Led by a 45-point performance from Kawhi Leonard, the LA Clippers kept their season alive and forced a Game 7 with a 104-97 victory in Game 6. He was supported by a combined 45 points from Reggie Jackson (20) and Paul George (25).
With this win, the trend of the road team coming out on top continues as the series shifts back to Los Angeles for Game 7.
For the first time in NBA history, the first 6 games of a playoff series have been won by the road team. pic.twitter.com/SsI7kNkIQV- StatMuse (@statmuse) June 5, 2021
That said, here are a quick look at the biggest takeaways from the game.
Big Leonard performance
From the second quarter one, the former Finals MVP rose to the occasion. He finished the game with 45, tying a playoff career-high to go along with his six rebounds, three assists and two steals.
KAWHI FEELIN' IT pic.twitter.com/SXDb3BmfM8- LA Clippers (@LAClippers) June 5, 2021
KAWHI AGAIN! pic.twitter.com/59WzcNP3Ai- LA Clippers (@LAClippers) June 5, 2021
He bounced back from a three-point first quarter to score 13 of the team's 22 in the second quarter.
Kawhi drops 13 in the 2Q (6-8 FGM) as the @LAClippers take a 48-45 lead into halftime! 🔥#NBAPlayoffs on ESPN pic.twitter.com/OiAPXCzCG2- NBA (@NBA) June 5, 2021
With no production from the bench in the first half, the Clippers trailed 48-45 at the half.
He continued his onslaught in the third quarter, scoring 17 of the team's 25 points including a personal 11-0 run in between, with Reggie Jackson being the only other Clipper to make a field goal in the period.
Kawhi connects from deep. 👌🏾- LA Clippers (@LAClippers) June 5, 2021
📺 @BallySportWest |📱 https://t.co/SxvCDP1Us0 pic.twitter.com/C5MgRTO6Rx
Teammates step up on Doncic's relatively quiet game
Given the standards he set in Game 5, it was a relatively quiet game for Luka Doncic. Still, he finished with 29 points, 11 assists, eight rebounds and four steals.
After an 11-point first quarter, he scored 12 in the final period but had a relatively quiet middle portion of the game. However, the game remained competitive with multiple teammates stepping up.
Three other players in Tim Hardaway Jr. (23), Dorian Finney-Smith (11) and Boban Marjanovic (12) scored in double figures while the reserve duo of Josh Richardson and Jalen Brunson outscored their bench counterparts 13-4.
Jackson keeps Clippers close early
The starting 6'2" guard made his first six attempts and finished the first quarter with 14 points, more than half of the Clippers' first-quarter tally (26), and ensured the deficit to the Mavericks was only two after one.
Reggie Jackson from DEEP 💦 pic.twitter.com/qMt5ZAOKMk- NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) June 5, 2021
The 14 points are the most Jackson has scored in any quarter of his career. Meanwhile, the superstar duo of Leonard and George only combined for eight points on 3-of-5 shooting.
With that spectacular Leonard performance, both teams will get less than 48 hours to prepare for a 'winner-take-all' Game 7. It's scheduled for Sunday, June 6 at 3:30 p.m. ET
The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.