Sunday’s NBA playoffs: Doncic beats buzzer with long 3, Mavericks top Clippers in OT
Lake Buena Vista, Fla. — Luka Doncic stepped back for a winning 3-pointer – on a tender ankle, no less.
Another installment in the ever-growing legend of Doncic.
Doncic’s deep shot at the buzzer capped a triple-double and the short-handed Dallas Mavericks beat the Los Angeles Clippers 135-133 in overtime Sunday to even the playoff series at two games apiece.
Doncic finished with 43 points, 17 rebounds and 13 assists for his second straight triple-double.
“We know this kid has got a flair for the dramatic,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “He’s a guy that lives for these moments.”
To think, Doncic was a game-time decision due to the left ankle he hurt in Game 3. But once he stepped on the floor, he knew he would give it a go.
And once crunch time hit, the ankle wasn’t even a thought.
“One of the best feelings I’ve ever had as a player,” Doncic said about the winner. “Just something special.”
Marcus Morris hit a 3-pointer with around 9 seconds remaining in OT to give the Clippers the lead. It simply set the stage for Doncic’s winner over Reggie Jackson. His teammates rushed out to congratulate him.
“Big-time players make big-time plays. He’s a big-time player,” teammate Trey Burke said. “He’s proved it already in this league.”
Doncic’s theatrics helped the seventh-seeded Mavericks post their biggest playoff comeback win, overcoming a 21-point, second-quarter deficit. Their previous best was 19 against the Spurs in San Antonio during Game 5 of the 2003 Western Conference Finals.
Dallas used a 16-0 run in the third to take the lead – and led by 12 points in the fourth before the Clippers rallied.
Lou Williams tied it at 121 by hitting two of three free throws with 50.6 seconds remaining in regulation. After Dallas failed to score on the next possession, the Clippers called a timeout to set up a play with 24.7 seconds left.
Kawhi Leonard’s 3-point shot with 0.2 seconds remaining was off the mark. The Mavericks failed on a lob toward big man Boban Marjanovic to send it to overtime.
“Bottom line is the last play didn’t lose the game for us,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “It was our entire play from the second quarter on.”
Doncic didn’t have center Kristaps Porzingis, who sat out with right knee soreness.
The 21-year-old Doncic hurt his left ankle in the last game. He hardly looked hampered, going 18 of 31 from the floor. He tested the ankle often, too, with jump stops, pivots and an impressive Euro-steps to gain separation.
Doncic got a breather to start the fourth quarter. He sat on the bench as trainers worked on his ankle. He then hopped up and down in the hallway and rode an exercise bike before returning with 8:33 remaining and the Mavericks leading 106-96.
The teams exchanged 3-pointer after 3-pointer down the stretch of the fourth, with the Clippers pulling to 119-117 on Leonard’s 3-pointer with 1:56 left. The play was set up when Jackson saved a ball from going out of bounds on his end and tossed it all the way over to Leonard in the offensive end.
Williams scored 36 points off the bench for the second-seeded Clippers, and Leonard had 32. Paul George finished with nine points as his struggles continued. He was 3 of 14 from the field and is shooting 29% in the series.
“If I make shots this series could be a little different,” George said. “That’s what it comes down to. Give them credit, they’re playing well. Luka’s playing phenomenal.”
Before the game, Montrezl Harrell and Doncic exchanged a handshake and a hug as the patched things up. They were each given a technical foul after getting tangled up and exchanging words in Game 3.
“Sometimes you say things you don’t want to say,” Doncic said. “He apologized. So no problem.”
More NBA playoffs
Boston 110, Philadelphia 106: Kemba Walker scored 32 points and Boston pulled away in fourth quarter to complete a first-round series sweep of Philadelphia.
Jayson Tatum added 28 points and had a playoff career-high 15 rebounds for Boston. The Celtics advanced to Eastern Conference semifinals against defending champion Toronto.
Joel Embiid led the 76ers with 30 points and 10 rebounds. Tobias Harris added 20 points and five rebounds.
Toronto 150, Brooklyn 122: Norman Powell scored 29 points, fellow reserve Serge Ibaka added 27 points and 15 rebounds and Toronto steamrolled into the Eastern Conference semifinals by routing Brooklyn to complete a four-game sweep.
The Raptors lost Kyle Lowry to an ankle injury in the first quarter but the defending NBA champions had more than enough depth and power left to wrap up the first sweep in franchise history.
Pascal Siakam had 20 points and 10 assists for the Raptors. They upped their record to 11-1 in the bubble. Caris LeVert scored 35 points for Brooklyn.
