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Luka Doncic scores 42, Mavericks take series lead vs. Clippers

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic shoots in the fourth quarter of a Game 5 playoff win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic shoots in the fourth quarter of a Game 5 playoff win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

June 3 (UPI) -- All-Star guard Luka Doncic scored 42 points with 14 assists and eight rebounds to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a Game 5 win and a 3-2 series lead against the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

Doncic made 17 of 37 shots and 6 of 12 3-point attempts in the 105-100 triumph Wednesday at Staples Center in Los Angeles. He is averaging 35 points, 9.4 assists and eight rebounds per game for the series.

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"I could have played way better," Doncic told reporters. "I missed a lot of shots, a lot of layups that I should make.

"It wasn't just me, the whole team was unbelievable. They were bringing up the energy."

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Mavericks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. chipped in 20 points and made a pair of clutch free throws in the final seconds to secure the victory.

Doncic scored 19 points in the first quarter to help the Mavericks earn a 35-28 lead through the first 12 minutes. The Clippers outscored the Mavericks 26-21 in the second quarter to cut the deficit to 56-54 at halftime.

Doncic poured in another 13 points in the third quarter. The Mavericks used a 22-3 run in the frame to push their lead to 89-75 going into the fourth quarter.

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The Clippers fell behind by a game-high 16 points in the fourth quarter, but later outscored the Mavericks 16-6 to cut the deficit to 95-91 with 4:13 to go.

Hardaway and Doncic responded with 3-pointers on two-consecutive possessions to push the lead back to 10 points. The Clippers rallied with a Kawhi Leonard And-1 to cut the Mavericks lead to 101-100 with 39.5 seconds remaining.

The Clippers failed to make shots down the stretch and Hardaway sank two free throws with 8.8 seconds remaining to keep the Mavericks ahead.

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Paul George scored a team-high 23 points with 10 rebounds, six assists and three blocks in the loss. Leonard and Reggie Jackson scored 20 points apiece for the Clippers.

"They did a good job of making us turn over the ball and collapsing [defensively]," Leonard told reporters. "We just missed shots. We couldn't get anything to go in."

The Mavericks host the Clippers in Game 6 at 9 p.m. EDT Friday at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. The winner battles the top-seeded Utah Jazz next week in the Western Conference Semifinals.

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