Hoping for the season and title of the LA Clippers, Leonard delivered his best all-round performance as a clipper, helping LA drop the Dallas Mavericks 104-97 for the third consecutive series win at American Airlines Center in Game 6. 18,234 announced the meeting.
“It’s based on the mood,” Leonard said. “Of course, you don’t want to go home.”
Not including last season’s bubble games, according to ESPN figures and data, the road team won the first six games of a series for the first time in NBA playoff history.
In his best playoff performances, Leonard made 25 of 18 shots, scoring 12 of his 45 points in the fourth quarter. He scored eight straight points a minute late in the game to force a Game 7.
“I mean, he destroyed us,” Danzik said. “That’s it. He had a game hell. That’s what he does.”
Faced with elimination, the Clippers felt the pressure of their season hung in the balance and had a chance to experience a second straight disappointing post-season. But unlike when they shamefully threw a 3-1 lead to Denver Nuggets in the second round last year, the Clippers played with the urgency and fighting needed to force their second consecutive Game 7.
“This is a game 7 for us before Game 7,” he said Paul George, Who scored 20 points, caught 13 rebounds and had six assists.
Leonard set the tone from the start. Clippers coach Die Loo said he had discussed placing Leonard on Danzig and that his star wanted a higher mission ahead. Tansik, who came into the game averaging 35 points in the series, finished with 29 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds, but he only fired 24 of 11 and 9 of 2 from behind the curve as the Clippers caught him. He kept the guards on rather than moving away from the screens.
Leonard had 11 points in total and all the mavericks he defended for 4-for-13 shooting. According to ESPN figures and data, Danzig shot only 6 for 2 when defended by Leonard.
“He was doing everything he could to stop and was hard on the other end,” George said. “You saw one of the best, otherwise the best two-way players.
9:06 Dallas took the lead 82-79 on the left, but Leonard turned it around. Leonard pierced the 21-foot pull-up jumper as the Clippers stuck to a two-point lead. After regenerating, Leonard buried the 27-foot, step-back 3-pointer. He then finished the individual 8-2 with another step 3, leaving the Clippers with a 98-90 lead of 1:41.
Leonard made all five of his shots in the fourth quarter, and Leonard’s former teammate Tim Duncan became the first player to go 5-for-5 or more in the final quarter when he faced elimination since he did so against Maverick in 2009.
“It’s true that he had the energy to stretch those shots, and most of them are very tough, which is something to watch out for,” said Dallas coach Rick Carlisle.
Carlisle added: “We’ve done everything in this series and we need to be ready to sink the kitchen in Game 7.”
This is the performance that the clippers imagined when he signed with Leonard, a two-time Finals MVP and elite two-way defender, and traded to George to help land Leonard in the summer of 2019.
But did not work. Another stressful game for Leonard and the Clippers is that there is a lot of work to do on what to do with 7. This time, the clippers hope to erase the ghost memories from last year.
“I was young and always wanted to win the game and try to express my desire on the ground,” Leonard said of his mood as he entered the game from past playoff experiences. “My teammates had the same mindset.
“So I tried [instill] We are fighting with them, do not give up, be with them now to make sure you do not know what will happen. Have faith and then play hard and have fun. That’s all you can do. “
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