Kevin Durant led the Thunder with his scoring - 27 points - and his encouragement of teammate Kevin Martin.


HOUSTON - Kevin Durant texted Kevin Martin after his terrible performance in Game 5 to send words of encouragement and tell him Durant knew Martin would bounce back Friday night.

Durant couldn't have been more right, and the Oklahoma City Thunder are advancing in the NBA playoffs.

Durant scored 27 points, and Martin added 25 to lead the Thunder to a 103-94 victory over the Houston Rockets, sending them to the second round for the third straight season.

The Thunder will host Memphis on Sunday.

Martin, who joined the Thunder in the trade for James Harden, rebounded from a tough Game 5. He missed his first nine shots Wednesday and finished with three points. Things were much different in Game 6, when he had 21 points by halftime.

"I had faith that he was going to come out and be aggressive and have a really good game," Durant said of Martin. "He's a big-time scorer. He carried us in that first half when I was struggling."

• Grizzlies 118, Clippers 105: In Memphis, Tenn., Mike Conley and Zach Randolph scored 23 points each, and Memphis won Game 6 to take the first-round series.

The Grizzlies are headed back to the Western Conference semifinals for the second time in three seasons after getting the final takedown.

The Grizzlies became the 10th team in NBA history to win four straight after trailing 2-0. They will open the second round at Oklahoma City on Sunday.

Memphis finished with seven players in double figures. Tony Allen had a postseason-best 19 points, and Jerryd Bayless had 16.

• Knicks 88, Celtics 80: In Boston, Carmelo Anthony scored 21 points and New York held on after blowing most of a 26-point lead in Game 6 to advance in the postseason for the first time since 2000.

Iman Shumpert scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half, when the Celtics cut a 75-49 deficit to four points. But Anthony made a jumper to give New York an 81-75 lead and then sank a three-pointer, then J.R. Smith converted a three-point play to restore the double-digit lead the Knicks had nursed most of the game.

• Pacers 81, Hawks 73: In Atlanta, George Hill and David West each scored 21 points, and Indiana withstood a furious Atlanta rally in the fourth quarter, closing out the opening-round playoff series in Game 6.

The home team had won every game until the Hawks returned to Philips Arena and set a franchise record with just nine points in the second quarter on 1-of-15 shooting. The defense broke down in the third, allowing Hill and West to combine for 22 points.


• Bulls at Nets: 5 p.m. on TNT, series tied 3-3