Warriors shock Clippers
LOS ANGELES — The Golden State Warriors stumbled out of the gate, missing their first eight shots while falling behind by 11 points and forcing coach Mark Jackson to call two timeouts to steady his young team.
Stephen Curry glanced at the clock and realized there was still plenty of time left to knock off the Los Angeles Clippers.
Klay Thompson scored 22 points, spiking the ball as time expired, and Golden State beat Los Angeles 109-105 after getting Blake Griffin and Chris Paul in foul trouble in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series on Saturday.
“A big way to start the series,” Curry said. “We’ve been resilient all year. We’re not going to quit.”
David Lee had 20 points despite his own foul trouble and Curry scored 14 for the Warriors, who rallied in the third when Griffin and Paul were on the bench together.
“I’m proud of my guys,” Jackson said. “We just had a tremendous will and competitive spirit.”
Game 2 is Monday night at Staples Center.
“The pressure is all on them,” Thompson said. “They can’t afford to go down 0-2 and go on the road. It’s tough to come back down 0-2.”
Paul led the Clippers with 28 points, and J.J. Redick added 22 points in 30 minutes. Griffin finished with 16 points, fouling out with 48 seconds left and the game tied at 105. DeAndre Jordan had 11 points and 14 rebounds.
The Warriors built an 11-point lead early in the fourth, helped by back-to-back dunks by Jermaine O’Neal and Thompson’s turnaround fadeaway jumper. Then they withstood Paul’s desperate but error-filled bid to bring his team all the way back.
“We made mistakes,” Griffin said. “Some of us, myself included, maybe wanted it too much and came in with an expectation. We just need to relax.”
Foul trouble plagued both teams, but losing Griffin and Paul for stretches cost the Clippers at both ends. Besides Lee, Andre Iguodala fouled out with 3:04 left in the game.
“I kept putting myself in a hole,” Griffin said. “I got to do a better job.”
Paul returned early in the fourth with the Clippers down by double digits. His fast-break layup trimmed Golden State’s lead to 98-92. Griffin came back at that point, hitting a hook shot and then feeding Paul for a 3-pointer that cut their deficit to 100-97 with 3½ minutes left.
Jordan then stepped to the line, having made just 1 of 6 free throws in the game. He hit both and the Clippers got within one. Paul tied it at 102 on a 3-pointer.
Darren Collison made one of two free throws, giving the Clippers their first lead since early in the third at 103-102. After Collison’s block and Jordan’s rebound on the defensive end, Paul led a 3-on-1. But Harrison Barnes blocked his 5-footer and then hit a 3 for the Warriors.
“I probably should have given the ball to J.J. or DC who were running with me,” Paul said.
Griffin made two free throws for the 18th and final tie of the game, 105-all with 1½ minutes left.
The Clippers’ defense forced the Warriors into turning the ball over on a shot-clock violation. Griffin fouled out and then Thompson turned the ball over. Paul got it and fed Collison, who lost it near the baseline with 37 seconds left and the referees awarded possession to the Warriors, which was confirmed by a video review.
Down 108-105, Paul got fouled and missed both. His fifth foul put Green on the line and he missed both. Collison got possession, but turned the ball over when he stepped out of bounds, one of 17 turnovers by the Clippers.
“There were a lot of times where we lost our trust in each other,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “We made too many mistakes to win.”
The first half was bogged down by 29 fouls, including 15 on the Warriors.
The teams split their four games in the regular season, a series that included nine technical fouls, two ejections, one flagrant foul and a postgame confrontation between Griffin and O’Neal. But the pushing, shoving and bodies hitting the floor in Game 1 was the result of hard, physical play and not any bad blood.
“All that hype absolutely had an impact on how the game was called,” Rivers said. “A lot of them were touch fouls.”
Griffin was limited to four minutes in the first half. He got his first two fouls 36 seconds apart early in the opening quarter and his third at 11:21 of the second.
“I tried to keep him from getting easy buckets in transition, which fuels him,” Lee said.
INDIANAPOLIS — Jeff Teague scored a playoff career-high 28 points and Paul Millsap added 25 as eighth-seeded Atlanta rolled past top-seeded Indiana 101-93 on Saturday night, taking a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
The Hawks ended an eight-game road losing streak in the playoffs, which dated to May 2011. Game 2 is Tuesday in Indianapolis.
