A 22-year-old player, Slovenian point guard Luka Doncic, has become a star capable of putting one of the best teams in the NBA in check. Doncic is the man that Dallas’s game is all about and the one who has put the Clippers, one of this season’s title favorites, on the ropes. The Mavericks won 100-105 in the fifth game of the first round and dominate 3-2 in an atypical tie in which all games have been won by the visiting team. Doncic added 42 points, 8 rebounds and 14 assists. He made half of the 12 3-pointers he shot, although his field goal percentages were not excellent: 17 hits on 37 shots.
“He’s our man, we have to do everything we can to back him up in every situation,” said Hardaway, Doncic’s only teammate to have double figures with 20 points in the game against the Clippers. “He is one of the toughest players I have ever seen. He is a kind of warrior, one of the best players in the world ”. The Slovenian guard was not satisfied with his performance. He only scored one of his eight pitches in the final stretch. Accumulate four games in the playoffs scoring at least 40 points. He is the first player under the age of 23 to do so.
The Clippers failed to counter Doncic’s production. Kawhi Leonard only made a triple in seven attempts and stayed in 20 points, like Reggie Jackson, who scored six triples in 12 attempts. Paul George added 20 points. The Los Angeles team noted the absence of Serge Ibaka, with back pain, and his bench players only added 11 points. The Mavericks also hope that the contribution of players like Porzingis, who scored 8 points, Kleber, 4 points, or Brunson, 2 points will improve. “I could have played better, I missed some shots that I should have made. But it’s not just about me, it’s about the energy of the whole team, ”explained Doncic.
The Mavericks now have two chances to qualify for the Western Conference semifinals. If they succeed, they will face Utah, which beat Memphis 126-110 and put the final 4-1 in the series. Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz with 30 points. Rudy Gobert added 23 points and 15 rebounds and Jordan Clarkson, coming off the bench, scored 24 points. The Grizzlies said goodbye to the season with 27 points from Brooks, as many from Ja Morant, in addition to 11 assists, and 18 points from Valanciunas.
Atlanta and Philadelphia will meet in one of the Eastern semifinals after the two earned qualification on Wednesday. Atlanta eliminated New York 4-1. He won Game 5 89-103 at Madison with 36 points from Trae Young, and 14 points and 15 rebounds from Capela. The Knicks said goodbye to the season with a poor offensive performance and 23 points and 13 rebounds from Randle.
The Sixers also qualified 4-1 after beating Washington 129-112. Seth Curry led the Philadelphia team with 30 points, accompanied by Harris, with 28, and Ben Simmons with a triple-double: 19 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. The Wizards couldn’t make up for their weak defense with Beal’s 32 points, Westbrook’s 24 points and 10 assists and Hachimura’s 21 points. The Sixers’ big concern is the physical condition of their star, Joel Embiid, who was unable to play due to discomfort in the meniscus in his right knee.