Archive for the ‘ Games ’ Category

Tony Allen

The Grizzlies are proving they know how to grab an advantage and hold onto it this postseason.

Tony Allen scored on a driving layup to open overtime and the Grizzlies held off the Oklahoma City Thunder 103-97 Monday night to push the defending Western Conference champions to the edge of elimination.

The Grizzlies shook off a first half in which they couldn’t hit shots and the Thunder seemingly couldn’t miss in building their largest lead in this series at 17 points. But the Grizzlies have yet to lose on their home court this postseason, and they won their third straight and seventh in eight games to grab a 3-1 lead in the series…

Kevin Durant scored 27 points but missed all five of his shots in the extra period, including a layup in the final seconds. Durant went 2 of 13 in the fourth quarter and overtime and had only five points. The All Star played 48 minutes and was just short on his shots as the game wore on.

Durant got the help from his teammates that he had been needing. Kevin Martin scored 18 points, Serge Ibaka had his best game of the series with 17 points and 14 rebounds, and Reggie Jackson had 15. Nick Collison even added 10.

Mike Conley led Memphis with 24 points and Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph each had double-doubles. Randolph had 23 and 12, while Gasol had 23 and 11 along with six blocks on the day the Defensive Player of Year was named to the NBA’s second All-Defensive team along with Conley, who had four steals.

Allen, who finished with 10 points, had three steals on the day he edged LeBron James for most points for the NBA’s All-Defensive team.

– Reported by Teresa M. Walker of the Associated Press

Heat crush Bulls, take 3-1 series lead

lebron james

LeBron James and the Miami Heat didn’t even give the Chicago Bulls room to breathe, practically squeezing the playoff life out of them to take a commanding lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal.

Another effort like this will seal it.

James scored 27 points and the Heat nearly matched a franchise record for fewest points allowed in a playoff game, pounding the listless and short-handed Bulls 88-65 on Monday night to take a 3-1 lead in the series.

”We worked for it,” said Heat forward Chris Bosh. ”I never like to say that things are easy.”

The Heat sure made it look that way, though.

The 65 points allowed were only two more than the all-time postseason low for a Miami opponent, and it was easily the worst offensive performance by a Chicago team in the playoffs.

Never before had the Bulls scored fewer than 69 in a playoff game nor 10 or less in a quarter during the postseason, but both those marks fell on a night when they were dominated on both ends of the floor.

Miami led by 11 at the half and put this one away in the third quarter, outscoring Chicago 17-9 in the period.

Bosh finished with 14 points after scoring 20 and grabbing 19 rebounds in Game 3, and the Heat won again despite another quiet night from Dwyane Wade (six points), whose right knee was bothering him again. He appeared to land hard on it taking a fallaway jumper in the third quarter but was able to return to the game after getting re-taped.

– Reported by Andrew Seligman of the Associated Press

Harrison Barnes

Harrison Barnes had 26 points and 10 rebounds, Stephen Curry scored 22 on an injured left ankle and the Golden State Warriors rallied past the San Antonio Spurs 97-87 in overtime Sunday to even the Western Conference semifinal at two games apiece.

Jarrett Jack added 24 points in reserve and Andrew Bogut grabbed 18 rebounds to help the Warriors overcome an eight-point deficit in the final five minutes of regulation. Golden State scored the first nine points of overtime to whip the yellow-shirt wearing crowd of 19,596 into a frenzy and give this topsy-turvy series another twist.

Manu Ginobili had 21 points and Tim Duncan added 19 points and 15 rebounds for the Spurs, who were outshot 35.5 to 38 percent in what was an ugly offensive game most of the afternoon. The Warriors outrebounded San Antonio 65 to 51.

Game 5 is Tuesday in San Antonio.

The Spurs seized control of a sloppy, slugfest at the start and went cold shooting when it mattered most. Tony Parker, wearing a black sleeve around his bruised left calf, poured in 17 points on 6-of-17 shooting but never broke free the way he did by scoring 32 points the previous contest.

