By Johnny Askounis/ email@example.com
The Los Angeles Clippers clinched an NBA Playoffs Conference Finals berth for the first time storming back from a 25-point deficit with 20/39 three-pointers to defeat the Utah Jazz, 131-119, at Staples Center on Friday. After prevailing, 4-2, they will face the Phoenix Suns in a new best-of-seven series starting Sunday and sending one team into the NBA Finals.
Terance Mann picked a great time for a career-high 39 points. Paul George made 28 points and Reggie Jackson 27 points plus ten assists with Kawhi Leonard sidelined. French Nicolas Batum chipped in 16 points, seven rebounds, three blocks, two assists, and two steals sealing his own first trip to the Playoffs Semifinals as well. Croatian Ivica Zubac produced one block lasting only six minutes.
On the other end, Croatian Bojan Bogdanovic bowed out with 14 points and four rebounds. French Rudy Gobert finished his campaign with 12 points, ten rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Donovan Mitchell scored 39 points.
Philadelphia forces Game 7
In earlier Game 6 action, the Atlanta Hawks failed to build on a strong start and lost to the Philadelphia 76ers, 104-99. Serbian Bogdan Bogdanovic exited in the fourth quarter with right knee soreness. He is questionable for Game 7 planned to be held on Sunday.
The Sixers tied the best-of-seven series on the road and will be at home in the following do-or-die contest. Seth Curry connected six triples in a 24-point showing. Tobias Harris also scored 24 points and Joel Embiid posted a 22-point, 13-rebound double-double. Turkish Furkan Korkmaz in his third straight start registered seven points, five rebounds, two assists, and one steal.
The hosts never trailed until the second half, but eventually fell in a double-digit hole and did not recover in a heated playoffs affair featuring Embiid and John Collins in an altercation. Italian Danilo Gallinari went for 16 points and one rebound and Swiss Clint Capela logged 14 points, 11 rebounds, and one assist. Bogdanovic had seven points, two rebounds, two steals, one assist, and one block.
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