Leonard had 29 points and 12 rebounds, and the Clippers got a big boost from Kristaps Porzingis sent off to beat the Dallas Mavericks 118-110 on Monday night in Game 1 of their Western Conference playoffs.
Doncic finished with 42 points, most often by a player in his first postseason game, and added nine assists and seven rebounds. He was seeded No. 7 with the Clippers for much of the night.
“I mean, he’s awesome,” Leonard said.
But Los Angeles took the lead when Porzingis was sent off for recovering his second technical foul in the third quarter and Doncic couldn’t bring the Mavs back to full force.
“KP supported me. He did it for me. He did it for his teammate. He supported me, ”Doncic said. “Not just me, but the whole team appreciates it. I don’t think it was fair to take him out of the game, especially in the playoffs. ”
The second game of the top seven series takes place on Wednesday.
Paul George added 27 points and Marcus Morris had 19 for the Clippers.
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 18 points and Porzingis finished with 14, along with Seth Curry.
The Clippers toppled Doncic, the 21-year-old superstar who led the NBA in triple-doubles, whenever they could. But he never stopped coming back on them, but the late three runs from Patrick Beverley and Morris eventually returned Dallas.
The turning point came much earlier.
Dallas was leading 71-66 with 9:10 on the left in the third when Doncic was called in to palm the ball. Morris was eager to catch the ball and ended up catching Doncic, who was looking to clear his way. Porzingis came over and tried to push Morris away, who responded with a push. The referees inflicted technical fouls on both players.
Porzingis picked up his first technical foul in the first half for his reaction to a whistled foul when he thought he had blocked a shot.
“I saw it enter Luka’s face and I didn’t like it. That’s why I reacted. Porzingis said. “It’s a smart and smart thing to do on their part. I just need to be smarter and control my emotions, especially on the first one. ”
Morris didn’t think any player deserved a technique.
“Man of the playoffs, no one should be left out of the playoffs,” he said. “I know it really hurt their team, so not my fault. ”
Team leader Kane Fitzgerald said officials determined after watching the replay that Porzingis made the incident worse when he approached Morris.
The Clippers invaded Doncic early on, forcing him to three turnovers in the first two minutes while taking a 10-0 lead.
He quickly dropped to 18-2 3.5 minutes into the game and things looked really dark for the Mavs when Doncic slipped onto the pitch during a practice and appeared to have a leg injury . He went to the back after coming out of the game shortly after, but Dallas played well while he was out and eventually came back to lead 38-34 after one.
The Mavericks then had a 12-0 run in the second to push the lead to 50-36 which the Clippers reduced to 69-66 at the break.
Mavericks: Dallas had 12 3s in the first half, a playoff franchise record.
Clippers: Reserve Montrezl Harrell returned after leaving the team for the death of his grandmother and had six points in 15 minutes. … Doc Rivers coached his 168th postseason game, tying Red Auerbach for eighth on the NBA career roster.
SHOW THE MOMENT
Harrell missed the entire ranking game schedule, the first six while away from the squad, then two in quarantine after returning to campus. He joined his teammates on Monday morning after completing quarantine.
“I thought Nelson Mandela had come in. That’s how it felt, ”Rivers said of the meeting with the sixth man of the year candidate, who made it clear he wanted to play despite not training first. and wore a picture of her grandmother on her warm-up shirt.
“So it was just good to get him in, not just the 40s he’s been in for so long, but he’s been through a lot of emotional stuff. So I think it was good for our guys to be able to grab him and hug him, touch him, and good for him to see us. ”
Mavs coach Rick Carlisle started press conferences at Disney by reading events on the Equal Justice Initiative calendar and Monday’s entry had a tie in Los Angeles. It was August 17, 1965, when Watts’ riot ended after six days. Sparked by the arrest of a young black motorist by a white policeman, they caused 34 deaths and $ 40 million in damage.
Carlisle said talking about past injustices is necessary to improve hopes for social reform now.
“If we talk about it, let’s move on, it will have a healing effect and we will have a chance to get rid of it and make it better,” Carlisle said.