May 30, 2024

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NBA Playoffs: Kyrie Irving takes over for Mavericks past Clippers in second-round matchup against Thunder

NBA Playoffs: Kyrie Irving takes over for Mavericks past Clippers in second-round matchup against Thunder

The first half was Luka Dončić’s. Kyrie Irving took over in the second.

The Dallas Mavericks achieved a major victory over the Los Angeles Clippers 114-101 in Game 6 on Friday to secure a 4-2 victory and qualify for the second round of the playoffs. The fifth-seeded Mavericks advance to the second round with the top-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder. The Clippers’ season has come to a disappointing end.

After losing 123-93 at home in Game 5, the Clippers fell into a first-quarter hole 34-26 on Friday. They fought back to tie the game at 52 before halftime while limiting Irving to two points in the first half. This race marked their last stand in the series.

The Mavericks opened the game up after halftime with Irving leading 35-20 in the third quarter with 13 points in the stanza. The Clippers did not see any progress in the fourth quarter, as playmakers failed to keep up with Dallas’ dynamic duo.

After shooting 1-of-6 in the first half, Irving hit 5-of-6 shots in the third quarter. Irving’s personal 5-0 run that featured traffic and a second-chance 3-pointer extended Dallas’ lead to a then-high 15 points in the final minute of the quarter.

A three-pointer from Irving and -1 in the fourth period increased Dallas’ lead to 106-82, dispelling any remaining hope for a Clippers comeback.

Irving finished with a game-high 30 points after scoring twice in the first half. He added six rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks. He shot 11 of 19 from the field and 5 of 9 from 3.

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Doncic scored 28 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds. On a night in which he struggled from the field (9-of-26, 1-of-10 from 3), he surrendered the scoring highlight to Irving in the second half.

Kyrie Irving and Maverick broke Game 6 open on Friday in the second period.  (Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

Kyrie Irving and Maverick broke Game 6 open on Friday in the second period. (Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

A familiar postseason story for the Clippers

With Kawhi Leonard sidelined and both Paul George and James Harden struggling off the court, Los Angeles didn’t have the firepower to compete. Norman Powell led the Clippers in scoring with 20 points off the bench.

George had 18 points, 11 rebounds and five assists. He shot 6 of 18 from the field and made just 2 of 10 three-point attempts. Harden scored 16 points, had 13 assists, and grabbed seven rebounds. He shot 5 of 16 from the floor and missed all six of his 3-point attempts. Russell Westbrook scored six points in nine minutes off the bench.

Leonard missed four of the six games of the series with a sore knee. He has now played in four of the Clippers’ last 19 playoff games.

The Mavericks outscored the Clippers from the floor (48.2% to 41.5%) and from 3-point range (33.3% to 25.8%) on a night when Doncic struggled with his shot.

The Mavericks now have three days off to prepare for Tuesday’s first game against the Thunder. They will await the condition of reserve striker Maxi Kleber, who suffered a sprain in his right shoulder In a strong decline in the second quarter And he didn’t come back.

The Clippers move into another season of questions surrounding a star-studded roster that has failed to compete for a championship and fallen out of the first round of the playoffs for the second straight season.

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