EditorsNote: rewords second and third grafs
Kawhi Leonard and Paul George combined for two hoops in a nine-point, tiebreaking flurry midway through the fourth quarter Thursday afternoon, propelling the Los Angeles Clippers to a 126-111 victory over the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA bubble near Orlando.
Leonard finished with a team-high 29 points, and George had 24 for the Clippers (46-22), who earned just their second win in four games in Florida.
Kristaps Porzingis had 30 points and nine rebounds, and Luka Doncic had 29 points for the Mavericks (41-30), who took their third loss in four games.
The Clippers led for the entire second half until Maxi Kleber nailed a 3-pointer with 6:41 remaining in the fourth quarter to create a 101-all tie.
L.A. then responded with the next four hoops, with Ivica Zubac getting the run going with a go-ahead put-back. Leonard then hit a 3-pointer, followed by two-point shots from Marcus Morris Sr. and George, giving the Clippers a nine-point cushion with just four minutes remaining.
The Mavericks got no closer than seven the rest of the way.
The teams were never separated by more than seven points in a first half, which ended with L.A. leading 59-58. Then the Clippers began to take charge by scoring the first eight points of the third period, including four points from Zubac.
After going up by as many as 12, the Clippers led by just four at quarter's end. They pushed it back to an eight-point lead in the fourth before Kleber tied it up.
Hitting all 10 of his shots from the field, Zubac finished with 21 points and a game-high 15 rebounds for the Clippers, who outshot the Mavericks 54.3 percent to 44.8 percent.
Morris chipped in with 16 points, and JaMychal Green had 10 for L.A., which played a fourth straight game without Montrezl Harrell, who is not with the team for personal reasons.
Doncic, the league leader in triple-doubles, was held to six assists and three rebounds in 35 minutes.
Dorian Finney-Smith (12 points), Trey Burke (11) and Kleber (10) also scored in double figures for Dallas, which got just eight points on 3-for-9 shooting from high-scoring guard Tim Hardaway Jr.
--Field Level Media