Utah 129, Denver 127: Donovan Mitchell scored 18 of his 51 points in the fourth quarter and Utah withstood a 50-point night from Jamal Murray to beat Denver and take a 3-1 series lead.
Mitchell was 15 of 27 from the floor and went 17 of 18 from the free-throw line. He had 57 points in Game 1 and is averaging 39.5 points in the series. The Jazz can close it out in Game 5 on Tuesday.
Murray, who hit a long 3-pointer near the buzzer, had the most-ever by a Denver player in a postseason game, surpassing Spencer Haywood’s mark of 45 in an ABA playoff contest on April 19, 1970. Murray also had 11 rebounds. Nikola Jokic added 29 points for Denver.
Mike Conley had 26 points for Utah in his second game since returning to the NBA bubble after leaving for the birth of his son. Rudy Gobert had 17 points and 11 rebounds.
Milwaukee 2, Orlando 1
Tuesday, Aug. 18: Orlando, 122, Milwaukee 110
Thursday, Aug. 20: Milwaukee 111, Orlando 96
Saturday, Aug. 22: Milwaukee 121, Orlando 107
Monday, Aug. 24: Milwaukee vs. Orlando, 1:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 26: Milwaukee vs. Orlando, TBD
x-Friday, Aug. 28: Milwaukee vs. Orlando, TBD
x-Sunday, Aug. 30: Milwaukee vs. Orlando, TBD
Toronto 4, Brooklyn 0
Monday, Aug. 17: Toronto 134, Brooklyn 110
Wednesday, Aug. 19: Toronto 104, Brooklyn 99
Friday, Aug. 21: Toronto 117, Brooklyn 92
Sunday, Aug. 23: Toronto 150, Brooklyn 122
Boston 4, Philadelphia 0
Monday, Aug. 17: Boston 109, Philadelphia 101
Wednesday, Aug. 19: Boston 128, Philadelphia 101
Friday, Aug. 21: Boston 102, Philadelphia 94
Sunday, Aug. 23: Boston 110, Philadelphia 106
Miami 3, Indiana 0
Tuesday, Aug. 18: Miami 113 Indiana 101
Thursday, Aug. 20: Miami 109, Indiana 100
Saturday, Aug. 22: Miami 124, Indiana 115
Monday, Aug. 24: Miami vs. Indiana, 6:30 p.m.
x-Wednesday, Aug. 26: Miami vs. Indiana, TBD
x-Friday, Aug. 28: Miami vs. Indiana, TBD
x-Sunday, Aug. 30: Miami vs. Indiana, TBD
L.A. Lakers 2, Portland 1
Tuesday, Aug. 18: Portland 100, L.A. Lakers 93
Thursday, Aug. 20: L.A. Lakers 111, Portland 88
Saturday, Aug. 22: L.A. Lakers 116, Portland 108
Monday, Aug. 24: L.A. Lakers vs. Portland, 9 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 26: L.A. Lakers vs. Portland, TBD
x-Friday, Aug. 28: L.A. Lakers vs. Portland, TBD
x-Sunday, Aug. 30: L.A. Lakers vs. Portland, TBD
L.A. Clippers 2, Dallas 2
Monday, Aug. 17: L.A. Clippers 118, Dallas 110
Wednesday, Aug. 19: Dallas 127, L.A. Clippers 114
Friday, Aug. 21: L.A. Clippers 130, Dallas 122
Sunday, Aug. 23: Dallas 135, L.A. Clippers 133, OT
Tuesday, Aug. 25: L.A. Clippers vs. Dallas, TBD
Thursday, Aug. 27: L.A. Clippers vs. Dallas, TBD
x-Saturday, Aug. 29: L.A. Clippers vs. Dallas, TBD
Utah 3, Denver 1
Monday, Aug. 17: Denver 135, Utah 125, OT
Wednesday, Aug. 19: Utah 124, Denver 105
Friday, Aug. 21: Utah 124, Denver 87
Sunday, Aug. 23: Utah 129, Denver 127
Tuesday, Aug. 25: Denver vs Utah, TBD
x-Thursday, Aug. 27: Denver vs Utah, TBD
x-Saturday, Aug. 29: Denver vs Utah, TBD
Houston 2, Oklahoma City 1
Tuesday, Aug. 18: Houston 123, Oklahoma City 108
Thursday, Aug. 20: Houston 112, Oklahoma City 98
Saturday, Aug. 22: Oklahoma City 119, Houston 107, OT
Monday, Aug. 24: Oklahoma City vs. Houston, TBD
Wednesday, Aug. 26: Oklahoma City vs. Houston, TBD
x-Friday, Aug. 28: Oklahoma City vs. Houston, TBD
x-Sunday, Aug. 30: Oklahoma City vs. Houston, TBD