NBA: Luka Doncic, Mavericks thrash Clippers to take 3-2 lead
NBA

NBA: Luka Doncic, Mavericks thrash Clippers to take 3-2 lead

/ 02:29 PM May 02, 2024

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic, NBA Playoffs Mavericks vs Clippers

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic, left, dries toward the basket as Los Angeles Clippers guard Brandon Boston Jr. follows during the second half in Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Wednesday, May 1, 2024, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Luka Doncic delivered a 35-point performance as the Dallas Mavericks thrashed the Los Angeles Clippers 123-93 on the road to take a 3-2 lead in their NBA playoffs first round series.

The 30-point margin of defeat was the Clippers’ heaviest ever NBA playoff loss.

Dallas, who can clinch the series with victory in game six back in Texas on Friday, pulled away towards the end of the first half to open up a 56-46 lead at the break.

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READ: Clippers even series with Mavericks after blowing 31-point lead

They extended that advantage to 20 points after outscoring Los Angeles 33-23 in the third quarter and piled on in the fourth to open up a 32-point advantage at one stage.

Doncic finished with 35 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds, while Maxi Kleber added 15 from the bench. Kyrie Irving had a relatively quiet night with 14 points.

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“In the playoffs it doesn’t matter if you win by one point or you win by 50 point — but it’s still a good win,” Doncic said afterwards.

READ: In any language, Mavericks think Luka Doncic is NBA’s best player

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“But the job is not done. We’ve got one more we need to win. We’re gonna get ready for next game.”

The Clippers were left licking their wounds after a humiliating loss that saw their offense make just nine of 35 attempted three-pointers, and 33 of 87 from the field.

Paul George and Ivica Zubac led the scoring with a meagre 15 points each, while James Harden added just seven points and Russell Westbrook six from the bench.

“We didn’t play our best game, we understand that collectively. We’ll be better for game six,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said.

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“Overall we weren’t good on both sides of the basketball and just had a bad day.”

Asked what he attributed Harden’s poor performance to, Lue replied: “Being human. He’s allowed to have a bad game.”

TAGS: Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Clippers

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