Ginobili hit a mid-range jumper and a 3-pointer, and Kawhi Leonard put back a rebound for an easy layup to out the Spurs ahead 80-72 with 4:49 remaining in the fourth quarter. The home sellout crowd sat down and fell silent for one of the few times in the fourth quarter all postseason with the series slipping away…

Bogut picked up three fouls in the first six minutes, plus a technical foul for arguing with an official after giving up a three-point play to Duncan. Bogut sat out the rest of the first half, and backup Festus Ezeli also had four fouls before the break.

– Reported by Antonio Gonzalez of the Associated Press

Pacers beat Knicks 82-71 in Game 3

Roy Hibbert

Roy Hibbert had 24 points and 12 rebounds and Paul George had 14 points, eight rebounds and eight assist to lead the Pacers past New York 82-71 Saturday night in Game of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The Pacers are up 2-1, with Game 4 of the best-of-seven series Tuesday in Indy.

Carmelo Anthony scored 21 points to lead the Knicks, who led only once in the game for a total of 76 seconds. New York spent the final 45 minutes trying to play catch-up but never did.

Amare Stoudemire looked rusty after returning from a two-month absence, going 3 of 8 from the field and finishing with seven points. J.R. Smith scored nine points after missing the morning shootaround because of a 102-degree fever.

Indiana took control with a 14-3 run that gave it a 58-44 third-quarter lead, and the Knicks never got closer than eight.

The big questions heading into the game were whether Smith would play, whether Stoudemire would be effective and whether Indiana could get back to its brand of basketball.

Smith gave it a go, but his shooting problems continued as he went 4 of 12 from the field and walked straight to the locker room when he was replaced with 7:45 left in the game. He returned to the game a few minutes later.

Stoudemire, meanwhile, hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer in eight minutes and grabbed two rebounds.

– Reported by Michael Marot of the Associated Press

Grizzlies beat Thunder 87-81 in Game 3

marc gasol

The Memphis Grizzlies call it grit and grind, and it got them through another ugly game.

Marc Gasol scored 20 points and hit two free throws with 1:03 left to put Memphis ahead to stay, and the Grizzlies held off Oklahoma City 87-81 Saturday to take a 2-1 lead in this Western Conference semifinal.

Gasol scored 16 in the second half as Memphis remained unbeaten at home in the postseason.

The Grizzlies pulled out the win in a choppy performance for both teams following a three-day layoff since Game 2 with the Thunder beating them at their own game, dominating the boards and in the paint. After struggling at the free throw line in Oklahoma City, the Grizzlies hit all six at the line in the final 1:03 to clinch it.

”We just stayed after it like we’ve done all year long,” Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. ”It’s not always pretty. Tonight wasn’t pretty, but it was pretty for us because we got the win.”

Game 4 is Monday night in Memphis, and Hollins wants one more home win for a franchise in its second Western semifinal in two seasons. The Grizzlies lost to Oklahoma City in seven games in 2011 after splitting Games 3 and 4 in Memphis. But they are 18-1 at home since Feb. 8.

”I’d rather take my chances with where we’re sitting now and try to win all of our home games,” Hollins said. ”We got a long way to go, and we got to keep battling.”

Kevin Durant scored 25 points, but only two in the fourth quarter. A 91 percent free throw shooter in the regular season, Durant missed two with 39.3 seconds left. Durant also had 11 rebounds and five assists.

– Reported by Teresa M. Walker of the Associated Press

klay thompson

Golden State coach Mark Jackson insisted the Warriors’ historic collapse in the opener of the Western Conference semifinals would only help his team’s growth.

The young Warriors took a big step in their development Wednesday night, withstanding another furious rally by the San Antonio Spurs for a 100-91 victory to even their series at one game apiece and snap a 30-game skid in the Alamo City.

Klay Thompson had a career-high 34 points and 14 rebounds, and Stephen Curry added 22 points for Golden State, which had not won in San Antonio since Feb. 14, 1997. None of the losses was as painful as the one Monday.

”I truly believe the trials and tribulations are transportation for where you’re going,” Jackson said. ”Game 1 made us better. We didn’t panic. We made plays. That’s a heck of a basketball team that’s extremely well-coached and has no quit in them. We don’t have any quit in us, either. The bottom line is we made the plays we needed to make.”

