At long last, the home team got a win.
Following six straight games in which the away team came out on top, the Clippers outlasted the Mavericks in Game 7 on their home floor Sunday, moving on to the second round with a 126-111 win. Like he did in Game 6, star forward Kawhi Leonard spearheaded the Clippers on both ends of the floor.
Leonard led the team with 28 points on 10-for-15 shooting. He also had 10 rebounds, nine assists, four steals and one block in a showcase two-way performance.
The game went back-and-forth for the entire first half and was tight until midway through the third quarter. The game was tied at 81 apiece with six minutes left in the period when the Clippers closed the quarter on a 19-4 run to open up a 15-point lead to start the fourth.
Los Angeles kept Dallas at arm's length from there. The Mavericks cut the deficit to seven points with just over two minutes remaining before giving up back-to-back three-pointers by Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris.
The Clippers played a sharp game all afternoon, turning the ball over just nine times and shooting 20-for-43 on three-point attempts. Dallas held a 16-8 advantage on the offensive glass to stay in the game, but overall the Clippers' defense gave the Mavericks fits.
Luka Doncic turned in another strong game, scoring 46 points on 17-for-30 shooting with 14 assists and seven rebounds. It was his third 40-point game of the series.
Doncic the third player in NBA history with at least 40 points and 10 assists in a Game 7, joining Jerry West and Kevin Johnson.
The Clippers will face the Jazz in the second round after losing two out of three matchups during the regular season. The Clippers have never advanced past the second round in franchise history.
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