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May 2, 2024 12:43 am

Mavs blitz Clippers, head home with 3-2 edge

Mavericks, Clippers

Luka Doncic scored 35 points and handed out 10 assists as the visiting Dallas Mavericks moved one win away from a spot in the Western Conference semifinals with a 123-93 rout of the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.

Maxi Kleber contributed 15 points as the Mavericks took a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 6 is set for Friday in Dallas.

Jaden Hardy and Kyrie Irving scored 14 points apiece for the Mavericks. Dereck Lively II and Derrick Jones Jr. each had 12.

Paul George finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds and Ivica Zubac also had 15 points for the Clippers, who played for the third time in the series without Kawhi Leonard (right knee inflammation). It was the first time Los Angeles dropped a game without the star.

Norman Powell put up 14 points while Terance Mann and Bones Hyland each had 11 for Los Angeles, but James Harden was held to seven points and seven assists. Harden shot 2-for-12 (16.7 percent) from the floor and 1-for-7 from 3-point range after he and George each scored 33 points in a Game 4 win.

The Mavericks took control with a 14-0 run in the third quarter, establishing a 73-50 lead. Doncic scored nine points in the surge, while the Dallas defense took charge to hold Los Angeles to 33.3 percent shooting in the third quarter. Dallas shot 63.2 percent in the period.

Doncic effectively put the game away on a 3-pointer with eight minutes remaining for a 97-72 lead. He watched the final 5:39 from the bench after hitting 14 of 26 (53.8 percent) from the floor and 2 of 8 from long distance.

After a tight first quarter, the Mavericks gained some separation by taking a 12-point lead in the second quarter and going into halftime with a 56-46 advantage. Doncic had 15 points in the half and Kleber added 12.

George had just seven points before the break for the Clippers while Harden was held to five as the Los Angeles stars combined to shoot 4 of 15 (26.7 percent).

–Field Level Media

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