Herald on Sunday
Mann, oh man: LA Clippers advance to final after 51 years
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 NBA history, beating the Utah Jazz 131-119 yesterday.
Paul George had 28 points and Reggie Jackson added 27 to help the fourth-seeded Clippers advance to face second-seeded Phoenix in the Western Conference finals. Game one is tomorrow in Phoenix.
Los Angeles won the final two games against the Jazz, and without All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard, sidelined by a sprained right knee.
The Clippers trailed by 25 points early in the third quarter before rallying. It is the third time in franchise history the Clippers have trailed by at least 22 points in a post-season game and come back to win.
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 with 10m 36s remaining. Mann also was just the third player in franchise history to make at least seven three-pointers 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.
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. They had the NBA’s top regular-season record but lost four straight for the first time all year.
Earlier, Seth Curry hit six threepointers and scored 24 points as the top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers beat Atlanta to avoid elimination in the Eastern Conference semifinal series.
The 76ers overcame Trae Young’s 34-point effort to force Game 7 tomorrow in Philadelphia.