Clippers beat Warriors 98-96 for 2-1 series lead


OAKLAND, Calif. — Blake Griffin scored 32 points and grabbed eight rebounds, DeAndre Jordan had 14 points and 22 rebounds and the Los Angeles Clippers outlasted the Golden State Warriors 98-96 on Thursday night to take a 2-1 lead in their first-round series.

The frontcourt tandem bullied and bruised the Warriors inside to power the Clippers ahead by 18 points in the third quarter. And they did just enough late to silence a rocking, gold-shirt wearing sellout crowd of 19,596 to regain home-court advantage.

Klay Thompson scored 26 points, and Stephen Curry had 16 points and 15 assists to rally the Warriors back. But Curry forced a contested, step-back 3-pointer over Chris Paul in the final seconds to seal the Clippers’ victory.

Game 4 of the best-of-seven series is Sunday in Oakland.

The Clippers held the Warriors to 6-of-31 shooting from 3-point range and 41.6 percent shooting overall. Los Angeles also forced 17 turnovers.

Golden State’s streaky backcourt duo still gave the Clippers quite a scare in the closing moments.

Curry made his first 3-pointer, and Thompson made another from long range before hitting a turnaround jumper to bring the Warriors within 87-86 with 4:24 to play.

Paul capped a quick 7-0 spurt for the Clippers with a deep 3-pointer. He pounded his chest and skipped down court after Warriors coach Mark Jackson called timeout.

Thompson hit a jumper and Curry connected from beyond the arc to trim Los Angeles’ lead to 96-93 with 49 seconds left. But reserve Draymond Green fouled out when officials called him for a block against Griffin, who made 1 of 2 free throws.

Curry hit another 3-pointer with 11 seconds left. Paul missed 1 of 2 free throws, giving Golden State the ball with 8.6 seconds remaining.

Jordan intentionally fouled Curry off the inbound to make Golden State inbound the ball again. And the Warriors ran the same play to Curry, whose 3-pointer sailed short.

HAWKS 98, PACERS 85

ATLANTA — Jeff Teague flung in a wild 3-pointer after the officials appeared to miss him stepping out of bounds, and Kyle Korver finished off Indiana from beyond the arc to lead the Atlanta Hawks to a 98-85 victory Thursday night and another lead in the series with the top-seeded Pacers.

Hardly playing like a No. 8 seed that finished six games under .500 during the regular season, the Hawks took control in the third quarter — the decisive period in all three games — and held off the Pacers to go up 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.

GRIZZLIES 98, THUNDER 95, OT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Mike Conley scored five of his 20 points in overtime, and Memphis went up 2-1 in the series.

The Grizzlies won their second straight overtime game after blowing a fourth-quarter lead. This time, they led by 17 before going cold for most of the final 7:43 of regulation. Courtney Lee clinched the win, hitting three of four free throws in the final 10.9 seconds of OT.

Game 4 is Saturday night in Memphis.

NBA scoring champ Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook each scored 30 for the Thunder who even got another four-point play in the final minute to force overtime. This time, it was Westbrook’s turn with 26.6 seconds left.

But Durant missed all eight 3-point attempts and was 10 of 27. Westbrook was 9 of 26. The Thunder hit only 3 of 12 overall in overtime.

Zach Randolph scored 16 points and had 10 rebounds for Memphis, which now has won 15 straight at home.

 

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