Lake Buena Vista, Florida – Kawhi Leonard had 36 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, leading the Los Angeles Clippers to a 130-122 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night for a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference first-round series.
Luka Doncic had a triple-double but also limped off the court after spraining his left ankle in the third quarter. He returned to play a little of the fourth before checking out for good and going back to the locker room area.
The Clippers had been in control for a while by then, using a team-record, 45-point second quarter to build a big lead. And when Dallas cut it to eight midway through the fourth quarter, Leonard responded with a 3-pointer and left-handed dunk on consecutive Clippers possessions to restore a comfortable lead.
Landry Shamet had 18 points for the Clippers, who bounced back from their loss in Game 2 even though Paul George shot poorly again. Ivica Zubac added 15.
Kristaps Porzingis had 34 points and 13 rebounds for the Mavericks. Seth Curry and Tim Hardaway Jr. each added 22 points.
Doncic finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists but had a rough night, shooting just 4 for 14 from the field and 4 for 10 from the foul line.
George shot 3 for 16. He was just 4 for 17 in Game 2.
But Shamet picked up the slack while starting for the injured Patrick Beverley, who missed his second straight game. Shamet totaled just two points in the first two games.
Game 4 is Sunday.
Doncic was defending Leonard on a drive with about 4 minutes remaining in the third when his left ankle rolled and he fell to the court. He got up and tried to go toward the nearby Dallas bench but quickly went back down to the court again. He was then able to get back up and limp directly toward the locker room area.
He came back to the bench area a few minutes later and started the fourth quarter but he wasn’t moving well and soon departed again, sitting on the bench with his head in his hand.
Clippers coach Doc Rivers said the seventh-seeded Mavs had outplayed the No. 2 Clippers through two games. But after an even first quarter in which Doncic and Montrezl Harrell got double-technical fouls after getting tangled up and exchanging words, Los Angeles asserted itself in the second.
It was tied at 35 before the Clippers held the Mavs to three baskets over nearly five minutes, outscoring them 17-6 to open a 52-41 lead. Los Angeles scored 45 points in the period and lead 68-54 at halftime.
Jazz 124, Nuggets 87
Mike Conley made a career playoff-high seven 3-pointers and scored 27 points in his return from quarantine, helping the Utah Jazz rout the Denver Nuggets on Friday for a 2-1 lead in the first-round series.
The 37-point loss tied the third-worst in Denver’s playoff history. The record is 44 against the Los Angeles Lakers on May 22, 1985.
Conley left the NBA bubble for the birth of his son and returned returned Monday night. He went through a four-day quarantine that ended Friday. He was 7 of 8 from 3-point range and had four assists.
Rudy Gobert had a career playoff-high 24 points courtesy of numerous easy dunks and layups. He also had 14 rebounds.
Donovan Mitchell added 20 points. He had a Jazz playoff-record 57 in Game 1 and 30 in Game 2.
Nikola Jokic led Denver with 15 points. The Nuggets had 17 turnovers and shot 37.5 percent from the floor.
Raptors 117, Nets 92
Pascal Siakam scored 26 points and Toronto beat Brooklyn to take a the first 3-0 lead in franchise history. The defending champs can eliminate the patchwork Nets on Sunday.
Fred VanVleet scored 22 points, shooting 6 of 10 from 3-point range. Serge Ibaka added 20 points and 13 rebounds, and Kyle Lowry had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Tyler Johnson led the Nets with 23 points.
Celtics 102, 76ers 94
Kemba Walker scored 24 points and the Boston Celtics closed with a 10-0 run to beat Philadelphia for a 3-0 lead in the first-round series.
Jaylen Brown had 21 points and Jason Tatum added 15 for the Celtics.
Joel Embiid had 30 points and 13 rebounds to lead the 76ers. They shot 29.5 percent from the field.