NBA playoffs: Kyrie Irving takes over to lead Mavericks past Clippers into 2nd-round matchup vs. Thunder

by Admin
NBA playoffs: Kyrie Irving takes over to lead Mavericks past Clippers into 2nd-round matchup vs. Thunder
Kyrie Irving and the Maverick’s broke Friday’s Game 6 open in the second half. (Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

The first half belonged to Luka Dončić. Kyrie Irving took over in the second.

It added up to a 114-101 Game 6 win for the Dallas Mavericks over the Los Angeles Clippers Friday to secure a 4-2 series win to advance to the second round of the playoffs. The fifth-seeded Mavericks move on to a second-round matchup with the top-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder. The Clippers’ season comes to a disappointing end.

Coming off a 123-93 blowout loss at home in Game 5, the Clippers fell into a 34-26 first quarter hole. They battled back to tie the game at 52-52 before halftime while limiting Irving to two first-half points. That run marked their last stand of the series.

The Mavericks blew the game open after halftime as Irving led a 35-20 third quarter-surge with 13 points in the stanza. There was no fourth-quarter rally for the Clippers, whose playmakers failed to match the dynamic Dallas duo.

After shooting 1 of 6 in the first half, Irving hit 5 of 6 shots in the third quarter. A personal 5-0 Irving run featuring a floater in traffic and a second-chance 3 extended Dallas’ lead to a then game-high 15 points in the final minute of the quarter.

An and-1 Irving 3-pointer in the fourth extended the Dallas lead to 106-82, extinguishing any lingering hope of a Clippers comeback.

Irving finished with a game-high 30 points after scoring two in the first half. Dončić scored 28.

With Kawhi Leonard sidelined and Paul George and James Harden both struggling from the field, Los Angeles didn’t have the firepower to compete.

The Mavericks now have three days off to prepare for Tuesday’s Game 1 against the Thunder. The Clippers move into another offseason of questions surrounding an All-Star studded roster that’s failed to compete for a championship and exited in the first round of the playoffs for a second straight season.

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