Ross James/ALOST

akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief

DALLAS — Luka Doncic’s knee is ailing and his body is dealing with a sickness. His running mate, Kyrie Irving, was exhausted before halftime exerting so much energy on the defensive end of the floor, never his specialty during his stellar basketball career.

But they ended up being the ones who made the Los Angeles Clippers sick to their stomach on Friday night, and now the Mavericks have actual time to heal to go along with the good feeling of advancing to the Western Conference semifinals.

Doncic and Irving combined for 58 points, with Irving scoring 28 of his 30 points in the second half, as the Mavericks defeated the Clippers 114-101 in Game 6 of the first round of the NBA Playoffs inside American Airlines Center. The win avenges first-round series defeats to Los Angeles in 2020 and 2021, and Dallas advances to the Western Conference semifinals for the second time in the past three seasons.

After the teams battled to a stalemate at halftime, 52-52, it was Irving, who scored just two points in the first half while taking on the assignment of guarding James Harden, who ignited a 35-point quarter for Dallas with 13 points in the frame. Irving held Harden to just two points on six shots in the first half, and admitted he was exhausted going into the half while maxing out on the defensive end.

But after Doncic scored 18 in the first half to keep the Mavericks afloat, Irving’s offense took over to see the Mavericks over the line.

“We’re pushing each other off the court to be better, and then when we get on the court it’s just like synchronicity,” Irving said. “It feels good.”

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Friday evening’s contest, with photos taken by ALOST staff photographer Ross James. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 28 pictures in total.

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Tags : Dallas MavericksLos Angeles ClippersNational Basketball AssociationNBA Playoffs

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