NBA wrap: Leonard posts 33, Clippers close out Mavericks
Kawhi Leonard had 33 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists and the Los Angeles Clippers eliminated the Dallas Mavericks from the playoffs with a 111-97 victory in game six on Sunday in the NBA bubble near Orlando.
Ivica Zubac had 15 points and 11 rebounds, while Paul George contributed 15 points, nine boards and seven assists for the Clippers. Leonard added five steals.
The Clippers advanced to the second round of the Western Conference playoffs, where they await the winner of the Utah Jazz-Denver Nuggets series. The Nuggets won later Sunday to tie the series 3-3. Game seven is scheduled for Tuesday.
Kawhi Leonard of the LA Clippers dunks against the Mavericks in game six. Credit:Getty Images
Luka Doncic had 38 points, nine assists and nine rebounds for the Mavericks. Dorian Finney-Smith added 16 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. chipped in 10.
Denver Nuggets 119 — 107 Utah Jazz
Jamal Murray exploded for a game-high 50 points, including 14 in a second-quarter turnaround that propelled third-seeded Denver to victory over sixth-seeded Utah, forcing a seventh and deciding game in their Western Conference first-round playoff series in the NBA bubble.
In scoring 50 for the second time in three games, Murray won a second consecutive duel with Jazz counterpart Donovan Mitchell, who poured in a team-high 44 points, his third time over 40 in the series.
Game seven is scheduled for Tuesday, with the Nuggets going the distance for the third consecutive time in the last two seasons. They survived a Game seven with San Antonio in the first round last year, before losing the decisive game to Portland in the Western semifinals.
Boston Celtics 112 — Toronto Raptors 94
Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart scored 21 points apiece to lift Boston to a victory over Toronto in the opener of their Eastern Conference semi-final series.
Kemba Walker had 18 points, Jaylen Brown 17, Daniel Theis 13 and Robert Williams III 10 as the Celtics won their fifth straight game to open the playoffs. Theis and Walker added game highs of 15 rebounds and 10 assists, respectively.
Kyle Lowry had 17 points and Serge Ibaka added 15 for the Raptors, who saw their eight-game winning streak come to a halt. Toronto shot 31-of-84 (36.9 per cent) from the field and 10-of-40 (25.0 per cent) from three-point range. Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet combined to go eight-of-32 for 24 points.
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