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Luka Doncic’s impressive bounce back lifts Mavericks against Celtic Clippers

Dallas bounced back from a Game 1 loss to even the series at 1-1

The NBA 2020 showdown between The Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers began on Wednesday. The Dallas Mavericks has once again levelled their Western Conference first-round series after defeating the Los Angeles Clippers 127-114 in the NBA playoffs.

Luka Doncic starred as the Mavericks showed his brilliance in the game as he bounced back against Kawhi Leonard’s Clippers in Game 2 at Walt Disney World Resort on Wednesday.

Doncic finished with 28 points on 8-for-17 shooting, and seven assists. Fellow star Kristaps Porzingis had 23 points in Orlando, Florida.  After recording 11 turnovers in Game 1, however, Doncic committed only one turnover in Game 2. Doncic collected his fifth foul as the Mavericks held a 98-85 lead with 11:37 left.

Porzingis added 21 points while Tim Hardaway Jr (17), Trey Burke (16), Seth Curry (15) and Boban Marjanovic (13) also scored in double figures.

Leonard’s game-high 35 points and 10 rebounds were not enough as Paul George (14 points and 10 rebounds) struggled shooting – the Clippers All-Star was just four of 17 from the field, and two of 10 from beyond the arc.

Game 3 between the Mavericks and Clippers is on Friday.

The Boston Celtics, meanwhile, took a major 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference first-round matchup after beating the Philadelphia 76ers 128-101. Jayson Tatum again paved the way with a career playoff-high 33 points to fuel Boston against rivals Philadelphia in Game 2.

Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard had 35 points on 10-for-21 shooting, while Lou Williams added 23 points on a 8-for-13 clip. But Paul George had 14 on only 4-for-17 shooting. The Clippers also played without defensive specialist Patrick Beverley because of a left calf strain. Before the game, Clippers coach Doc Rivers expressed uncertainty on when Beverley would return.

The Celtics and 76ers will meet again on Friday in Game 3.

Raptors roar as VanVleet stars

Fred VanVleet impressed again as defending champions the Toronto Raptors earned a 2-0 lead over the Brooklyn Nets with a 104-99 victory. VanVleet had a double-double of 24 points and 10 assists in the first-round Eastern Conference clash. Norman Powell scored 24 points off the bench, while Kyle Lowry posted 21 points and nine rebounds.

After a playoff-record 57 points in Game 1, Donovan Mitchell registered an impressive 30 points and the Utah Jazz topped the Denver Nuggets 124-105 to level the series. Mitchell was already big in the third quarter, scoring 21 of his 30 points to take down the Nuggets. Jazz team-mate Jordan Clarkson finished with a career playoff-best 26 points.

Nikola Jokic’s double-double of 28 points and 11 rebounds were not enough for the Nuggets, who also had 28 points from rookie Michael Porter Jr.

Horford’s struggle continues

Al Horford and his move to the 76es has not paid off, and the former Celtics star struggled again. Back on the bench, Horford scored just four points in 23 minutes, while collecting two rebounds which was disappointing.

Matisse Thybulle, who started in his place also did not do them any good. He  managed only two points in 25 minutes of action. Alec Burks was one of eight from the field and missed both of his three-point attempts.

While the Raptors won, Marc Gasol was scoreless through 17 minutes of court time. He also had three turnovers.

Wednesday’s results

Boston Celtics 128-101 Philadelphia 76ers
Utah Jazz 124-105 Denver Nuggets
Toronto Raptors 104-99 Brooklyn Nets
Dallas Mavericks 127-114 Los Angeles Clippers

Trail Blazers face Lakers

The Portland Trail Blazers can easily take a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference first-round matchup when they meet the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday.

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