Kawhi Leonard scored 28 points with 10 rebounds as the Los Angeles Clippers used a balanced attack to defeat the Dallas Mavericks 126-111 on Sunday in Game 7 of their NBA first-round playoff series.
Marcus Morris Sr. scored 23 points and Paul George added 22 points with 10 assists as the fourth-seeded Clippers advanced to the second round to face the Utah Jazz. Los Angeles became the sixth team in NBA history to lose the first two games of a series at home and still advance.
Sunday’s game was the first time in the series the home team came out with the victory. It was the first time in NBA history the road team won the first six games of a playoff series.
Luka Doncic scored 46 points with 14 assists in his first career Game 7 of a playoff series but was unable to carry the Mavericks across the finish line. Dallas lost to the Clippers in the first round for the second consecutive season.
Dorian Finney-Smith scored 18 points with 10 rebounds and Kristaps Porzingis added 16 points with 11 rebounds for the Mavericks, who had two chances to close out the series. They lost at home 104-97 in Game 6 on Friday.
Trailing 81-76 with 6:53 remaining in the third quarter, the Clippers went on a 21-2 run to take a 97-83 lead, pushing the advantage to double digits for the first time in the game. They closed out the third quarter on an overall 24-4 run to take a 100-85 advantage.
Doncic was intent on getting to the second round when he scored 29 points in the first half on 10-of-14 shooting, including 4 of 6 from 3-point range. But he had just six points in the decisive third quarter and did not make any of his 3-point attempts.
The Clippers pushed their advantage to as many as 19 at 106-87 with 9:20 remaining on a pair of Leonard free throws. The Mavericks made one last run, getting to within seven at 114-107 with 2:06 to play on a Doncic step-back 3-pointer.
But Reggie Jackson answered with a 3-pointer for a 117-107 lead and the Clippers finished off the game and series from there.
Jackson scored 15 points, while Terance Mann added 13 for the Clippers, who shot 50 percent from the field (41 of 82). Nicolas Batum and Luke Kennard added 11 points each.
Boban Marjanovic scored 14 points for the Mavericks with 10 rebounds, while Tim Hardaway Jr. had 11 points.
–Field Level Media