Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving lead Mavs over Clippers 96-93 to tie series as Kawhi Leonard returns

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic, center, shoots as Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George, right, and guard James Harden defend during the first half in Game 2 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Tuesday, April 23, 2024, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Luka Doncic scored 32 points and the Dallas Mavericks overcame the return of Clippers superstar Kawhi Leonard to beat Los Angeles 96-93 on Tuesday night and tie their Western Conference first-round playoff series at a game apiece.

Leonard had 15 points and seven rebounds in 35 minutes of his first game since March 31. He hadn’t played or had any contact practices during that stretch because of inflammation in his surgically repaired right knee.

Kyrie Irving added 23 points for the Mavs, who led most of the game two days after they trailed by 29 points and eventually lost 109-97. P.J. Washington Jr. added 18 points.

Game 3 is Friday in Dallas.

Paul George and James Harden led the Clippers with 22 points each. Ivica Zubac had 13 points and 12 rebounds. The team shot 37% from the floor and made just 8 of 30 3-pointers.

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