For a second game in a row, the Los Angeles Clippers had no answer for Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic.
The 22-year-old guard blew past Los Angeles defenders for 39 points, seven assists and seven rebounds, leading the visiting Mavericks to a 127-121 victory over the Clippers on Tuesday and a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference first-round playoff series.
Doncic’s second straight 30-plus-point game leaves the Mavericks in a commanding position as the best-of-seven series heads back to Dallas for Game 3 on Friday and Game 4 on Sunday.
Doncic didn’t do it all by himself. He got help from Tim Hardaway Jr. (28 points), Kristaps Porzingis (20 points) and Maxi Kleber (13 points).
Kawhi Leonard led the Clippers with 41 points. Paul George contributed 28 points, 12 rebounds and six assists, and Reggie Jackson added 15 points.
The Mavericks shot 18 of 34 (52.9 percent) from the 3-point arc. Hardaway led the charge, making 6 of 8 from long distance.
Kleber totaled 12 points and Hardaway added 10 points in the opening quarter as Dallas grabbed a 35-33 lead. The Mavericks have not lost a game all season when they led after the first quarter.
Leonard paced the Clippers with 18 points in the first 12 minutes.
The Clippers outscored Dallas 40-36 in the second quarter to take a two-point lead into the locker room at halftime. However, Dallas outscored Los Angeles 30-19 in the third to grab a nine-point lead.
Trailing by as many as 14 points early in the fourth quarter, the Clippers cut the deficit to 114-109 on a 3-pointer by Marcus Morris Sr. with just under five minutes left.
However, two possessions later, Morris fouled out with nine points.
Terance Mann cut the margin to four points on a lay-in with 1:24 to go, but Hardaway drained a 3-pointer from the wing to put the game out of reach.
Former Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki sat courtside for Tuesday’s game.
--Field Level Media