Kawhi Leonard finished with 28 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists as Los Angeles Clippers beat Dallas Mavericks in game seven 126-111 on Sunday to punch the ticket to the second round of the NBA playoffs.
Home win, finally
Clippers withstood a 46-point performance from Mavericks star Luka Doncic to take the Western Conference series 4-3, finally cashing in on home advantage after the road team had won each of the first six games.
Marcus Morris scored 23 points and Paul George tallied 22 for the fourth-seeded Clippers.
The Clippers advanced to the second round to face top-seeded Utah Jazz with game one on Tuesday in Salt Lake City. The Clippers are the sixth team in NBA history to lose the first two games of a series at home and win a series.
Doncic continued his superb play in the series despite playing with a sore neck suffered in game four. He added 14 assists and seven rebounds.
Dorian Finney-Smith had 18 points and 10 rebounds and Kristaps Porzingis finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Mavericks., who had a chance to close out the series on Friday in game six but lost 104-97.
At Philadelphia, Trae Young scored 35 points and Atlanta Hawks held off a late rally to beat the 76ers 128-124 in the opening game of their second-round series.
EC semifinals: Atlanta Hawks 128 bt Philadelphia 76ers 124 (Hawks lead series 1-0).
WC first round: Los Angeles Clippers 126 bt Dallas Mavericks 111 (Clippers win series 4-3).