LOS ANGELES — Luka Doncic scored 31 points and the Dallas Mavericks outshot the NBA’s leading team from 3-point range, beating the Los Angeles Clippers 113-102 on Saturday in Game 1 of the first-round playoff series.
Tim Hardaway Jr. added 21 points and Dorian Finney-Smith had 18 for the Mavs, who led most of the game. Doncic and Hardaway Jr. made five 3-pointers each, and Finney-Smith had four to help Dallas shoot 47% from long-range.
Kawhi Leonard had 26 points and 10 rebounds for the Cliuppers, and Paul George added 23 points. But they were a combined 3 of 14 on 3-pointers and the Clippers shot 31% after leading the NBA at 41% during the regular season. Marcus Morris missed all six of his 3-point attempts.
Game 2 is Tuesday night at Staples Center.
The Clippers didn’t make more than three 3-pointers in a quarter until the fourth, when they hit four. Dallas controlled the closing minutes, stretching a three-point lead into 10. The Clippers were limited on field goal — a dunk by George — in the final minutes.
The Clippers tied it at 60 early in the third on Patrick Beverley’s 3-pointer before the Mavs scored eight in a row to go up 68-60.
Leonard drew the Clippers within two on a steal and one-handed jam that left Maxi Kleber sliding across the baseline on his rear. But Finney-Smith scored on George’s turnover and Doncic hit a 3, keeping the Mavs ahead 86-80 to end the third.
Trailing by 10, the Clippers outscored the Mavs 26-13 over the end of the first and start of the second quarter to take their first lead. Rajon Rondo capped the spurt with back-to-back 3-pointers.
Beverley made consecutive baskets that put the Clippers ahead by four, but Dallas answered in a hurry. The Mavs ran off 11 straight points — including three 3-pointers by Doncic and Hardaway — to lead 60-55 going into halftime.
The Mavs came out charging, hitting six of their first nine shots and soon leading by 12 points. The Clippers had defenders in their faces as they missed nine of their first 11 attempts, with George tossing up airballs in both quarters.
Mavericks: Kleber had six points and nine rebounds after missing six of his last eight regular-season games with a sore right Achilles. … Both Rick Carlisle and Tyronn Lue coached without masks on, something the league approved earlier in the day.
Clippers: Cardboard cutouts were added to make the lower bowl appear full of fans, although attendance continues to be limited by pandemic rules.
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