NBA playoffs: Kawhi Leonard guides Los Angeles Clippers to win over Dallas Mavericks that keeps series alive

The two-time NBA Finals MVP scored 45 points in front of raucous crowd at Dallas' American Airlines Centre

DALLAS, TEXAS - JUNE 04: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers rebounds the ball against the Dallas Mavericks during Game Six of the Western Conference first round series at American Airlines Center on June 04, 2021 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Tom Pennington/Getty Images/AFP == FOR NEWSPAPERS, INTERNET, TELCOS & TELEVISION USE ONLY ==
DALLAS, TEXAS - JUNE 04: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers rebounds the ball against the Dallas Mavericks during Game Six of the Western Conference first round series at American Airlines Center on June 04, 2021 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Tom Pennington/Getty Images/AFP == FOR NEWSPAPERS, INTERNET, TELCOS & TELEVISION USE ONLY ==

Kawhi Leonard scored 45 points as the Los Angeles Clippers beat Dallas Mavericks 104-97 to push the first-round Western Conference playoff into a seventh match.

The Clippers kept their season alive by winning in front of raucous crowd at Dallas' American Airlines Centre with Leonard leading the charge, equalling his playoff career high points total.

it was a tense finish keyed by the two-time NBA Finals MVP after double-digit LA victories in the first two games in Dallas, and coming off the Clippers' third straight loss at home.

“Great players perform in big moments,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said. “It just shows you who Kawhi Leonard is.”

Game seven is Sunday at Staples Centre in downtown Los Angeles where the Mavericks have won three games.

“Just another basketball game,” Leonard said. “Like we say, if we don’t want to go home, pay attention to details, have faith, shooting the ball with confidence. If you do that, you can live with the results.”

Luka Doncic scored 29 points with 11 assists for the Mavericks, who now have to bounce back from the disappointment of another missed opportunity on home court as they target a first play-off series victory since the franchise's only title 10 years ago.

“We've done it before already in this series,” said Mavericks' Kristaps Porzingis. “We feel like we can beat them, and we'll see who's right and who's wrong.”

Published: June 5, 2021 02:34 PM

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