Playoffs 2021

NBA Playoffs 2021: Kawhi Leonard's playoff career-high 45-point performance helps Clippers force Game 7

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(NBA Getty Images)

Led by a 45-point performance from Kawhi Leonard, the LA Clippers kept their season alive and forced a Game 7 with a 104-97 victory in Game 6. He was supported by a combined 45 points from Reggie Jackson (20) and Paul George (25).

With this win, the trend of the road team coming out on top continues as the series shifts back to Los Angeles for Game 7.

That said, here are a quick look at the biggest takeaways from the game.

Big Leonard performance

From the second quarter one, the former Finals MVP rose to the occasion. He finished the game with 45, tying a playoff career-high to go along with his six rebounds, three assists and two steals.

He bounced back from a three-point first quarter to score 13 of the team's 22 in the second quarter.

With no production from the bench in the first half, the Clippers trailed 48-45 at the half.

He continued his onslaught in the third quarter, scoring 17 of the team's 25 points including a personal 11-0 run in between, with Reggie Jackson being the only other Clipper to make a field goal in the period.

Teammates step up on Doncic's relatively quiet game

Given the standards he set in Game 5, it was a relatively quiet game for Luka Doncic. Still, he finished with 29 points, 11 assists, eight rebounds and four steals.

After an 11-point first quarter, he scored 12 in the final period but had a relatively quiet middle portion of the game. However, the game remained competitive with multiple teammates stepping up.

Three other players in Tim Hardaway Jr. (23), Dorian Finney-Smith (11) and Boban Marjanovic (12) scored in double figures while the reserve duo of Josh Richardson and Jalen Brunson outscored their bench counterparts 13-4.

Jackson keeps Clippers close early

The starting 6'2" guard made his first six attempts and finished the first quarter with 14 points, more than half of the Clippers' first-quarter tally (26), and ensured the deficit to the Mavericks was only two after one.

The 14 points are the most Jackson has scored in any quarter of his career. Meanwhile, the superstar duo of Leonard and George only combined for eight points on 3-of-5 shooting.

What's next?

With that spectacular Leonard performance, both teams will get less than 48 hours to prepare for a 'winner-take-all' Game 7. It's scheduled for Sunday, June 6 at 3:30 p.m. ET

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