Luka Doncic scored 39 points, Tim Hardaway Jr. added 28 and the Dallas Mavericks again outshot the NBA’s best 3-point team in a 127-121 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night to take a 2-0 lead in the first-round playoff series.
Kristaps Porzingis added 20 points and Maxi Kleber had 13. Hardaway hit a playoff career-high six 3-pointers and Doncic had five as Dallas was 18 of 34 from long-range. The Mavs made 17 3-pointers in winning Game 1 on Saturday.
The Clippers were led by Kawhi Leonard, who scored 30 of his 41 in the first half. Paul George had 28 points and 12 rebounds.
Game 3 is Friday in Dallas.
The Clippers threw just about every body they had at Doncic in an effort to slow the player that burned them with a triple-double in Game 1. But once again, the All-Star got plenty of help from his supporting cast.
The Clippers, who led the league with 41% 3-point shooting, went 13 of 33 from long range. They regained their touch in the fourth, when they made five and twice cut their deficit to four points, but Josh Richardson made four straight free throws over the final 21 seconds to preserve the victory.
George was just 1 of 7 from long range. The Clippers made 11 3-pointers in Game 1.
Dallas led by 13 in the fourth on a 3-pointer by Porzingis.
The Clippers cut their deficit to 114-109 on two 3-pointers by Marcus Morris, sandwiched around George’s dunk. But Morris soon fouled out. Doncic scored on consecutive drives and Porzingis dunked with George chasing him for a 120-111 lead.
Leonard made his fourth 3-pointer and Terance Mann scored to draw the Clippers within four, but Hardaway hit from long range.
The Mavs dominated the third, outscoring the Clippers 30-19 to take a 101-92 lead into the fourth. They made five 3-pointers, with Hardaway hitting one to open the quarter and Doncic hitting one to end it. In between, the Clippers missed shots, including George’s miss on a wide-open dunk. George and Morris picked up their third fouls.
Just like in Game 1, the Mavs got off to a strong start. They led by nine on their way to hitting five 3-pointers in the first, when they made 15 of 24 shots.
Leonard carried the Clippers in the first half with 30 points, the most he’s scored in either half of a postseason game.
The teams were tied nine times in the second quarter, with Rajon Rondo’s basket giving the Clippers a 73-71 lead at halftime.
Mavericks: Doncic’s 31 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in Game 1 made him the first player in NBA history with three triple-doubles in his first seven career playoff games.
Clippers: Leonard’s 18 points in the first were his most in a quarter in the postseason. ... Their 73 points was the second-most scored in the first half of a postseason game in franchise history. ... Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, a Texas native, talked with Hall of Famer Jerry West at halftime. Doncic ran over to trade greetings with Mahomes as the crowd heckled him.
Porzingis was fined $50,000 for violating the league’s COVID-19 rule banning players from entering nightclubs or similar businesses. It said he was at a club Sunday, a day after the Mavericks’ 113-103 win in Game 1. The NBA said the violation by Porzingis didn’t create risks related to the spread of the virus and a quarantine wasn’t necessary. The rule bars players from entering nightclubs regardless of their vaccination status. Coach Rick Carlisle said the matter was addressed internally.