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.
Local news from across Southern California
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.
He kept stayed on then and 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.
Mavericks: Burke scored 16 points, Curry 15 and Marjanovic 13. ... Porzingis was listed on the injury report in the morning because of right knee soreness.
Clippers: Reggie Jackson started in place of Beverley and scored 11 points. ... Lou Williams scored 23.
Coach Doc Rivers wasn't sure when Beverley was hurt, saying it was an injury that had been lingering. The Clippers noticed the guard wasn't moving well at their shootaround and decided to scratch him. Rivers didn't know if the injury could keep Beverley until the next game or until next week.