ORLANDO – Paul George and Kawhi Leonard made sure the Los Angeles Clippers had short memories in Game 5 of their Western Conference first-round series against the Dallas Mavericks.
After blowing a 21-point lead and losing on an overtime buzzer-beater in Game 4, the Clippers responded early and often behind George and Leonard, setting franchise playoff records for most points, 3-pointers and shooting percentage in a 154-111 win.
George bounced back from three straight sub-par performances against Dallas to score 35 points, and Leonard finished with 32 points and seven rebounds for the Clippers, who took a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Montrezl Harrell added 19 points and 11 rebounds off the bench for Los Angeles, which shot 63.1 from the floor and 22-for-35 (62.9 percent) from 3-point distance.
Game 6 is Thursday night.
Mavericks star Luka Doncic finished with 22 points and eight rebounds. He had 43 points, 17 rebounds and 13 assists and hit the game-winner in overtime for the Mavericks in Game 4.
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 19 points, Trey Burke had 15 and Maxi Kleber finished with 12 for the Mavericks, who were without 7-foot-3 forward Kristaps Porzingis.
Porzingis, who averaged 20.4 points and 9.5 rebounds during the regular season, missed his second straight game due to a sore right knee.
The Clippers shot 16-for-24 from the floor and forced seven turnovers in the first quarter while building a 19-point lead.
Leonard scored 11 points during a 19-0 run during the middle part of the period that turned a 16-9 deficit into a 28-16 lead with 4:46 left.
Dallas never got back within single digits.
Landry Shamet, Reggie Jackson and Maurice Morris Sr. sank 3-pointers during the closing minutes of the opening quarter to stretch the lead to 41-22 entering the second.
Another 11-0 run made it 69-42 with 4:22 left in the first half, and Los Angeles eventually took a 76-52 lead into intermission.
Dallas coach Rick Carlisle was ejected for arguing with officials midway through the third quarter.
Field Level Media via Reuters