LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Luka Doncic scored 28 points and the Dallas Mavericks put together the pivotal run when he was out to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 127-114 on Wednesday night and even the Western Conference playoff series at a game apiece.
Two nights after scoring 42 points in the highest-scoring debut in postseason history, Doncic played just nine minutes in the second half. He finished with eight rebounds and seven assists.
Kristaps Porzingis added 23 points for the Mavericks. They beat the Clippers for the first time in five meetings this season and earned their first playoff victory since 2016.
Kawhi Leonard had 35 points and 10 rebounds, but Paul George had a mostly miserable performance for the second-seeded Clippers. They played without starting guard Patrick Beverley because of a calf injury.
Doncic picked up his fourth foul less than a minute into the third quarter, shaking his finger toward the Dallas bench that he didn’t want to come out.
When he did come out toward the end of the period, Dallas put together a strong stretch of basketball. A finishing 14-4 spurt made it 98-85 entering the fourth, the Mavs pushed the lead to 18 in the final 12 minutes.
Reserves Trey Burke, Seth Curry and Boban Marjanovic were all in double figures for the Mavs, who shot 50% from the field.
George finished 4 for 17 for 14 points.
Game 3 is Friday.
JAZZ 124, NUGGETS 105
Donovan Mitchell scored 21 of his 30 points in a big third quarter and Utah beat Denver to even the series at a game apiece.
Mitchell was 10 of 14 from the floor. He helped the Jazz break open the game in the third quarter and increase the lead to 31 in the fourth.
His performance was on the heels of scoring a Jazz playoff-record 57 points in a 135-125 overtime loss in Game 1. Mitchell was the focus of Denver’s defense, which helped open up other avenues for teammates.
Jordan Clarkson scored a personal playoff-best 26 points on a day the Jazz shot 51.7% from the floor. They also had 32 assists and hit 20 3-pointers.
Game 3 is Friday.
Nuggets rookie Michael Porter Jr. had 28 points, and Nikola Jokic added 28 points and 11 rebounds.
CELTICS 128, 76ERS 101
Jayson Tatum scored 33 points and Boston beat Philadelphia to take a 2-0 seres lead.
Tatum scored a career playoff high for the second straight game after scoring 32 points in the opener Monday. Kemba Walker added 22 points and Jaylen Brown had 20 for the Celtics. Boston shot 51% from the field and committed just seven turnovers, including two in the first three quarters.
Joel Embiid had 34 points and 10 rebounds for the 76ers, and Josh Richardson added 18 points.
RAPTORS 104, NETS 99
Fred VanVleet had 24 points and 10 assists, Norman Powell had a big game off the bench with 24 points and defending NBA champion Toronto beat Brooklyn to take a 2-0 series lead.
Kyle Lowry had 21 points, nine rebounds and forced a big turnover in the closing seconds for the second seeded Raptors. Garrett Temple led the Nets with 21 points, and Caris LeVert had 16 points and 11 rebounds.
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