Tim Duncan scored 23 points and Tony Parker added 20 for San Antonio, which had won five straight in the postseason. Manu Ginobili had 12 points and Kawhi Leonard had 11 points and 12 rebounds…

Thompson, who scored 29 points in the first half, finished 8 for 9 on 3-pointers and 13 for 26 overall…

Harrison Barnes had 13 points, Carl Landry added 10 and Andrew Bogut had six points and 11 rebounds.

After scoring 44 points in the opener, Curry’s total was cut in half as he shot 7 for 20 from the field.

– Reported by Raul Dominguez of the Associated Press

ray allen

For the first time in these playoffs, the Miami Heat were facing some real adversity.

They responded with a technical knockout.

After nine technical fouls, two ejections and a whole lot of extracurricular pushing and shoving, the end results were as follows: The biggest postseason win in Heat history, the biggest postseason loss in Chicago Bulls history, and tons of fresh venom pulsing through the veins of this now-tied Eastern Conference semifinal series. Miami won 115-78, a stunning outcome for a game that was basically back-and-forth for much of the first half.

That is, until the Heat started embarrassing the Bulls, and the Bulls started embarrassing themselves for good measure.

”No matter if you win by 20, 30, or one point, it’s a 1-1 series,” Heat star LeBron James said. ”They came in and did their job. They got one on our floor and took home court. So, we’ve got to try to go Chicago and get it back.”

Game 3 is Friday in Chicago, where the Heat will have to win at least one game if they’re going to win the series.

Ray Allen scored 21 points in only 19 minutes, James finished with 19 points and nine assists, and the Heat led by as many as 46 points. Sure, the Heat have lost home-court advantage when they dropped Game 1. But this domination made the reigning NBA champions look like the clear-cut team to beat in this title race once again…

Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson were ejected in the fourth quarter for Chicago, and the league will almost certainly review some of the things said and done in a game that was close for the first 20 minutes. The Bulls were called for six player technicals, the most by any team in a playoff game since Boston had that many against Indiana in 2005.

– Reported by Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press

Manu Ginobili

Manu Ginobili’s play in the final 50 seconds was almost too much for Gregg Popovich to handle. Then again, the Spurs’ coach is used to his veteran guard’s free-wheeling style.

Ginobili’s 3-pointer from the wing with 1.2 seconds left in double overtime lifted the San Antonio Spurs to a thrilling 129-127 victory Monday night over the Golden State Warriors and Stephen Curry, who had 44 points in the opener of the Western Conference semifinals.

The game-winning shot came 43.7 seconds after Ginobili took an ill-advised 3 that appeared to cost the Spurs the game.

”I went from wanting to trade him on the spot to wanting to cook breakfast for him tomorrow morning,” Popovich said. ”That’s the truth. When I talk to him and say, ‘Manu,’ he goes, ‘This is what I do.’ That’s what he’s going to tell me. I stopped coaching him a long time ago.”

Ginobili’s 3 capped an improbable comeback for the Spurs, who trailed by 16 points with 4 minutes left in regulation before going on an 18-2 run to close the fourth quarter and force overtime…

Tony Parker scored 28 points to lead San Antonio while Danny Green added 22 points, Leonard had 18 and Ginobili 16.

Tim Duncan finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds in 35 minutes. Duncan, who is battling a stomach bug, left the game with 3 minutes left in regulation and only played the final seconds of each overtime.

”He’s had the flu,” Popovich said. ”He’s been sick and he gave it a shot. It became pretty apparent there that he wasn’t going to tell me the truth anymore, so I had to pull the plug myself.”

Curry had 11 assists and was 18 for 35 from the field and 6 for 14 on 3-pointers for Golden State, which has lost 30 straight in San Antonio dating back to Feb. 14, 1997.

Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes each added 19 points, Jarrett Jack had 15 and Andrew Bogut had 10 points and 15 rebounds.

– Reported by Raul Dominguez of the Associated Press

nate robinson

Nate Robinson was spitting blood in the first half, then delivered the deepest cuts of the night in the final moments. And the Chicago Bulls reminded the Miami Heat that no one in the NBA plays them any tougher.

Yes, the streakbusters struck again.

