Sport NBA playoffs 2021: Mann 'not surprised' after lifting Clippers to first Conference Final
NBA playoffs 2021: Kawhi erupts for 45 points as Clippers force Game 7 against Mavs
Kawhi Leonard came up big on Friday as the Los Angeles Clippers avoided elimination.The fourth-seeded Clippers were facing elimination on Friday, trailing Luka Doncic's Mavericks 3-2 in the Western Conference first-round series.
Terance Mann says he is "not surprised" after helping the Los Angeles Clippers overturn a 25-point deficit to eliminate the Utah Jazz en route to reaching their first Western Conference Final.
Second-year forward Mann, drafted number 46 overall in the 2019 NBA draft, posted a career-high 39 points with seven-from-10 three-pointers – five of those in the second half – in Friday's remarkable 131-119 victory.
He had never scored more than 25 points in an NBA game. According to Stats Perform, the last player to have 14-plus points more in a playoff game than his previous career high was Michael Jordan in his NBA-record 63-point game in 1986.
Basketball - NBA (Play-Offs): Clippers win in Dallas and tear out 7
© Panoramic Leonard Clippers 310121 Los Angeles Clippers, including a 45-point Kawhi Leonard, went to win 97 -104 in Dallas and both teams will play a match 7 Sunday at Staples Center. Utah still does not know his opponent in the second round of the Play-Offs and will have to wait until Sunday. The Clippers and Dallas will play a match 7 at the Staple Center, in this incredible series where no team managed to win at home in the first six meetings (new NBA record!).
The Clippers were without Kawhi Leonard and trailed the Jazz by 25 points early in the third quarter, before going on a 75-40 run to set up a showdown with the second-seeded Phoenix Suns for the right to go to the NBA Finals.
Mann averaged 7.0 points per game this season but proved the star of the show in the Clippers' famous win to earn the acclaim of his colleagues.
"You saw a complete game from a second-year player," said Paul George, who had 28 points.
"Honestly, he single-handedly willed us back through that stretch where he just, you know, 3 after 3 to downhill attacks to defending. You know, he did it all."
There goes that Mann.
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) Performance of the Game
Mann made five of his seven threes over a 23:36 stretch, but the game-winning performance did not come as a surprise to the 24-year-old, who was given a standing ovation by the Staples Center crowd.
NBA playoffs 2021: Clippers have a lot of fight left, says Kawhi Leonard
The Clippers trail the top-seeded Jazz 2-0 after back-to-back defeats in Utah, but Kawhi Leonard is confident they can turn things around.The top-seeded Jazz took a two-game lead on Thursday with a 117-111 victory, Donovan Mitchell racking up 37 points to inspire Utah to triumph.
"I just had to lock in and do what I had to do," he said. "They were leaving me open.
"I trust my work. When you trust your work, you trust in yourself, you're not surprised when any of this happens."
The Clippers had trailed 2-0 in the NBA playoff series but rallied to close out the second-round matchup 4-2 against the side with the best regular-season record in 2020-21.
A first Conference Final in their 51-year franchise history now awaits and coach Tyronn Lue wants crosstown Los Angeles Lakers to get behind the Clippers when they face the Phoenix Suns, starting this Sunday.
"Just seeing our fans and how they stayed to the end and how they were cheering, it just felt good," Lue said. "The team has been starving for success, and the fan base has been doing the same thing.
"I know the Lakers are out and there's a lot of Lakers fans here. But once the Lakers are gone, if we're not playing them, you should be cheering for the Clippers because it's all in one city. I can feel the love, and I'm very happy and proud of our guys."
NBA playoffs 2021: Chris Paul cleared to return at Clippers in Game 3 .
Former Clipper Chris Paul is back in the fold as the Suns close on a place in the NBA Finals.As the Suns waited to learn the identity of their Western Conference Finals opponents, a COVID-19 complication saw veteran point guard Paul sidelined.