youngsters.” … Six-time NBA champion Scottie Pippen and Chiney Ogwumike of the Sparks attended.

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Extra AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports activities

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