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Star duos lead Celtics, Mavs to NBA playoff victories

LOS ANGELES, United States -- Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined to score 61 points to fire the Boston Celtics to a bounce-back NBA playoff win over Cleveland on Saturday (Sunday, Manila time) as Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic led Dallas over Oklahoma City.

Tatum scored 33 points and Brown 28 as top seeds Boston, stunned by the Cavaliers on their home court in game two, beat the Cavs 106-93 in Cleveland to take a 2-1 lead in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semi-final.

For Dallas, Irving scored 14 of his 22 points in the second half and Doncic scored 22 points and grabbed 15 rebounds as the Mavericks rallied for a 105-101 victory that put them up 2-1 against Western Conference top seeds Oklahoma City.

The Celtics emerged from a nip-and-tuck first quarter with a two-point lead and never trailed again.

"We just wanted to bounce back," Tatum said after they pushed their advantage to 23 points by opening the third quarter on a 14-0 scoring run.

"Essentially our back was against the wall, so it was a good test for us to see how we respond," Tatum said. "We were up for the challenge."

Donovan Mitchell scored 33 points for the Cavaliers, but appeared to tweak his troublesome left knee in the fourth quarter.

Cleveland halted Boston's third-quarter spurt with a 9-0 run of their own.

But the Celtics had an answer for every Cleveland surge and the Cavs could not get any closer than nine points behind in the final period.

In Dallas, the Mavericks dug deep in the face of another bruising defensive effort from the Thunder.

Irving's second-half star turn included a floater that pushed the Dallas lead to five points with 39.3 seconds remaining.

- Irving 'doing it all' -
Slovenian star Doncic took another pounding, including a hard fall flat on his back after a mid-air collision with Luguentz Dort, and said he tweaked his sprained right knee as the game ended.

"We got the win, that's all that matters," said Doncic, who when asked what was hurting the most --  his knee, his back or his sore ankle -- said "everything."

"I think I'm battling," he said. A day without travel before the Mavs host game four on Monday was welcome, he added.

P.J. Washington led the Mavs with 27