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NBA playoffs: Jazz win Game 1 over Luka Doncic-less Mavericks

Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell drives the lane against Mavericks guard Reggie Bullock.
Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell drives down the lane against Mavericks guard Reggie Bullock in Game 1 on Saturday afternoon in Dallas.
(Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press)
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Donovan Mitchell scored 30 of his 32 points after halftime, Bojan Bogdanovic finished with 26 and the Utah Jazz opened the playoffs with a 99-93 victory Saturday over the Mavericks in Dallas, which was without injured All-Star guard Luka Doncic.

Bogdanovic had Utah’s only two three-pointers before halftime,in a 13-2 run over the final 3½ minutes that put the Jazz ahead to stay. Mitchell, who always seems to step up in the postseason, came alive after the break.

It’s wait ‘til next year for the Clippers after losing Friday. It always is, and that’s getting tired, writes L.A. Times columnist Helene Elliott.

April 16, 2022

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The fourth-seeded Mavericks, starting the playoffs at home for the first time since their NBA title run 11 years ago, sorely missed their 23-year-old superstar. Doncic strained his left calf six days earlier in the regular-season finale. Coach Jason Kidd has said only that Doncic is day to day.

Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is Monday night in Dallas.

Jalen Brunson, the starting point guard with Doncic out, had 24 points on nine-of-24 shooting with seven rebounds. Spencer Dinwiddie scored 22 points, Reggie Bullock added 15 and Dorian Finney-Smith 14.

With Doncic in a black hoodie on the bench, the Mavericks cut an 11-point deficit midway through the fourth quarter to 92-91 on a three-pointer by Maxi Kleber with 2:12 left. After Mitchell missed, the Mavs had the chance to take their first lead in the second half, but Kleber missed badly on another long-range shot.

Royce O’Neale then scored his only basket for the Jazz, a three-pointer from the corner after he had first missed inside and then got a pass from Mitchell. Utah finished with a 20-7 edge in second-chance points.

Rudy Gobert had 17 rebounds for the Jazz.

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Minnesota Timberwolves 130, Memphis Grizzlies 117

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Anthony Edwards scored 36 points in his postseason debut, and seventh-seeded Minnesota stunned the No. 2 seed Memphis to grab home-court advantage in the opener of their first-round Western Conference series.

Karl-Anthony Towns added 29 and 13 rebounds. Malik Beasley had 23 points, and Jaden McDaniels 15. Patrick Beverley and D’Angelo Russell had 10 apiece.

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The Timberwolves, fresh off beating the Clippers in the play-in game, won their first playoff opener since 2004. That’s when they beat Sacramento in the first round on their way to the Western Conference finals.

Game 2 is Tuesday night in Memphis.

Ja Morant led Memphis with 32 points and eight assists, and Dillon Brooks added 24 points. Brandon Clarke had 13 points and 12 rebounds off the bench. Desmond Bane scored 17 points and Jaren Jackson Jr. had 12.

Memphis tied the franchise record by winning 56 games in the regular season and earning its highest seed ever. The Grizzlies had a packed FedExForum for only their third Game 1 in Memphis. But they struggled early after a week off and led only twice by two, the last midway through the second quarter.

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Philadelphia 76ers 131, Toronto Raptors 111

PHILADELPHIA — Tyrese Maxey had the breakout game of his young career, scoring 21 of his playoff career-high 38 points in the third quarter to lead Philadelphia to a Game 1 victory.

James Harden had 22 points and 14 assists in his first Eastern Conference playoff game as a Sixer. Joel Embiid, the NBA scoring champion, had 19 points and 15 rebounds. They combined to only make 11 of 32 shots from the floor.

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Tobias Harris scored 26 points for the Sixers, trying to get past the second round for the first time since 2001. They host Game 2 on Monday.

The opener belonged to Maxey. The 21-year-old Maxey is the youngest Sixer ever to score at least 30 points in a playoff game.

Sixers fans roared for “Maxey! Maxey! Maxey!“ after each electrifying play — and he crammed a season’s worth into the third as he dismantled the Raptors.

He swished a 32-footer late in the period for a 20-point lead and sent his teammates on the bench into a frenzy. The Raptors were stunned and had no answer for him: Maxey made 7 of 8 shots overall, both 3s and all five free throws in 12 minutes.

Pascal Siakam scored 24 points for the Raptors, who lost rookie Scottie Barnes to an ankle injury to worsen what was already a miserable night. OG Anunoby scored 20 and Fred VanVleet added 18.

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