Robinson scored 27 points, Jimmy Butler added 21 points and a career-high-tying 14 rebounds, and the Bulls beat Miami 93-86 on Monday night in Game 1 of the teams’ Eastern Conference semifinal series. The team that snapped Miami’s 27-game winning streak in the regular season - the second-longest in NBA history - found a way to topple the champs again, this time ending a run of 12 straight Heat victories overall.

”I’ve played on some tough teams,” Robinson said. ”But this one, there’s something a little different, something special about this group.”

A seven-point deficit midway through the fourth wasn’t enough to doom the Bulls, who finished the game on a 10-0 run in the final 1:59. And to think, the Bulls weren’t anywhere near full strength. Kirk Hinrich was out again with a calf injury. Luol Deng isn’t even expected to rejoin the team until Tuesday, after dealing with an illness apparently so severe that a spinal tap - and other tests since - were needed to rule out things like meningitis…

LeBron James got his MVP trophy from Commissioner David Stern before the game, then struggled to a two-point first half before finishing with 24 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for Miami. Dwyane Wade added 14 for the Heat, who had no one else in double figures, finished shooting 40 percent from the floor and were outrebounded 46-32…

Joakim Noah scored 13 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Bulls, who got 12 from Taj Gibson and 10 from Marco Belinelli. Game 2 is Wednesday night in Miami…

Wade dove into the second row of seats to save an errant ball, and grimaced after appearing to hit his sore right knee. ”I wish somebody would have grabbed me. That would have been kind of nice, especially at home,” Wade said.

– Reported by Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press

Pacers beat Knicks 102-95, take Game 1

carmelo anthony

Carmelo Anthony’s shooting woes continued in Game 1 of the Knicks’ first second-round playoff game in 13 years, and it proved too much for his team to overcome.

Anthony’s poor shooting game and the size of the Pacers put the Knicks in an 0-1 hole in the Eastern Conference semifinal. Indiana beat the Knicks 102-95 Sunday afternoon at the Garden. Game 2 is Tuesday back here.

Playing with a sore left shoulder, Anthony led the Knicks with 27 points and 11 rebounds. But he shot just 10-for-28 from the field. In his last four games, Anthony is 35-for-110 (31.8 percent).

He didn’t get much help from J.R. Smith, who continues to misfire since returning from his one-game suspension in the first-round win over Boston for elbowing Jason Terry. Smith was just 4-for-15 from the field.

The Pacers were led by David West’s 20 points. Paul George added 19. D.J. Augustin scored 16 off the bench and Brooklyn’s Lance Stephenson had 11 points and 13 rebounds.

Indiana held a 44-30 edge on the boards and outscored the Knicks 20-10 in second-chance points.

– Reported by Al Iannazzone of New York Newsday

D.J. Augustin had 16 points for the Pacers, who built a 16-point lead while Carmelo Anthony was on the bench in foul trouble in the third quarter, and easily held on to spoil the Knicks’ first second-round game since 2000.

Anthony finished with 27 points and 11 rebounds, but was frustrated by the Pacers’ rugged defense and by the referees. He shot just 10 of 28 from the field.

– Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press

kevin durant

Kevin Durant scored 35 points and hit a pair of jumpers in the final minute to lift the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 93-91 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.

Derek Fisher poked the ball away from Mike Conley to spring Durant the other way, and he pulled up to make a shot with 11.1 seconds left that put Oklahoma City up 91-90.

Quincy Pondexter had a chance to send the game to overtime when he was fouled attempting a 3-pointer with Memphis trailing 93-90 and 1.6 seconds remaining. But he missed the first free throw.

On the Grizzlies’ previous possession, Thabo Sefolosha deflected an inbounds pass, and Conley landed out of bounds while diving for the ball. Reggie Jackson then hit two free throws to make the lead three.

But Jackson hacked Pondexter on his right arm before he released a 3-pointer from the left wing in an attempt to tie it. Pondexter, a 72 percent career free-throw shooter, made his second attempt before purposefully missing the third, but Durant swatted the rebound away and Marc Gasol’s attempt at a buzzer-beater was late.

The Grizzlies got 20 points and 10 rebounds from Gasol and 18 points and 10 rebounds from Zach Randolph. Pondexter and Conley scored 13 apiece.

