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Luka Doncic and Mavericks flip script on Clippers

Luka Doncic in Mavericks-Clippers Game 2

ORLANDO, FL - AUGUST 19: Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks drives to the basket against the LA Clippers during Round One, Game Two of the NBA Playoffs on August 19, 2020 at AdventHealth Arena in Orlando, Florida. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

The Mavericks fell behind 15-2 – with Luka Doncic committing five quick turnovers – in his first playoff game.

The Mavericks jumped ahead 15-2 – with Doncic scoring most of Dallas’ points and assisting a 3-pointer and two dunks for the rest – in his second playoff game.

He sure improves quickly.

Doncic and the Mavericks never relinquishing their lead in a 127-114 win over the Clippers in Game 2 Wednesday. The pleasantly competitive 2-7 series is tied with Game 3 Friday.

Nos. 7 and 8 seeds haven’t won a playoff series since 2012, when the eighth-seeded 76ers upset the top-seeded Bulls. Dallas probably won’t snap the streak. The Clippers remain the better team.

But the Mavericks are at least mounting a legitimate challenge.

Dallas’ lead fluctuated when Kawhi Leonard (35 points with 10 rebounds) took control or Lou Williams (23 points with seven assists) added a spark.

Yet, the Mavericks kept re-taking control, one way or another.

After finding a groove in his record-setting postseason debut, Doncic (28 points, eight rebounds and seven assists) continued his stellar play through the first half tonight.

When Doncic got contained, partially by foul trouble, backup point guard Trey Burke (16 points on 7-of-11 shooting) weaved through L.A.'s defense. Reggie Jackson (starting at point guard for Patrick Beverley, who had a calf injury), Williams and Landry Shamet weren’t nearly good enough defending at the point of attack.

Boban Marjanovic (13 points on 6-of-8 shooting with nine rebounds, +12 in 10 minutes) tilted the game toward his style in brief stretches. The Clippers didn’t counter to take advantage of the mammoth center’s flaws.

Seth Curry (15 points) knocked down his shots, mostly inside the arc. Plenty of his teammates connected from outside. Dallas shot 13-of-29 on 3-pointers (45%).

Kristaps Porzingis (23 points, seven rebounds, quality paint protection) was quite active. He had plenty of energy after getting ejected in Game 1.

The Clippers’ second star, Paul George, wasn’t nearly as good. He went scoreless in the first half and shot 4-for-17.