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Luka Doncic And Kyrie Irving Help Mavs Defeat Clippers 114-101 To Move To Second Round

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Luka Doncic continued to struggle with his shooting due to his injured right knee, while Kyrie Irving exerted considerable effort on defense. Despite these challenges, the Mavericks’ key players joined forces in the second half, propelling Dallas to victory in their inaugural postseason together.

Doncic contributed 28 points and 13 assists, while Irving scored 28 of his 30 points in the latter half of the game, ultimately securing a 114-101 win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Teamed up with Irving this time, Doncic achieved what he couldn’t three years prior—clinching a Game 6 victory against the Clippers in Dallas during the first round of playoffs. This victory marked the Mavericks’ first triumph over the Clippers in three first-round encounters over the past five seasons.

The Mavericks, seeded fifth, will now advance to face the top-seeded Oklahoma City in the Western Conference semifinals on Tuesday.

Paul George managed 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Clippers, who struggled to maintain momentum without Kawhi Leonard, sidelined due to knee inflammation.

Despite James Harden’s 16 points and 13 assists, the Clippers failed to advance beyond the first round for the second consecutive season, despite acquiring the 10-time All-Star earlier in the season.

Irving, acquired in a trade last year, showcased versatility by guarding Harden in the first half, holding him to just two points on six attempts.

The momentum shifted in the second half, with Irving breaking a tie and Doncic finding his rhythm with a crucial 3-pointer. The Mavericks dominated the third quarter, outscoring the Clippers 35-20, extending their lead to 20 points early in the fourth.

Irving’s flashy four-point play further solidified the Mavericks’ lead, ultimately securing their victory despite a late surge from the Clippers.

Doncic, despite his struggles with illness and injury, managed 9 of 26 from the field and 1 of 10 from beyond the arc, while Irving delivered an impressive 10 of 13 shooting performance in the second half.

Looking ahead, Doncic aims to replicate his playoff success of two years ago, when the Mavericks reached the Western Conference finals.

Norman Powell led the Clippers with 20 points, supported by Ivica Zubac’s 17 points and 11 rebounds.

For the Mavericks, P.J. Washington contributed 14 points with crucial 3-pointers, while Daniel Gafford added 13 points with impactful plays in the paint.

Coach Jason Kidd praised the contributions of the Mavericks’ recent acquisitions, emphasizing their positive impact on the team’s culture and defensive performance.

Maxi Kleber’s absence following a shoulder injury, sustained in the second quarter, was felt by the Mavericks, who will rely on their depth as they progress in the playoffs.

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