Kevin Martin scored 25 for Oklahoma City, which trailed for much of the game but was able to avoid repeating its Game 1 loss from when these two teams met in the West semifinals two years ago.

– Reported by Jeff Latzke of the Associated Press

mike conley

The Grizzlies won an old-time Memphis wrestling match Friday night, and now they’re headed back to the Western Conference semifinals for the second time in three seasons after getting the final takedown.

Mike Conley and Zach Randolph scored 23 points each, and the Grizzlies beat the Los Angeles Clippers 118-105 on Friday night to take the first-round series 4-2.

The Grizzlies had never won four straight postseason games before this series, and they became only the 10th team in NBA history to win four straight after trailing 0-2. They will open the second round at Oklahoma City on Sunday in a rematch of the franchise’s only other Western semifinal that the Thunder won in seven in 2011.

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

Reserve Matt Barnes scored a career playoff-best 30 points for Los Angeles. Chris Paul had 28 points before being ejected with 2:29 left for crashing into Marc Gasol off a missed free throw, though he shook hands with several Grizzlies before going to the locker room. Blake Griffin didn’t start because of his sprained right ankle, and he scored nine points in 13:56. Caron Butler added 14…

Having the commissioner on hand didn’t slow anyone down in a game featuring lots of headlocks and knockdowns with the only thing missing a steel cage as they combined for seven technicals. Even Grant Hill had three fouls in 3 minutes himself in the first half, and Chauncey Billups got a flagrant-1.

Randolph was ejected, too, with 1:57 remaining. He tossed his headband toward the stands and celebrated as he walked to the locker room…

Los Angeles led only once - at 45-44 on Barnes’ fourth 3-pointer with 5:08 left in the second quarter. The teams had four more ties before Quincy Pondexter hit a 3 with 2:02 left putting the Grizzlies ahead to stay at 54-51.

– Reported by the Associated Press

kevin durant

Kevin Durant scored 27 points and Kevin Martin added 25 to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 103-94 victory over the Houston Rockets on Friday night, sending them to the second round of the playoffs for the third straight season.

The Rockets were looking to become just the fourth team in NBA history to force a Game 7 after trailing 3-0.

But the Thunder opened the fourth quarter with a big run to take the lead and cruised to the victory.

Martin finally gave the Thunder someone to take scoring pressure off Durant for the first time since All-Star Russell Westbrook had season-ending knee surgery. He had 21 points by halftime and Westbrook’s replacement, Reggie Jackson helped out by scoring 17.

James Harden, who the Rockets said had strep throat on Thursday, led Houston with 26 points.

Oklahoma City used a 14-4 run at the beginning of the fourth quarter to take a 92-81 lead. Derek Fisher and Durant both hit 3-pointers in that stretch. Houston missed six shots, including two layups, and had two turnovers as the Thunder built the lead…

Houston got 25 points from Chandler Parsons, while Omer Asik had 13 points and 13 rebounds…

Martin came one point shy of his career-high points in the playoffs of 26.

– Reported by the Associated Press

carmelo anthony

Carmelo Anthony scored 21 points and the New York Knicks held on after blowing most of a 26-point lead to beat the Boston Celtics 88-80 in Game 6 on Friday night and 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 3-pointer, then J.R. Smith converted a three-point play to restore the double-digit lead the Knicks had nursed most of the game.

Jeff Green scored 21 points for the Celtics, who had rallied from a 3-0 deficit in the series and had a chance, at home, to force a decisive seventh game.

No NBA team has advanced in the playoffs after losing the first three games.

Paul Pierce scored 14 points on 4-for-18 shooting, making one of nine 3-point attempts. Anthony also struggled from in- and outside the arc, going 7 for 23 from the floor and missing his first five 3-point attempts — that was 20 in a row in the series — before sinking the key basket with 1:43 to go.

The Knicks had not won a playoff series since Patrick Ewing and Latrell Sprewell (and current backup center Marcus Camby) helped them reach the 2000 Eastern Conference finals.

Kevin Garnett had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics, who now face another offseason of talk whether to break up the aging core that won the franchise’s record 17th NBA title in 2008 and returned to the finals two years later. Reserve Jason Terry scored 14 points — the only points the Celtics got from their bench.

