Harden, George ‘combine for 66 points’ Clippers beat Irving ‘showtime’ to even PO at 2-2

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Kyrie Irving (Dallas Mavericks) was a force to be reckoned with. But the Los Angeles Clippers, who are on the brink of a cliffhanger if they lose, were focused, even without Kawhi Leonard. The Clippers beat the Mavericks in a hard-fought game to get back on track in the playoffs (PO).

The Clippers defeated the Dallas Mavericks 116-111 in Game 4 of the first round (best-of-seven) of the 2023-2024 National Basketball Association (NBA) Western Conference playoffs on Monday at American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas, USA. With the win, 홀덤 the Clippers evened the series at two games apiece and will return to action on May 2 at home at Crypto.com Arena.

The Clippers were without Leonard, who returned from a knee injury that sidelined him for the rest of the regular season, but he reaggravated the injury in Game 2 and missed Game 4. However, they seemed to take control of the game early, leading by as many as 31 points at one point in the second quarter behind the “twin guns” of James Harden (33 points, 7 assists) and Paul George (33 points, 8 assists).

But it was too much too soon, as the Clippers began to falter under Irving’s dreaded “Showtime. With his team trailing 24-55 with 5:32 left in the quarter, Irving scored nine points, including two three-pointers, to make it a 33-55 game. George hit a 3-pointer to put the Clippers back in the game, but Irving answered with a 3-pointer of his own and never allowed the Clippers to get any closer.

Irving, who poured in 16 points in the second quarter, added 10 points in the third quarter, along with Luka Doncic, to lead the Dallas charge, which blew a big lead and ended the third quarter with an 82-78, four-point lead.

Irving continued his hot streak in the fourth quarter, eventually hitting a layup with 2:15 left to make it a 105-104 game. The Clippers weren’t done, however, as they immediately regained the lead on a George three-pointer, followed by Harden’s floater and then a pair of foul-assisted free throws to make it 110-105. Harden then hit both free throws to make it 113-109 with 17 seconds left in regulation.

Irving, who was held scoreless in the first quarter of the game, exploded for 40 points in the second quarter. Doncic also recorded a triple-double with 29 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists, but he didn’t have a great shooting night overall, going 1-of-9 from three-point range.

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