Each of the series which were contested on Friday night moved to 2-1 as the LA Clippers, Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers picked up victories.
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Both the Clippers and Celtics picked themselves up off the floor, following defeats in their opening two games as Boston won at home against the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles won in Dallas over the Mavericks.
The Hawks vs Knicks series saw Atlanta take advantage of the series moving back home to State Farm Arena to nudge ahead of New York in what looks to be a competitive series between two very contrasting teams.
Here is our comprehensive round-up of all of Friday night’s action…
Los Angeles Clippers 118-108 Dallas Mavericks
Kawhi Leonard scored 36 points and the visiting Los Angeles Clippers rallied from a big early deficit to defeat the Dallas Mavericks 118-108 in Game 3 of their Western Conference first-round playoff series.
The Mavericks lead the best-of-seven series 2-1 heading into Game 4 on Sunday in Dallas.
Paul George scored 29 points, Reggie Jackson finished with 16 points and Marcus Morris Sr. made three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and scored 15 for the Clippers, who trailed by 19 points in the first quarter. Leonard shot 13 of 17 from the floor and added eight rebounds.
Box score: Los Angeles Clippers starters
Luka Doncic scored 44 points to lead Dallas, but missed six of 13 free throws, and Jalen Brunson and Maxi Kleber scored 14 each for the Mavericks.
Morris Sr. made his second 3-pointer of the fourth quarter to give the Clippers their first double-digit lead at 105-95 with 5:46 left.
Morris made another 3 from the same spot on the baseline with 3:33 left to stretch the lead to 112-100 and the visitors never looked back, but they had to fight back from being down early.
Box score: Dallas Mavericks starters
The Mavericks got off to an 8-0 start and made seven 3-pointers while building an early 28-11 lead.
They led by as many as 19 points in the opening quarter before the Clippers clamped down and went on a 14-0 run while Doncic was out of the game to get within five. That proved key as they team stormed back to take victory and pull a game back in the best-of-seven series.
Brooklyn Nets 119-125 Boston Celtics
Jayson Tatum scored a playoff career-high 50 points to lead the Boston Celtics to a 125-119 victory over the visiting Brooklyn Nets in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference first-round series.
The Nets lead the series 2-1 and Game 4 is Sunday night, when a full-capacity crowd will be allowed in Boston.
Box score: Boston Celtics starters
Tatum produced Boston’s sixth 50-point postseason game and first since Isaiah Thomas totalled 53 in Game 2 of the 2017 Eastern Conference semi-finals against the Washington Wizards.
After shooting a combined 9 of 32 in the first two games and getting poked in the eye by Kevin Durant in Game 2, Tatum delivered a dazzling 16-for-30 performance from the field. He made five 3-pointers, hit 13 of 15 free throws and dished out seven assists.
James Harden led Brooklyn with 41 points as he shot 11 of 18 and hit seven 3-pointers, tying the franchise postseason record for threes.
Box score: Brooklyn Nets starters
Durant added 39 but Kyrie Irving struggled in his first appearance in front of Boston fans since leaving the Celtics in 2019. Irving heard boos all night and profane chants at times while being held to 16 points on 6-of-17 shooting.
Tatum reached 50 points on a crafty sequence after the Nets got within 120-115 on two free throws by Irving with 58.7 seconds left. With 41.8 seconds left, Tatum executed a crossover move on Durant for a 19-footer that made it 122-115.
Durant’s 3-pointer made it 123-119 with 22 seconds left but a dunk by Grant Williams with 13 seconds remaining finished it off.
New York Knicks 94-105 Atlanta Hawks
Trae Young collected 21 points and 14 assists to lift the host Atlanta Hawks to a 105-94 win over the New York Knicks in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference first-round series.
Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 15 points and John Collins added 14 for the Hawks, who benefited from a late 22-5 surge to end the second quarter to seize a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Box score: Atlanta Hawks starters
Clint Capela recorded 13 points and 12 rebounds and former Knick Danilo Gallinari sank all four of his 3-point attempts to finish with 12 points for the Hawks.
Atlanta sank 16 of 27 shots from 3-point range for a blistering 59.3 percent.
New York’s Derrick Rose made the most of being elevated into the starting lineup by scoring 11 of his 30 points in the first quarter. He made 13 of 21 shots from the floor.
Box score: New York Knicks starters
Julius Randle, however, overcame a brutal 2-of-15 performance from the floor to finish with 14 points for the Knicks. RJ Barrett made just 2 of 9 shots to record seven points. The Knicks finished 35.8 percent from the floor as a team.
Game 4 is Sunday afternoon in Atlanta.
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