Kawhi Leonard Drops 45 as Clippers Force Game 7 vs. Mavericks
Two-time NBA Finals MVP, Kawhi Leonard, delivered when the Los Angeles Clippers needed him most against the Dallas Mavericks to force an important Game 7 at home on Sunday afternoon.
The LA native came up big in Game 6 of their series against Luka Doncic and the Mavericks with an all-time performance, tying his postseason career-high in scoring with 45 points to lead the Clippers on a do-or-die Game 7 at their home, Staples Center.
Clippers Force Game 7 Against Mavericks
According to Sports Illustrated, it was not an easy win for the Clippers. The remaining LA team fought from behind almost all night long on Friday, June 4.
The Clippers trailed at the end of the first quarter and didn't build a lead higher than three points until the fourth. Moreover, it is in the second half, when "the Klaw" exploded for 29 points on 11-14 shooting from the field to carry the Clippers to victory and force another game at home for another day at the NBA playoffs.
After the game, Clippers' guard, Reggie Jackson, emphasized that their team got the "baddest one" on the planet. He added that Kawhi was out there doing what he does.
Jackson also mentioned that Kawhi Leonard was special for their team because he puts his team on his back in the fourth quarter.
Based on the Clippers Public Relations, Kawhi Leonard became the sixth player in the shot clock era and the first since LeBron James to score at least 45 points while shooting at least 72 percent from the field in a postseason game.
Clippers Kept Thriving
Aside from the phenomenal performance from Kawhi Leonard, the Clippers would not have been able to pull out the win without the efforts of Reggie Jackson and Paul George. Jackson dropped 25 points and nine rebounds. He gave the Clippers the chance to stay in striking distance.
Reggie Jackson made his shots beyond the arc to put his team close the aggressive Dallas Mavericks early in the game. While in 46 minutes of action, Paul George collected 20 points, 13 rebounds, and six assists. PG13's final shots gave the Clippers the rhythm that they needed to establish a run.
When Kawhi Leonard smells some blood, he took over in the remaining minutes of the game to extend the lead. The Clippers had a 6-0 run forcing Dallas Mavericks to call a timeout with 5 minutes to play.
And since that timeout, the Mavericks never gained momentum to seal the deal at home. The Dallas Mavericks tried to orchestrate a comeback but shots were not falling for them in the final minute.
Tim Hardaway Jr. tallied 23 points to support Luka Doncic's 29 points, 11 assists, and 8 rebound-performance, but it was not enough as Kristaps Porzingis only scored 7 points in their possible last game at home this season.
Only four Mavericks score in double digits for Dallas and Doncic failed to repeat his 40 point performance to guarantee the 2nd round spot. The series between Dallas and the LA Clippers is the only series in the first round of playoffs to go into seven games.
WATCH: LA Clippers vs Dallas Mavericks Full GAME 6 Highlights | 2021 NBA Playoffs - From MLG Highlights
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