NBA: George, Harden score 33 apiece as Clippers even series 2-2 against Mavericks

NBA: George, Harden score 33 apiece as Clippers even series 2-2 against Mavericks

No Kawhi Leonard, no problems for the Los Angeles Clippers, who have won both games the two-time champions have missed in their Western Conference playoff first-round series against the Dallas Mavericks.

The Clippers, fuelled by Paul George and James Harden, held off a rally from the Mavericks to win Game 4 of their matchup 116-111 at the American Airlines Center on Sunday and even the series at 2-2.

Los Angeles came off the blocks firing as they rose to a 39-16 first quarter lead, and they pushed further by increasing the margin to 31 points midway through the second quarter.

Nonetheless, Dallas wouldn’t back down, as they staged an epic comeback to take a 105-104 lead with three minutes to go in the game. Their lead was however short-lived, as George hit a corner three and Harden made good on a three-point play to put the Clippers back up 110-105, a lead they failed to relinquish till the end of the game.

George, who had a silent Game 3, shot 7-of-10 from the 3-point mark to finish with 33 points, six rebounds, and eight assists. Harden, who also scored 33 points, grabbed six rebounds, dished out seven assists, and was 4-of-5 from beyond the arc.

Seven-foot center Ivica Zubac had 13 points, while Terrence Mann and Norman Powell both finished with eleven points apiece.

Dallas were led by Kyrie Irving’s 40 points, and the eight-time All-Star, who had six made 3s, seven rebounds, and five assists, was instrumental to the 2011 NBA champions’ rally as his three-point shot gave them a brief lead.

Luka Doncic didn’t particularly shoot the ball well, as he was 1-of-9 from the 3-point range. However, the league’s scoring champion finished with a triple-double, his fourth in the playoffs, with 29 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists.

Derrick Jones Jr. finished with 14 points and 7 rebounds for the Mavericks; P.J. Washington, who became a fan favourite after his Game 3 antics, had ten points; Daniel Gafford could muster only five points; and Dereck Livery II had eight points.

The series will head back to Los Angeles for Game 5, and with Leonard still in doubt, the Clippers will be hoping their winning run without him continues, while the Mavericks will be looking to bounce back with hopes of returning to Dallas with a win.

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