On to Game 7.
Tonight was a back-and-forth slugfest as Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers outlasted the Dallas Mavericks, 104-97, to win Game 6 and force a Game 7.
Leonard dominated the entire game, specifically the second half, finishing the night with 45 points on an ultra efficient 18-of-25 from the field, including several clutch buckets in the final minutes to clinch the game for the Clippers.
“He destroyed us. That’s what it is,” Luka Doncic said of Leonard.
Neither team was able to gain any kind of momentum or lead without the other making a run of their own and killing any inkling of momentum — until Kawhi took absolute control in the fourth.
Doncic finished the game with 29 points, 8 rebounds, 11 assists, and 4 steals. Doncic struggled in the third quarter before scoring 12 points in the fourth.
The Mavericks rolled out the same starting lineup as Game 5, which included Boban starting at center, who scored 12 points and 9 rebounds in just over 17 minutes.
Tim Hardaway Jr. was aggressive alongside Luka, scoring 23 points on 9-of-19 shooting. With Tim Hardaway Sr. in the crowd, Jr. fell into a groove and was letting it fly.
Kristaps Porzingis, again, was used as more of a decoy and floor spacer than as a true offensive weapon, finishing with only 7 points on 7 shots.
“It’s obviously not easy, but I accept it,” Porzingis said. “That’s what the team is asking me to do and I’m willing to do whatever, whatever is necessary for us to go forward.”
What stood out most beyond Kawhi’s dominance was the officiating, which if you’re on the Mavericks side of things, was abysmal. Numerous missed calls left the Luka and company with their hands up and spewing words towards the officials.
The free throws difference speaks for itself as the Clippers shot 14 more attempts than the Mavericks.
“It’s a Game 7, it doesn’t matter where you are, you’ve got to leave everything on the court,” Luka said.
Game 7 tops off on Sunday at 2:30PM at Staples Center.