NBA playoff tracker: Lakers even series at 1-1; Clippers lose at home again

Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks reacts after his dunk against the LA Clippers in the first quarter during game two of the Western Conference first round series at Staples Center on May 25, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.

Clippers lose again as Mavericks return home up 2-0

Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks are returning home with a 2-0 series lead after defeating the Los Angeles Clippers 127-121 on Tuesday night at Staples Center.

Doncic finished with 39 points, seven assists and seven rebounds as the Clippers had nothing defensively to slow down the 22-year-old guard. The Clippers wasted 30 first-half points from Kawhi Leonard, who cooled off drastically in the second half and finished with 41.

The Clippers led 73-71 at the half but the Mavericks took control in the third quarter and eventually held a 13-point lead with 7:20 left in the game. The Clippers would rally to cut the lead within four before running out of gas down the stretch. Tim Hardaway Jr. delivered the dagger with 1:03 left in the fourth.

The Clippers’ playoff struggles have been well documented over recent years, but losing the first two games at home in the first round of the playoffs might be peak Clippers.

The series heads to Dallas as Game 3 is slated for Friday night at 9:30 p.m. ET.