The Dallas Mavericks are just one win away from advancing to the second round!
Led by Luka Doncic's 42 points, Dallas held off the LA Clippers for a 105-100 win at STAPLES Center, putting them within touching distance of their first playoff series win since 2011, the year they won the NBA championship.
Paul George led the Clippers with 23 points as they now must travel to Dallas to force a Game 7.
Luka shines under bright lights
After struggling in Game 4 with a neck injury, Luka Doncic put together a playoff game for the ages, willing his team to victory with 42 points on 17-of-37 shooting and 6-of-12 from the 3-point line, adding a game-high 14 assists, and a team-high eight rebounds.
Doncic had his fingerprints all over the game, either scoring or assisting on 31 of the Mavericks' 37 made field goals, with the Clippers running out of ideas to slow down the Slovenian star.
He started the game with a bang, dropping 19 points in the first quarter on 5-of-6 shooting from deep - the most by a Maverick in the first quarter of a postseason game since 2002-03, per Mavs PR
🔥 Luka up to 5 FOR 5 from deep on TNT 🔥 pic.twitter.com/Mvdpc0sNEi- NBA (@NBA) June 3, 2021
Missed opportunity for LA?
On their home floor, with the momentum of two straight road wins, the Clippers had a golden opportunity to seize control of the series against the Mavericks.
After trailing by 14 points entering the fourth quarter and down 10 with 2:13 remaining in the game, they stormed back into the game on a 9-1 run. They had a chance to take the lead in the final. seconds, but a miss from Nic Batum off Terance Mann's pass in the paint kept the Mavs in front as Tim Hardaway Jr. nabbed the rebound and went to the free-throw line to stretch the lead to 103-100.
On the ensuing possession, Kawhi Leonard's three-point attempt was off and Josh Richardson's free throws shut the door.
Kawhi had a chance to tie it. pic.twitter.com/RhJqcRiRDv- Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 3, 2021
In a game of tight margins, the Clippers will be ruing their late-game execution as they now must now travel to Dallas to stave off elimination and force a Game 7 back in their building.
Leonard and Reggie Jackson each finished with 20 points for the Clippers, while Paul George had a team-high 23.
The series shifts back to Dallas for Game 6, scheduled for Friday at 9:00 p.m. ET.
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