Mavericks win over wire with huge Luka Doncic
Los Angeles Clippers – Dallas Mavericks: 100-105
Dallas leads 3-2
There are some Clippers players who will sleep badly. And if the California franchise were to be knocked out in the first round, there are others who are likely to have nightmares for quite a while. This Game 5, played Wednesday night, was decisive after the two consecutive victories of Los Angeles to tie to two everywhere in the series. And the Mavericks came out victorious in extremis (105-100) thanks to a Luka Doncic of the great evenings, author of 42 points and 14 assists. But despite this daunting performance, the Texans could have bowed. Even after having had a 10-point lead just under two minutes from time, Dallas could have suffered the return of his opponent. Tim Hardaway Jr and Kristaps Porzingis had done the hard part by chaining two winning baskets in a row to take off in the last moments (101-91). But Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris answered them from afar before Kawhi Leonard added a layup with the foul to pick up at 101-100.
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Worst of all, the Clippers got match point. They defended fiercely throughout the fourth quarter (16 points only for the Mavericks in the last period). With a last decisive interception to go on the counter attack with 14 seconds on the clock. All that was needed was a basket to walk past. Terrance Mann showed up to the circle. But while he seemed open, he preferred to pass to Nicolas Batum. The Frenchman took a tough shot but in the racket, with Doncic on him. He missed it. The Mavericks took the rebound and finished the game on the pitch line. Now they are leading 3-2. They are only one victory away from qualifying for the second round.
Sixers finish off Wizards, even without Joel Embiid
Philadelphia Sixers – Washington Wizards: 129-112
Philadelphia wins series 4-1
The bad news fell on Wednesday night for the Sixers: Joel Embiid is suffering from a partial meniscus tear and he will be treated daily by the franchise’s doctors. A few hours later, Philadelphia played the fifth game of its series against the Wizards, obviously without its superstar. But other players took over and the Pennsylvania franchise clinched its second-round qualification with a 129-112 victory. In the absence of the pivot, Seth Curry took on more responsibility in attack. Without trembling. The full-back was inspired by his big brother to plant 30 points – his playoff record at 10 of 17 on shots. For his part, Ben Simmons was illustrated with a triple-double (19 pts, 10 rebounds, 11 wt). The Sixers made the difference in the third quarter after a tight first half. Their accelerations over the last two periods (+7 then +8) qualified them for the next round. Hoping that Embiid comes back soon.
Trae Young ends the Knicks
New York Knicks – Atlanta Hawks: 89-103
Atlanta wins series 4-1
Trae Young has come to Madison Square Garden to star in the show and silence Knicks fans yet again. He executed by slamming 36 points in addition to his 9 assists and the Hawks won a fourth game (103-89), synonymous with qualification. Another brilliant performance from the young All-Star leader, who is entering the playoffs for the first time in his career. So far, he’s doing wonderfully turning over 30 points per game. He notably planted the basket for the win in Match 1 of the series. The Knicks were never really able to weigh on this series, in particular because of a Julius Randle in lack of address (8 of 21 Wednesday night). But the Hawks were stronger so they will meet the Sixers in the Conference semifinals.
Mitchell and Gobert dominate, Jazz qualify
Utah Jazz – Memphis Grizzlies: 126-110
Utah wins series 4-1
The Grizzlies might have won the opener, they never really had a chance in this series against the Jazz, the best team of the regular season. Absent in the first game, Donovan Mitchell guided his team to victory in the next four. With even 30 points and 10 assists for him on the night of Wednesday to Thursday, for a victory 126 to 110. The other All-Star of Salt Lake City, Rudy Gobert, also posted a double-double: 23 points and 15 rebounds in addition to his 3 blocks. The French dominated painting throughout the series and that weighed on the Jazz. They therefore qualify for the next round where they will face the winner of the duel between the Mavericks and the Clippers.
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