Indiana, which spent the whole season working to get home-court advantage in the playoffs, wasted no time in giving it right back with a dismal third quarter. Paul George finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds.
Atlanta opened the third quarter on an 8-0 run, breaking a 50-50 tie, then pulled away when Teague scored nine points in a 14-0 run that made it 74-58 with 4:08 left in the quarter. Indiana couldn’t get closer than eight the rest of the way.
It was a fitting twist to open the best-of-seven series.
Indiana played fast and energetic in the first half, playing more like the team that was so good over the first half of the season. Then in the second half, the Pacers reverted to their recent script of being unable to make shots and get defensive stops when they needed them most. The Pacers were just 5-of-19 from the field in the third quarter and were 15-of-41 in the second half.
Atlanta took advantage of those struggles, becoming the first team to beat the Pacers on their home court twice this season and stealing the win they needed. It was the first time the Hawks won a postseason road game since the first game of the 2011 Eastern Conference semifinals at Chicago.
Nobody was better than Teague, who repeatedly blew through open lanes because the Pacers’ defense was spread out by the Hawks’ 3-point shooters.
Teague was 9-of-19 from the field with five assists and three rebounds. Millsap had eight rebounds.
With 30 3-point attempts, the Hawks broke their franchise playoff record for 3-point attempts with 30, and the 11 3s they made tied the second-highest playoff total in franchise history. Both records were set in a 26-point loss to Orlando on May 10, 1996, when Atlanta went 12-of-27 from beyond the arc.
TORONTO — The Brooklyn Nets made a case for the important of playoff experience in their opening victory over the Toronto Raptors.
Deron Williams and Joe Johnson each had 24 points, Paul Pierce scored nine of his 15 points in the final quarter and the Nets beat the Raptors 94-87 Saturday in Game 1 of their first round series.
Playing in his 137th career postseason game, Pierce connected on four of his five shot attempts in the fourth as the Nets kept the Raptors at bay.
“You just get that feeling, you’ve been in those situations a number of times,” Pierce said. “I don’t get rattled in the fourth quarter, down the stretch or in playoff settings. I’ve been in pretty much every playoff setting that you can imagine. I just try to stay calm and bring my calmness to the game.”
Nets coach Jason Kidd said Williams “set the tone” by scoring 18 points in the first half.
“He came out with high energy,” Kidd said. “I thought he was looking to be aggressive in scoring the ball. He got the guys off to a good start.”
Shaun Livingston scored 10 points and Kevin Garnett had five as the Nets won despite making 4 of 24 3-pointers.
“We didn’t shoot well from 3 tonight but we made up for that by taking care of the ball, good defense down the stretch, making plays offensively,” Williams said. “That’s why we got the win.”
The Nets turned the ball over nine times, while the Raptors had 19, leading to 17 Brooklyn points.
“That was the biggest issue,” Toronto coach Dwane Casey said.
Kyle Lowry scored 22 points and Jonas Valanciunas had 17 points and 18 rebounds for the Raptors.
Valanciunas is the second Raptors player to have a double-double in his postseason debut. Tracy McGrady had 25 points and 10 rebounds against New York in his first playoff game in 2000.
“He grew up today and that was huge for us,” Casey said.
Valanciunas also set a Raptors record for playoff rebounds by surpassing Keon Clark, who had 16 against Detroit in 2002.
Greivis Vasquez had 18 points for the Raptors and DeMar DeRozan had 14 in his playoff debut, making three of 14 field goal attempts.
OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant scored 13 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter to help the Oklahoma City Thunder defeat the Memphis Grizzlies 100-86 on Saturday night in the opening game of their first-round series.
Russell Westbrook had 23 points and 10 rebounds and Serge Ibaka added 17 points and nine rebounds for the Thunder, who nearly squandered a 25-point lead but recovered from a dismal third quarter to make 10 of 16 shots in the fourth.
Zach Randolph led Memphis with 21 points and 11 rebounds, but he made just seven of 21 shots and got into foul trouble in the second half. Mike Conley had 16 points and 11 assists, Mark Gasol scored 16 points and Tony Allen added 13 points for the Grizzlies. The Thunder held Memphis to 36 percent shooting.
Oklahoma City was the only home team to win on the first day of the postseason.
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