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Doncic stars at both ends as Mavs level series

Luka Doncic

Free-scoring Luke Doncic earned praise for his defense after the Dallas Mavericks levelled their play-off series with the Los Angeles Clippers thanks to a 96-93 win in Game Two.

Doncic was his usual masterful self on offense, scoring 32 points and adding nine assists, but he also shone at the other end of the court as the Clippers struggled to get anything going.

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Mavs coach Jason Kidd said: “I think his defense has been great this whole series.

”We know they’re going to put him in pick-and-roll. A couple years ago we saw this, and we had to tell him to participate. But I think he’s participating at a high level on both ends. He’s leading not just on the offensive end but also the defensive end.”

There was one plus point on an otherwise disappointing night for the Clippers with Kawhi Leonard managing to get through 35 minutes on his first appearance since March 31 due to a knee injury.

Leonard shot 7-of-17 and lacked his usual rhythm but his return could be pivotal over the rest of the series.

“Just keep trying to get a rhythm back and obviously try to win a basketball game,” Leonard said.

“We got pretty stagnant tonight in that fourth quarter. I want to just be able to get a rhythm with the team and get a win.”

Game Three is on Friday and Leonard is determined to make an impact. He added: “This is my first game in 20-something days.

“We got to be better as a unit overall and it starts with me. And even if my wind is low, I got to find a way.”

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