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NBA: Clippers beat Jazz to reach their maiden conference final; 76ers force Game 7 against Hawks

·3 min read

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 history, beating the Utah Jazz 131-119 on Friday night.

"The cheers, the excitement, you felt the monkey off of the Clippers back as far as getting past the second round," said Paul George, who had 28 points. "The playoffs are about grit and fighting back. Time after time we have shown that."

Reggie Jackson added 25 points for the Clippers, who faced a 25-point deficit early in the third quarter before rallying. It is the largest comeback by a team in a series-clinching win over the last 25 seasons.

It is the second straight series Los Angeles has dropped the first two games and come back to advance. The fourth-seeded Clippers will face second-seeded Phoenix in the Western Conference finals. Game 1 is Sunday in Phoenix.

The Clippers won the final two games against the Jazz with All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard sidelined by a sprained right knee. The close-out victory was viewed by 17,105 at Staples Center, marking the first time in 15 months the Clippers had played in front of a full house after California eased COVID-19 safety restrictions on Tuesday.

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 10:36 remaining.

Mann €" who was 15 of 21 from the field €" also was just the third player in franchise history to make at least seven 3s in a postseason game.

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.

Royce O'Neale added 21 for the Jazz. They had the NBA's top regular-season record but lost four straight for the first time all year.

The Clippers were 30 of 42 from the field in the third and fourth quarters, including 14 of 19 from beyond the arc as they outscored the Jazz 81-47.

Utah was 12 of 19 on 3-pointers in the first half but 9 of 25 in the second.

Curry, Harris help 76ers stay alive, hold off Hawks 104-99

The Philadelphia 76ers remained confident after blowing big leads in back-to-back losses to the Atlanta Hawks and continued to avoid self-doubt after falling behind by 12 early in Game 6.

Finally, the 76ers showed their belief in their talent, and their No. 1 seed, were justified.

Seth Curry hit six 3-pointers and scored 24 points and the 76ers avoided elimination in the Eastern Conference semifinal series by beating the Hawks 104-99 on Friday night.

The 76ers overcame Trae Young's 34-point effort to force Game 7 on Sunday night in Philadelphia.

Harris made four free throws in the final 13 seconds to protect the lead. Joel Embiid added 22 points and 13 rebounds.

Curry made six of nine 3s as he served as Philadelphia's answer for Young's long-distance shooting.

Danilo Gallinari's jam with 20 seconds remaining cut the lead to three points but the 76ers made six of six free throws to close the game.

The Hawks rallied from deficits of 18 and 26 points to win back-to-back games and were in position to clinch the series at home.

Also See: NBA: LeBron James, Anthony Davis remain 'pillars' of Lakers despite first round playoff exit

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks bounce back to beat Brooklyn Nets 104-89 and force Game 7

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers' Kawhi Leonard ruled out of playoff tie against Utah Jazz through injury

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