Murray, Jokic keep Nuggets alive versus Jazz
PAUL GEORGE and Kawhi Leonard made sure the Los Angeles Clippers had short memories in Game 5 of their Western Conference first-round series against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night near Orlando.
After blowing a 21-point lead and losing on an overtime buzzer-beater in Game 4, the Clippers responded early and often behind George and Leonard, setting franchise playoff records for most points, 3-pointers and shooting percentage in a 154-111 win.
George bounced back from three straight sub-par performances against Dallas to score 35 points, and Leonard finished with 32 points and seven rebounds for the Clippers, who took a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Montrezl Harrell added 19 points and 11 rebounds off the bench for Los Angeles, which shot 63.1% from the floor and 22-for-35 (62.9%) from 3-point distance.
Game 6 is Thursday night.
Mavericks star Luka Doncic finished with 22 points and eight rebounds. He had 43 points, 17 rebounds and 13 assists and hit the game-winner in overtime for the Mavericks in Game 4.
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 19 points, Trey Burke had 15 and Maxi Kleber finished with 12 for the Mavericks, who were without 7-foot-3 forward Kristaps Porzingis.
Porzingis, who averaged 20.4 points and 9.5 rebounds during the regular season, missed his second straight game due to a sore right knee.
The Clippers shot 16-for-24 from the floor and forced seven turnovers in the first quarter while building a 19-point lead.
Leonard scored 11 points during a 19-0 run during the middle part of the period that turned a 16-9 deficit into a 28-16 lead with 4:46 left.
Dallas never got back within single digits.
Landry Shamet, Reggie Jackson and Maurice Morris Sr. sank 3-pointers during the closing minutes of the opening quarter to stretch the lead to 41-22 entering the second.
Dallas coach Rick Carlisle was ejected for arguing with officials midway through the third quarter.
NUGGETS ALIVE VS. JAZZ
Jamal Murray had 42 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, while Nikola Jokic had 31 points, as the Denver Nuggets stayed alive with a 117-107 victory over the Utah Jazz in Game 5 of their Western Conference first-round series near Orlando on Tuesday night.
Murray scored 33 in the second half alone, while Michael Porter Jr. had 15 points in the game and Jerami Grant added 13 to help the Nuggets rally. Denver now trails 3-2 in the series.
Donovan Mitchell scored 30 points, while Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson had 17 each and Rudy Gobert had 11 points and 12 rebounds for Utah. Joe Ingles added 13 and Royce O’Neale scored 10.
The game was tied 101-all with under four minutes to play when Murray took over. He hit a fadeaway off an offensive rebound, drained a 3-pointer and hit two step-back jumpers to put Denver ahead 110-101 with 1:20 remaining.
Mitchell split a pair of free throws and Gobert dunked to pull Utah within six at 110-104, but Murray passed to Jokic in the corner, and his 3-pointer with 23 seconds left put Denver back up 113-104.
Mitchell banked in a 3-pointer with 18.8 seconds remaining, but Grant hit four free throws in the final 14 seconds to seal it.
Down 81-69 in the third quarter, the Nuggets went on a 13-3 run, led by Murray, who had 11 of those. His spinning layup with 35 seconds left made it 84-82, but Gobert’s dunk put the Jazz ahead 86-82 heading into the fourth.
Jokic hit a 3-pointer to open the fourth, and Porter’s turnaround jumper put Denver ahead 87-86 with 10:13 left, its first lead since early in the second quarter.
The teams traded small runs, with the Nuggets taking a four-point lead and Utah responding to go up by two. Grant hit a 3-pointer to put Denver up 101-98, and a layup by Conley and free throw from Gobert tied it with 3:46 left.
Clarkson heated up in the second quarter, scoring 11 of his points and hitting a trio of 3-pointers to help the Jazz take a 63-54 lead at halftime. — Reuters