Dallas Mavericks vs Los Angeles Clippers NBA Conference Quarterfinals Preview and Picks
Key Player and Preview
The NBA may have lost the defending champs to elimination in the first round of the playoffs, but it will get a chance to feature two of its brightest stars in Game 7 on Sunday.
Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers will host Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks with a second-round berth and a clash with the Utah Jazz on the line. The NBA is looking for a new champion after the elimination of the Lakers. Angels this week.
The No. 4-seeded Clippers might have had a series home lead against the Mavericks, but creature comforts didn't give either team an advantage.
As each team has won three games, none have won at home, making it the first time an NBA playoff series has been held in at least six games, with the visiting team winning each time. Still, the Mavericks won't claim to have an advantage in Los Angeles.
Leonard and Doncic did not disappoint the series, Doncic suffered a painful neck pain in Game 4 and still has 19 points in limited capacity. He followed that with 42 points in a Game 5 win.
It was Leonard's turn to seize the opportunity in Game 6, scoring 45 points on 18 of 25 shooting, including 5 of 9 on 3 points. He later insisted that he wasn't putting the Clippers on his shoulders, but his game suggested otherwise.
While Leonard won an NBA title and won in Game 7 of the playoffs, Doncic has limited experience in big games. This is only the second playoff series in his three-season career, and both have been against the Clippers after losing in the first round last season.
Doncic had 29 points and 11 assists in Game 6, or 11 of 24 on the field. Leonard took a more active role in protecting Doncic as the series progressed, with Doncic shooting just 6 of 16 in the first three quarters on Friday without scoring 3 points.
The supporting actors for the Mavericks did what they could. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 23 points and Boban Marjanovic had 12 with nine rebounds in his third series appearance and second start. But Kristaps Porzingis was limited to seven points and five rebounds in 31 minutes.
Reggie Jackson scored 25 points for the Clippers, while Paul George had 20 points and 13 rebounds. But the seventh game is in the hands of Leonard (32.8 points per game) for Los Angeles and Doncic (34.0) for Dallas.
|WINNER: Dallas Mavericks @ ML|
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