US basketball

Kyrie Irving erupts for 28 in 2nd half; Mavericks blast Clippers out of contention


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Kyrie Irving erupts for 28 in 2nd half; Mavericks blast Clippers out of contention

CLOSING TIME. LA Clippers guard James Harden (1) drives to the basket past Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the first quarter during game six of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

Tested NBA playoffs veteran Kyrie Irving delivers anew, pumping out 28 of his 30 points in the second half as the Dallas Mavericks oust the undermanned Los Angeles Clippers in Game 6

Kyrie Irving scored 28 of his 30 points in the second half and the Dallas Mavericks advanced to the second round with a resounding 114-101 victory over the visiting Los Angeles Clippers in Game 6 of the Western Conference series on Friday night (Saturday, May 4, Manila time).

Luka Doncic recorded 28 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds as the fifth-seeded Mavericks won the series in six games. Dallas will meet the top-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder in the next round.

P.J. Washington added 14 points, Daniel Gafford had 13 and reserve Dereck Lively II contributed 10 points and nine rebounds for the Mavericks.

Norman Powell scored 20 points off the bench and Paul George added 18 for the fourth-seeded Clippers, who were without Kawhi Leonard (knee) for the third straight game and fourth time in the series.

Ivica Zubac tallied 17 points and 11 rebounds, James Harden added 16 points, 13 assists and seven boards, and Terance Mann had 14 points for Los Angeles.

Dallas lost forward Maxi Kleber to a right shoulder sprain early in the second quarter.

The Mavericks shot 48.2 percent from the field, including 12 of 36 from 3-point range. Irving made five 3-pointers and Washington added four.

Los Angeles connected on 41.5 percent of its attempts and was just 8 of 31 from behind the arc.

The Clippers eliminated Dallas in the first round of the 2020 and 2021 playoffs but barely put up a fight over the first 6 1/2 minutes of the fourth quarter.

Dallas had a 15-point advantage to open the period and soon pushed it to 100-78 with 7:36 left after back-to-back baskets by Doncic and Derrick Jones Jr.

A short time later, Irving was dancing and prancing around the coverage of P.J. Tucker. He drove toward the right corner and swished a 3-pointer. Tucker fouled him and Irving hit the free throw for a four-point play and a 106-82 lead with 5:38 remaining.

The electric play had Dallas in celebration mode, but Los Angeles began making a charge. Harden’s three-point play capped a 13-2 burst that saw the Clippers move within 108-95 with 3:11 to go.

But with the margin at 14 with 1:14 left, both teams emptied the benches.

Dallas scored the first eight points of the third quarter and 20 of the first 26 to turn a tie game into a 72-58 lead. Irving made two treys during the rush, including the one to make it a 14-point cushion with 5:49 remaining in the period.

Irving’s third trey of his 13-point quarter gave Dallas an 85-70 lead. The Mavericks outscored the Clippers 35-20 in the stanza to take an 87-72 lead into the final quarter.

Doncic scored 14 first-quarter points to help Dallas hold a 34-26 lead.

The contest was tied at 52 at the break. Doncic had 18 for the Mavericks, and George had 14 in the half for the Clippers. –

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