Clippers beat Jazz to reach conference final for first time
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Terance Mann scored a career-high 39 points and the Los Angeles Clippers advanced to a conference final for the first time in the franchise’s 51-year history, beating the Utah Jazz 131-119 on Friday night.
Paul George had 28 points and Reggie Jackson added 27 to help the fourth-seeded advance to face second-seeded Phoenix in the Western Conference finals. Game 1 is Sunday in Phoenix.
Los Angeles won the final two games against the Jazz with All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard sidelined by a sprained right knee.
The Clippers trailed by 25 points early in the third quarter before rallying. It is the third time in franchise history the Clippers have trailed by at least 22 points in a postseason game and come back to win.
Mann helped fuel the rally with 20 points in the third quarter. Utah had a 94-91 lead going into the final 12 minutes, but Jackson gave the Clippers their first lead since early in the second quarter when his layup made it 96-95 advantage with 10:36 remaining. Mann also was just the third player in franchise history to make at least seven 3s in a postseason game.
The Clippers had a 107-106 lead with eight minutes remaining before they seized control with nine straight points, including five by Mann. The closest the Jazz would get after that was six.
Donovan Mitchell led top-seeded Utah with 39 points. It is the second time in franchise history the Jazz have blown a 25-point lead in a postseason game. They had the NBA’s top regular-season record but lost four straight for the first time all year.
76ERS 104, HAWKS 99
ATLANTA (AP) — Seth Curry hit six 3-pointers and scored 24 points and top-seeded Philadelphia beat Atlanta to avoid elimination in the Eastern Conference semifinal series.
The 76ers overcame Trae Young’s 34-point effort to force Game 7 on Sunday night in Philadelphia.
Tobias Harris also had 24 points, making four free throws in the final 13 seconds to protect the lead. Joel Embiid added 22 points and 13 rebounds.