– Reported by the Associated Press

george hill

George Hill and David West each scored 21 points and the Indiana Pacers withstood a furious Atlanta comeback in the fourth quarter, beating the Hawks 81-73 on Friday night to close out the opening-round playoff series four games to two.

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, and the Pacers built a 65-50 lead going to the fourth.

The Hawks showed some heart, slicing it to 76-73 on Al Horford’s dunk with 2:13 remaining.

But the comeback fizzled there, and the Pacers advanced to face New York.

The Hawks went through an absolutely brutal stretch from early in the second quarter to nearly midway through the third, in which they did not actually put the ball in the hoop.

In the equivalent of more than a quarter — 15:43 to be exact — Atlanta went 1 of 21 from the field, the only basket awarded to Devin Harris on a goaltending call against Roy Hibbert.

At a time when the Hawks needed one of their best performances of the season, they produced one of their worst…

Hibbert added 17 points and 11 rebounds. Lance Stephenson also had 11 rebounds.

The Hawks couldn’t play much worse than they did in the second quarter. They showed little energy. They put up some truly awful shots. They missed even when they got a decent look.

Kyle Korver made the Hawks’ only basket of the period on a jumper with 10:35 left. After that, they missed their last 13 shots before heading to the locker room to a round of boos from the home crowd.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Chandler Parsons

The Houston Rockets finally found a way to close out a game in their playoff series with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

And it allowed them to escape playoff elimination with a 105-103 win over the Thunder on Monday night.

Chandler Parsons scored 27 points and Patrick Beverley added 16 points with point guard Jeremy Lin out with a bruised chest muscle. Houston avoided a four-game sweep in the best-of-seven series.

The Rockets led in the fourth quarter of each of the last two games only to end up losing.

”We felt the pain and frustration from the last two losses … and we didn’t want that to happen for the third straight time,” Parsons said.

It almost did.

Kevin Durant scored five quick points to cut the Rockets’ lead to two. James Harden missed two shots for Houston after that and the Thunder had a last chance.

Reggie Jackson missed a jump shot and Serge Ibaka grabbed the rebound, but missed a layup at the buzzer…

Durant scored 38 points in Oklahoma City’s second game without injured All-Star guard Russell Westbrook…

Harden scored 15 points, but also had 10 turnovers. He had two chances to extend Houston’s lead with less than a minute left, but missed both of them, including shooting an air ball…

Jackson finished with 18 points in his second start in place of Westbrook, and Kevin Martin added 16.

Houston got 17 points from Omer Asik and 13 from Carlos Delfino.

– Reported by Kristie Rieken of the Associated Press

Josh Smith

Josh Smith scored 29 points as the Atlanta Hawks built a 17-point lead at halftime, then withstood an Indiana comeback over the final two quarters to even the series with a 102-91 victory in Game 4 on Monday night.

After struggling much of the second half, Smith made every big play down the stretch. He swished a rare 3-pointer, came up with an offensive rebound to set up a 3 by Kyle Korver, then finished off a fast break with a right-handed dunk.

Paul George scored 18 of his 21 points in the second half as the Pacers made a game of it but couldn’t come back from a 57-40 deficit at the break.

Tied at two wins apiece, the series returns to Indianapolis for Game 5 on Wednesday night.

Korver added 19 points off the bench, most of them coming on his specialty: the 3-pointer. He knocked down five from outside the arc, including the biggest one with 2:33 remaining after Al Horford threw up a wild shot that missed. Smith snatched one of his 11 rebounds and spotted Korver lurking all alone on the outside.

Horford chipped in with 18 points.

Indiana was better offensively but still struggled to make shots, finishing at 38 percent on a 32-of-84 performance. George came alive after halftime, connecting three times from beyond the stripe, while every other starter was in double figures.

It wasn’t enough.

– Reported by Paul Newberry of the Associated Press

Nets win 110-91, cut Bulls lead to 3-2

Brook Lopez

Flourishing instead of fading in the fourth quarter, the Brooklyn Nets extended their first season in Brooklyn.

They need one more victory to set up the biggest game here yet.

