Kawhi Leonard scored 29 points and had 12 rebounds and Paul George tallied 27 points as the Los Angeles Clippers held on to beat the Dallas Mavericks 118-110 in the opening game of their playoff series.
Dallas's 21-year-old star Luka Doncic scored a game high 40 points to become the first player in NBA history to record a 40-point performance in his playoff debut.
"He is the future," George of Doncic, who also had nine assists and seven rebounds. "We didn't expect to stop him but we wanted to wear him down as much as possible."
Marcus Morris had 19 points for the Clippers, who will try to go up 2-0 in game two of the best-of-seven series tomorrow.
Dallas had to play much of the second half without star player Kristaps Porzingis after he was ejected while trying to intervene in a skirmish between Doncic and Morris. Porzingis, who argued the ejection, appeared to give Morris a light push in the chest. It was his second technical of the contest.
The Mavericks were leading the series opener 71-66 at the time of the ejection. Porzingis had 14 points and six rebounds in 20 minutes.
Also, Jamal Murray scored 36 points, including 10 in overtime, as the Denver Nuggets overcame a 57-point performance from Donovan Mitchell to defeat the Utah Jazz, 135-125, in their first round playoff series.
Nikola Jokic finished with 29 points and 10 rebounds for Denver, who were taken to overtime by the Jazz for the second-straight contest.
Jokic had a chance to ice the victory in regulation, but his hook shot at the buzzer over Utah's Rudy Gobert failed to drop.
Also, Fred VanVleet scored 30 points as the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors defeated the Brooklyn Nets 134-110 in the opening game of their first-round series.
Jayson Tatum scored a playoff-career-high 32 points, Jaylen Brown added 29 and the Boston Celtics beat the Philadelphia 76ers 109-101 in the opener of their series.
Celtics forward Gordon Hayward left the game late in the fourth with an ankle injury.*
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