Kawhi Leonard had 36 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, leading the Los Angeles Clippers to a 130-122 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night for a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference first-round series.
The Clippers had been in control for a while by then, using a team-record, 45-point second quarter to build a big lead. And when Dallas cut it to eight midway through the fourth quarter, Leonard responded with a 3-pointer and left-handed dunk on consecutive Clippers possessions to restore a comfortable lead.
Landry Shamet had 18 points for the Clippers, who bounced back from their loss in Game 2 even though Paul George shot poorly again. Ivica Zubac added 15.
Kristaps Porzingis had 34 points and 13 rebounds for the Mavericks. Seth Curry and Tim Hardaway Jr. each added 22 points.
Doncic finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists but had a rough night, shooting just 4 for 14 from the field and 4 for 10 from the foul line.
George shot 3 for 16. He was just 4 for 17 in Game 2.
But Shamet picked up the slack while starting for the injured Patrick Beverley, who missed his second straight game. Shamet totaled just two points in the first two games.
Game 4 is Sunday.
Doncic was defending Leonard on a drive with about 4 minutes remaining in the third when his left ankle rolled and he fell to the court. He got up and tried to go toward the nearby Dallas bench but quickly went back down to the court again. He was then able to get back up and limp directly toward the locker room area.
He came back to the bench area a few minutes later and started the fourth quarter but he wasn’t moving well and soon departed again, sitting on the bench with his head in his hand.
Luka Doncic rolls his ankle and has to come out of the game. Terrible turn of events for him and the Mavs. <a href=”https://t.co/YIw1jKB4mW”>pic.twitter.com/YIw1jKB4mW</a>
Clippers coach Doc Rivers said the seventh-seeded Mavs had outplayed the No. 2 Clippers through two games. But after an even first quarter in which Doncic and Montrezl Harrell got double-technical fouls after getting tangled up and exchanging words, Los Angeles asserted itself in the second.
It was tied at 35 before the Clippers held the Mavs to three baskets over nearly five minutes, outscoring them 17-6 to open a 52-41 lead. Los Angeles scored 45 points in the period and lead 68-54 at halftime.
At 21 years, 175 days, Doncic became the third-youngest player with a triple-double in the playoffs behind Magic Johnson and LeBron James.
Celtics puts 76ers on the ropes
Kemba Walker scored 24 points and the Boston Celtics closed with a 10-0 run to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 102-94 on Friday night for a 3-0 lead in the first-round series.
Jaylen Brown had 21 points and Jason Tatum added 15 for the Celtics.
Joel Embiid had 30 points and 13 rebounds to lead the 76ers. They shot 29.5 per cent from the field.
The Celtics were able to stay close despite Tatum picking up his third foul near the end of the first quarter and having to sit the entire second quarter. Tatum entered the game averaging 32.5 points on 10-of-17 shooting from 3-point range in the series.
Midway through the third, Walker completed a personal 8-0 run with a fast-break layup and foul on Embiid — his fourth. But Philadelphia didn’t fold with its all-star centre on the bench, instead battling back to tie it.
The Celtics entered the game having outscored the 76ers 87-42 from beyond the 3-point arc, but were just 8 of 31 on Friday night. Yet that was better than the 76ers, who were 9 of 39.
Jazz crush Nuggets again
For four long days, Mike Conley was confined to his hotel in quarantine.
He wasn’t about to be contained on the court.
Conley made a career playoff-high seven 3-pointers and scored 27 points in his return from quarantine, helping the Utah Jazz rout the Denver Nuggets 124-87 on Friday for a 2-1 lead in the first-round series.
Conley left the NBA bubble for the birth of his son and returned Monday night. He went through a four-day separation that ended Friday.
While in isolation, Conley said he got about 30 minutes of outside activity a day to work on his game.
There wasn’t a hint of rust as he made his series debut. He was 7 of 8 from 3-point range and had four assists.
“Being on that court was all I was thinking about other than my family,” Conley said. “Thankful to be back and looking forward to the rest of the series.”
The 37-point loss tied the third-worst in Denver’s playoff history. The record is 44 against the Los Angeles Lakers on May 22, 1985.