DALLAS (AP) — Jalen Brunson scored a career-high 41 points, Maxi Kleber had 25 with eight of Dallas’ playoff-record 22 made 3-points and the Mavericks, without superstar Luka Doncic, evened up their first-round series with a 110-104 win over the Utah Jazz in Game 2 on Monday night.
The Mavericks, in danger of dropping the first two games after opening the playoffs with home-court advantage for the first time since their NBA title 11 years ago, overcame a 10-point deficit after halftime.
Kleber was 8 of 11 from beyond the arc when the Mavs needed them the most. His 3-pointer with 4:21 put Dallas ahead to stay at 99-98, and he then added another on the next possession.
Game 3 is Thursday night in Utah, where Dallas have lost their last 11 games.
Donovan Mitchell had 34 points for Utah, while Bojan Bogdanovic had 25 and Jordan Clarkson 21. Rudy Gobert had eight points and 17 rebounds.
WARRIORS 126, NUGGETS 106
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Stephen Curry came off the bench for a second straight game and showed he’s healthy at last, scoring 34 points to lead Golden State Warriors past Denver Nuggets for a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven playoff series.
Nikola Jokic had 26 points and 11 rebounds before being ejected with 7 minutes left following a second technical and was held back from a referee, after his first technical came with 2:31 to go in the third. The MVP candidate’s emotions ran high all night. In the first quarter, Golden State guard Gary Payton II patted Jokic on the backside and the big man turned and came toward Payton when Curry stepped in and held the 7-footer back and Poole came in to help.
Jordan Poole started for Curry again and contributed 29 points — just missing a chance to become the first Warriors player ever to score 30 in his first two playoff games.
76ERS 112, RAPTORS 97
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Joel Embiid took his lumps and powered his way to 31 points and 11 rebounds, Tyrese Maxey had 23 points, nine rebounds and eight assists as Philadelphia 76ers beat Toronto Raptors for a 2-0 lead in the first-round series.
Tobias Harris had 20 points and 10 rebounds and James Harden scored 14 points for Philadelphia.
Game 3 in the Eastern Conference series is Wednesday in Toronto.
The Raptors trailed by 27 points but showed some life in the fourth cutting it to 11 at one point.
OG Anunoby led the Raptors with 26 points. Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet each had 20.