Clippers halted massive Doncic, Atlanta dominates Philadelphia to take the lead

Los Angeles Clippers – Dallas Mavericks : 126-111

  • The Clippers win 4-3

For a little over a half, Luka Doncic has been the dream of Dallas fans (and not only). Stratospheric in the first quarter (19 pts in 12 minutes), impressive until half-time (29 pts and 7 pds at the break), the brilliant Slovenian (46 pts, 7 rebounds, 14 pds in the end) enjoyed for very long minutes to allow Dallas to play eye to eye with the Clippers in Game 7. But in the heart of the third quarter, the former Real Madrid eased off. And Californians especially accelerated to get this success that they could not let slip away so as not to go on vacation again too soon.

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Everything was decided in the heart of the third quarter. While they were surfing the colossal performances of Doncic so far, the Mavs had a lead of up to 5 points (81-76) in a very offensive match. But at this point in the meeting, the Texans exploded in flight. Lost in defense, clumsy from afar (10 out of 36, or 27%), they foiled with a Doncic a little less striking. And above all, the Clippers have finally shown in this game 7 what is expected of them.

Starved on every possession, Tyronn Lue’s men imposed an unfailing aggression on the Mavs. And if Kawhi Leonard (28 pts, 10 rebounds, 9 wt, 4 interceptions) answered Luka Doncic, it was the Clippers collective that made the difference. Paul George even if he was clumsy (22 pts to 5 out of 15 shooting), Marcus Morris (23 pts) or even Terance Mann (13 pts), RJ Jackson (15 pts) and Luke Kennard (11 pts) brought their stone in the edifice. And the teammates of an excellent Nicolas Batum (11 pts, 7 rebounds, 5 wt) took off (100-85 at the end of the 3rd quarter) to go for victory despite a little burst of pride from the Mavericks. The Clippers will now have to show the same face against Utah. Because with this attitude, they can aim high.

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Philadelphie Sixers – Atlanta Hawks : 124-128

Atlanta got scared late in the game. But the main thing is there: the Hawks were necessary on the floor of the Sixers to take the lead in this series. While Joël Embiid was there and was reassuring on the state of his knee even if he limped at the end of the game (39 pts, 9 rebounds, 4 wt, 3 blocks), the leaders of the Eastern Conference at the end of the regular season may blame themselves for their slump in the first period. These long minutes of taking water put them in an impossible situation.

Faced with the rain of three points from an Atlanta team in full confidence (20 out of 47 in the end at 3 pts or 42.6%) and very well in place in defense, Philadelphia sank between the end of the first quarter and the beginning of the second. The Sixers then saw the score swell. Without succeeding in finding the solution to stop the bleeding. In the wake of the insolent Trae Young (35 pts, 10 pds), the Hawks at that time passed a 17 to 0 to go from 27-36 to 27-53. 26 points of margin at 8 minutes of half-time! Atlanta took the break. And was able to live on this colossal gap. Well, not totally.

In front of its audience, Philadelphia managed to gently raise its head. By raising the tone in terms of intensity. And in his turn offering himself a run in the last minutes of the match. Returning to two small points a few seconds from the end (124-126) thanks in particular to an 11-0, they made their fans hope. But Bogdan Bogdanovic (21 pts) perfectly relayed Trae Young in the last minutes to allow Atlanta to retain their advantage. And win this first match which announces an exciting series between his two formations. Because Tuesday for Game 2, the Sixers already have the obligation to react.

Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks looks on during a game against the Philadelphia 76ers during Round 2, Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Playoffs on June 6, 2021 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Credit: Getty Images

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