Clippers conquer 25-point deficit against Jazz to reach franchise's 1st West final
76ers rebound from epic collapse to stave off elimination against Hawks
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.
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.
T-Mann in the corner... AGAIN! 👌🏾 <a href="https://t.co/pKhPXBmlt1">pic.twitter.com/pKhPXBmlt1</a>—@LAClippers
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.
Royce O'Neale added 21 for the Jazz. They had the NBA's top regular-season record but lost four straight for the first time all year.
Mitchell opened the second half with a 33-foot, step back 3-pointer to give the Jazz a 75-50 lead 24 seconds into the third quarter. It was 88-67 with 6:37 remaining when LA fought its way back by going on a 21-2 run to get within a basket with 1:42 remaining with 10 points from Mann and Jackson scoring nine.
A dunk by Royce O'Neale and Mitchell's pair of free throws pushed Utah's lead back up to six, but Jackson's 3-pointer's with 11.1 seconds remaining cut the advantage in half heading into the fourth quarter.
The first half saw 12 lead changes. Rajon Rondo's layup with 9:17 remaining in the second quarter gave LA a 41-40 lead before Utah outscored the Clippers 33-10 the remainder of the half to take a 72-50 advantage at the break.
The Jazz went on a 21-2 run that included 17 straight points by Clarkson, including a pair of 3-pointers.
76ers force Game 7 against Hawks
Seth Curry hit six 3-pointers and scored 24 points and the top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers avoided elimination in the Eastern Conference semifinal series by beating the Atlanta Hawks 104-99 in Game 6 on Friday night.
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.
Young's long 3, just before the shot clock expired, cut Philadelphia's lead to 94-93. Embiid answered with a basket. Free throws by Embiid and Tyrese Maxey, who scored 16 points off the bench, pushed the advantage to 98-93.
Danilo Gallinari's jam with 20 seconds remaining cut the lead to three points.
After rallying from deficits of 18 and 26 points in their last two wins, the Hawks finally started strong. Atlanta led by 12 points in the first period, and never trailed in the first half.
Atlanta led 51-47 at halftime. The 76ers opened the second half with a flurry of four 3s, including three by Curry, for a 12-0 run to open the second half that gave Philadelphia a 59-51 lead. The 76ers led by 11 at 68-57, following a jumper by Embiid.
With 4:03 remaining, Embiid was called for an offensive foul when guarded by John Collins. Embiid fell on top of Collins on the court and Collins then shoved the 76ers center before both rose to their feet. Embiid had his arms stretched out wide with Collins' hands around his neck as both walked off the court under the basket.
Officials reviewed the altercation and called technical fouls on each player with no free throws rewarded.
After outscoring Philadelphia 40-19 in the fourth quarter of their 109-106 comeback win in Game 5, the Hawks took the momentum into the opening period of Game 6.
Maxey's strong play off the bench helped the 76ers recover. Maxey's floater early in the second period tied the game at 29-all.
Following a timeout that gave Hawks coach Nate McMillan the chance to send Collins and Young back into the game, Atlanta answered with a 10-0 run that included three baskets and a steal by Young.
Following his fast-break lay-in during the run, Young celebrated with a smile and shoulder shimmy.