Brook Lopez had 28 points and 10 rebounds, Deron Williams added 23 points and 10 assists, and the Nets beat Chicago 110-91 on Monday night, cutting the Bulls’ lead to 3-2 in their first-round playoff series.

Recovering from a collapse two days earlier that sent them home on the brink of elimination instead of tied, the Nets battered the Bulls on the boards and forced Chicago into being the team that wilted down the stretch.

”We came out very aggressive, as we have the past few games. I think the difference was just we sustained it for essentially a full 48 minutes tonight,” Lopez said.

Andray Blatche scored 10 of his 13 points in the fourth quarter and Gerald Wallace had consecutive baskets in the finishing surge as the Nets finally pulled away in a game they led most of the way, but never by too much.

Two days after rallying for a 142-134 triple-overtime victory, the Bulls were outscored 15-1 at the finish and failed to set up a second-round series with Miami. Instead they will host Game 6 on Thursday…

Nate Robinson had 20 points and eight assists starting in place of point guard Kirk Hinrich, who bruised his left calf in Saturday’s game…

Butler scored 18 points for the Bulls, who were outrebounded 44-33 and gave up 24 second-chance points…

Wallace scored 12 points and Reggie Evans grabbed 12 rebounds as the Nets improved to 6-0 all-time in Game 5s at home. They have never lost a series when holding home-court advantage.

– Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press

zach randolph

Zach Randolph’s fast start helped the Memphis Grizzlies return to their inside dominance.

Randolph had 13 of his 27 points in the first quarter, and he finished with 11 rebounds and the Grizzlies beat the Los Angeles Clippers 94-82 on Thursday night to pull within 2-1 in this first-round series.

”Zach was huge,” Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. ”He got started quickly. He had 18 at halftime, and that got us going and everyone else just flowed into that. I thought our defense, for the most part, was solid.”

Randolph hadn’t scored more than 13 in each of the first two games and had only 12 rebounds combined in Los Angeles. He looked much more like the All Star who had 45 double-doubles this season, and he also had six offensive rebounds after leading the NBA with 310 in the regular season…

Marc Gasol accepted his trophy as the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year before tipoff, then scored 16 points. Quincy Pondexter and Tony Allen had 13 each. Mike Conley was 1 of 9 but had 10 assists and no turnovers on a night where he was so sick he sipped on soda and didn’t talk much…

Blake Griffin scored 16 points for the Clippers. Matt Barnes had 12, Chauncey Billups 11 and Jamal Crawford and Caron Butler 10. Chris Paul had eight points on 4-of-11 shooting and added six assists…

Memphis outrebounded the Clippers 45-33, including 17-5 on the offensive boards. That gave the Grizzlies a 22-4 edge in second-chance points, which was similar to what the Clippers did to Memphis in Game 1 when they held a 25-5 advantage. The Grizzlies also outscored Los Angeles 40-26 in the paint and led by as much as 16.

– Reported by Teresa M. Walker of the Associated Press

carlos boozer

Every play near the basket looked like a traffic accident. There were long scoreless stretches. Shooting from outside was a dicey proposition.

It was ugly for everyone but the Chicago Bulls. This was their type of game.

Carlos Boozer had 22 points and 16 rebounds, Luol Deng added 21 points and 10 boards, and the Bulls held off the Brooklyn Nets 79-76 in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series Thursday night.

”We did what we had to do to win the game,” Boozer said. ”In the playoffs you have to win different ways. Nothing is perfect.”

Chicago had no field goals and two foul shots over the final 5:46 of its second straight win in the series. It will try for a 3-1 lead when the banged-up teams return to the court Saturday afternoon in a quick turnaround.

Brooklyn shot 35 percent for the second straight game. Brook Lopez had 22 points, nine rebounds and seven blocked shots, and Deron Williams finished with 18 points on 5-for-14 shooting…

Joe Johnson got a cortisone shot for his ailing left foot and finished 15 points for Brooklyn, while Noah’s foul shot was his only point of the game while dealing with his own painful right foot injury. Noah also had eight rebounds, two assists and two blocks…

Brooklyn went 5 for 21 from 3-point range and is 15 for 56 from beyond the arc for the series.

– Reported by Jay Cohen of the Associated Press

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