NBA PLAYOFFS: Game 7s

NBA roundup: Thunder, Pacers win to advance

2014-05-04T00:00:00Z NBA roundup: Thunder, Pacers win to advanceThe Associated Press The Associated Press
May 04, 2014 12:00 am  • 

OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant scored 33 points, Russell Westbrook had a triple-double, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Memphis Grizzlies 120-109 on Saturday night in Game 7 of their first-round Western Conference playoff series.

Westbrook had 27 points, 16 assists and 10 rebounds, his second triple-double in the past three games. His assist total tied the franchise record for a playoff game set in 1987 by Nate McMillan when the team was still in Seattle.

The gritty Grizzlies, playing without leading scorer Zach Randolph because of a suspension, led by 11 points in the first half before the Thunder overwhelmed them and shot 66 percent after the break.

Marc Gasol led Memphis with 24 points. Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley had 20 points and nine assists while playing with a strained right hamstring.

Durant, the regular-season scoring champion, made 12 of 18 field goals and all five of his three-pointers after struggling from long range throughout the series.

“I got out of my own way,” he said. “I was thinking too much. I was worrying about what you guys (the media) were saying. I was worrying about what shots I was going to shoot throughout a game. I was thinking too much, and the game of basketball is played off of instincts.

“I just released everything and enjoyed myself. And I knew if I just put the work in for my team, the results would show.”

Guards Tony Allen and Mike Miller started for the first time in the series in place of Randolph and Tayshaun Prince, and the Grizzlies beat the Thunder at their fast-paced game in the first quarter. Memphis shot 60 percent in the opening period to take a 36-27 lead.

Oklahoma City chipped away in the second quarter, finally taking a 51-50 lead on a three-pointer by Durant. He hit another trey with 3.7 seconds left to give the Thunder a 61-58 lead at the break.

The Thunder opened the second half on a 10-2 run, capped by a Durant three-pointer that made it 71-60. He later hit another three that extended the Thunder’s lead to 78-63, which led to a Memphis timeout.

Back-to-back threes by Derek Fisher and Westbrook and a breakaway dunk by Caron Butler gave the Thunder a 92-76 lead, and Oklahoma City took a 94-81 edge into the fourth quarter.

Clippers 126, Warriors 121: In Los Angeles, Blake Griffin scored 24 points, Chris Paul had 22 points and 14 assists, and the Clippers outlasted Golden State to clinch their first-round series.

Jamal Crawford scored 22 points for the third-seeded Clippers, who won just the franchise’s third playoff series in 38 years.

Los Angeles advanced to a matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder, who eliminated Memphis earlier Saturday.

Stephen Curry had 33 points and nine assists for the Warriors, who blew a late lead in Game 7.

Pacers 92, Hawks 80: In Indianapolis, Paul George scored a career playoff-high 30 points, Lance Stephenson added 19 and Roy Hibbert finally came up big as Indiana survived a first-round scare.

Two days after staving off elimination in Atlanta, the top-seeded Pacers did it again and advanced to a second-round series against Washington that starts Monday in Indiana.

George finished 11 of 23 from the field and grabbed 11 rebounds for a league-leading sixth double-double in the playoffs.

Stephenson added nine rebounds and five assists, and wiggled his hips after a game-clinching dunk with 80 seconds to go. Hibbert, an All-Star center who had been a non-factor after scoring a combined 20 points in the first six games of the series, tallied 13 points, seven rebounds and five blocks.

Indiana’s regular starters won back-to-back games for the first time since mid-March, rallying from a 3-2 deficit to win a series for the first time in franchise history.

The Pacers got back to using their size advantage, beating Atlanta 55-38 on the glass, yet still found a way to limit the Hawks to 11 of 44 from three-point range. The 44 attempts broke the NBA’s single-game playoff record (42) set by Dallas in a double-overtime game in May 2003.

Kyle Korver led the Hawks with 19 points and Jeff Teague had 16.

The Pacers opened the second half on a 10-4 spurt and took a 57-40 lead with 8:10 to go when George Hill completed a three-point play. Atlanta never recovered from the 24-6 run.

Rim shot

  • Saying it was “the best way to ensure the stability of the team during this difficult situation,” the NBA announced it would appoint a CEO to supervise the Los Angeles Clippers’ operations after banning team owner
  • Donald Sterling
  • from the league for life. That process is underway, but no timetable has been set.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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