NBA playoff tracker: Luka Doncic, Mavericks escape Clippers to take 3-2 lead

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Welcome to the Yahoo Sports NBA playoff tracker, your daily one-stop shop for all the latest game results from each NBA playoff series. Here's a look at Tuesday's games.

Luka Doncic appears to be feeling much, much better.

Doncic, after dealing with a neck strain over the past two games, led the Dallas Mavericks to a 105-100 win over the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center on Wednesday night behind 42 points and 14 assists.

Mavs hold on after third quarter run

It took Dallas a while to finally make a move on the Clippers. When they finally did, though, the Mavericks came through strong.

Dallas closed out the third quarter with a dominant 25-5 run over the final seven minutes of the period to take a 14-point lead into the final period. The Mavericks held the Clippers scoreless for the final 3:47 of the quarter, too.

Doncic, meanwhile, dropped 40 of his 42 points and 12 rebounds through the first three quarters while shooting 6-of-9 from behind the arc.

Dallas’ offense stalled to open the fourth, however, as it only scored six points through the first eight minutes of the quarter — which opened the door for the Clippers to cut it back to just a four point game. Kawhi Leonard then converted a 3-point play after picking up a foul on a layup to make it a one-point matchup with less than 40 seconds left on the clock.

Though the Mavericks gave up a turnover on the other end, they stopped a Clippers scramble at the rim and came up with a rebound — which allowed them to hit a pair of free throws and then shut down one last shot attempt from Leonard to seal the five point win.

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The win means that the road team has now won all five games so far in this series, just the third time in league history that the road team has done that in a traditional seven game series.

Paul George led the Clippers with 23 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 7-of-14 from the field. Leonard added 20 points, as did Reggie Jackson — who also went 6-of-12 from behind the arc.

Doncic was just shy of a triple-double, as he finished with 42 points, 14 assists and eight rebounds. Tim Hardaway Jr. added 20 points and seven rebounds in the win. Those two were the only Mavericks players to score in double figures.

Game 6 is set for Friday night in Dallas. The winner of the series will take on the top-seeded Utah Jazz in the conference semifinals, as they closed out their opening-round series with the Memphis Grizzlies earlier on Wednesday.

Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks is congratulated by Tim Hardaway Jr.
The Mavericks will head back to Dallas with a 3-2 lead after a 42-point night from Luka Doncic. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Donovan Mitchell, Jazz close out Grizzlies

Even without Mike Conley for most of the game, the top-seeded Utah Jazz closed out their Western Conference first-round series with a 126-110 win over the No. 8-seeded Memphis Grizzlies in Game 5.

Conley left midway through the second quarter and did not return with what the Jazz called right hamstring soreness. Conley said after the game that he would have an MRI on Thursday morning. 

Donovan Mitchell took the game into his hands from the start, scoring 26 points by halftime to finish with 30 points, 10 assists and six rebounds. He nailed a buzzer-beating triple to close out the first half.

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Mitchell dominated after an ankle injury sidelined him for the final 16 regular-season games and the Jazz’s Game 1 loss to the Grizzlies. He scored 114 points in four Jazz wins this series.

The Jazz became the first team in NBA history to hit 17 or more 3-pointers in four straight playoff games. They finished with 17, led by Mitchell’s five.

Rudy Gobert added a double-double, his fourth of the postseason, with 23 points and 15 boards. Sixth Man of the Year Jordan Clarkson added 24 points.

The Jazz set a playoff franchise record with 47 points in the first quarter, continuing a string of strong first quarters for Utah this postseason.

Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks combined for 54 points for the Grizzlies. Morant also had 11 assists and seven boards.

Utah will face the winner of the Dallas Mavericks-Los Angeles Clippers series in the conference semifinals.

Hawks finish off lopsided series, will face 76ers next

Madison Square Garden was ready for the postseason. 

The New York Knicks were decidedly not.

That Atlanta Hawks wrapped a lopsided series on Wednesday with a 103-89 win in a chippy Game 5 in front of a raucous MSG crowd. The victory secured a 4-1 win for the fifth-seeded Hawks over the No. 4 Knicks who looked outmatched for most of the series. Wednesday was no exception as the Hawks stifled a sloppy Knicks effort while Trae Young led the offensive attack.

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 02:  Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks points at Reggie Bullock #25 of the New York Knicks after scoring in the first quarter during Game Five of the Eastern Conference first round series at Madison Square Garden on June 02, 2021 in New York City. 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.  (Photo by Wendell Cruz-Pool/Getty Images)
Trae Young is done with Madison Square Garden. (Photo by Wendell Cruz-Pool/Getty Images)

With the win, the Hawks advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals to face a Philadelphia 76ers team that eliminated the Washington Wizards earlier Wednesday night.

The Knicks kept things close early as the first quarter ended tied at 21. But the Hawks controlled the rest of the game after taking a 52-47 lead into halftime. The most compelling action may have taken place after the halftime buzzer when Reggie Bullock and Julius Randle mixed it up with Young, leading to a minor scuffle at halfcourt. 

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Wednesday's drama started in the first quarter when Randle elbowed Onyeka Okongwu as the two battled for a rebound. 

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The Knicks couldn't match that intensity with their play as they shot 37.8% from the floor and turned the ball over 16, times, including eight giveaways by Randle. The Knicks All-Star who struggled most of the series closed his postseason with 23 points and 13 rebounds on an 8-of-21 shooting night. 

Young finished with another big game at MSG, tallying 36 points and nine assists despite struggling from the field (10-of-28). He'll see a tougher assignment in Round 2 with 76ers All-Defensive Team guard Ben Simmons defending the perimeter. 

With Embiid out, 76ers advance past Wizards in Game 5 

The Philadelphia 76ers will have a few extra days off in order to get Joel Embiid healthy for the second round.

Head coach Doc Rivers went small with Embiid sidelined with a meniscus tear as the 76ers defeated the Wizards 129-112 to eliminate Washington from the playoffs. Instead of starting veteran center Dwight Howard, Rivers went with a starting five of Seth Curry, Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris, Danny Green and Matisse Thybulle. Curry scored a playoff career-high 30 points, leading all Sixers.

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The star backcourt of Bradley Beal (32 points) and Russell Westbrook (24 points) tried to keep the Wizards in the game and force a Game 6 back home, but it wasn’t enough. Washington also ran into injury woes this series as Davis Bertans was ruled out 4-6 weeks after suffering a calf injury in Game 4.

Daniel Gafford #21 of the Washington Wizards and Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers reach for a rebound during the first quarter during Game Five of the Eastern Conference first round series at Wells Fargo Center on June 2, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 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. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Daniel Gafford #21 of the Washington Wizards and Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers reach for a rebound during the first quarter during Game Five of the Eastern Conference first-round series at Wells Fargo Center on June 2, 2021, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Earlier on Wednesday, it was announced that Embiid would miss Game 5 and is considered day-to-day after an MRI revealed a “small lateral meniscus tear in his right knee.” The MVP finalist was injured in the first quarter of Game 4 and didn’t return in Philadelphia’s 122-114 loss to Washington. 

Embiid’s minutes were down prior to his injury, logging 30 minutes just once in the series. He averaged 24 points and 6.8 rebounds in four games. The 76ers will play Game 1 against the Hawks on Sunday. 

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