The Rundown: Clippers win Game 3, Tatum drops 50 on Nets

Published May 29, 2021, 1:30 PMMiguel Flores

Paul George and Kawhi Leonard led the Clippers to a Game 3 victory, while Jayson Tatum’s 50 helped the Celtics beat the Nets.


Hawks 105, Knicks 94
Celtics 125, Nets 119
Clippers 118, Mavericks 108

What went down

Paul George said they weren't worried, but you could feel the weight of Game Three on the Los Angeles Clippers right from the start. Just two games into the postseason, the Clippers already had the future of their franchise hanging in the balance – from Kawhi Leonard's impending free agency to Playoff P to the Clipper curse. No team has come back from a 0-3 series deficit. 

Los Angeles was down 30-11 to the Dallas Mavericks with four minutes left in the first quarter in what looked like the last gasp for a short-lived chapter of a long-suffering franchise. But, slowly, the Clippers rallied. Kawhi made all of his first eight shots. George caught fire from deep. By the end of the first half, the Clippers were up 63-61.

The rest of the game featured a lot of offense, but not a lot of defense with both teams trading big shots. By the fourth quarter though, the Clippers stars had done just enough to stave off the Mavericks, even with the rare physical taunting violation. It wasn't pretty with Luka Doncic still hanging 44 points on them, but at least the Clippers' league-best 3-point shooting finally showed up.

Thanks to 65 combined points from Leonard and George, the Clippers survived another game and another round of online slander. But Dallas still has home court advantage and the unstoppable future face of the league.

Big-time baller

This was supposed to be a sweep by the Brooklyn Nets and their historically great trio of stars, but Jayson Tatum was feeling himself. The Boston Celtics star almost single-handedly extended the series with a career-best 50-point outing. 

Hall of Famer Mike Breen said after the game that Jayson Tatum had reached superstar status. At least Boston has one of those to Brooklyn's three. Can Tatum continue carrying the Celtics?

What he said

The Atlanta Hawks social media team, like their basketball team, has been plenty of Ws recently. In the postseason, they've captured plenty of candid moments of players immediately after the game. In this one, Trae Young -- still looking like Doc Brown from Back to the Future after dropping 21 points and 14 assists on the New York Knicks – dropped a Kobe quote.

Did you see that?

He isn’t one of the Milwaukee Bucks' biggest stars, but Donte DiVincenzo does play a pivotal role as one of the team’s better perimeter defenders and shooters. He's a solid link that makes the Bucks versatile.

Which is why it sucks that he's going to miss the rest of the playoffs.

Milwaukee pretty much has their series against Miami in the bag. DiVincenzo would have surely played a pivotal role in the Bucks' future series, especially if they meet Brooklyn in the second round.