Thunder sweep away Mavs, 103-97

Posted: May 06, 2012

James Harden scored 15 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter as the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder rallied for a 103-97 win Saturday night to sweep the defending NBA champion Dallas Mavericks out of the playoffs in four straight.

The Thunder trailed by 13 points with 9 minutes, 44 seconds left before Harden scored seven in a row, and nine in a 12-0 run over the next three minutes.

Oklahoma City finally took the lead, and kept it, after Russell Westbrook stole the ball from Dirk Nowitzki and passed to Serge Ibaka for a two-handed slam that made it 92-91 with 5:17 left.

Dallas is the second defending champion in five years to be swept in the first round. After beating the Mavericks in the 2006 NBA Finals, Miami lost in four games to Chicago the next year.

Clippers hold off Grizzlies

Chris Paul had 24 points and 11 assists and high-flying Blake Griffin added 17 points for the Los Angeles Clippers, who beat the visiting Memphis Grizzles, 87-86, only after Rudy Gay missed a jumper just before the buzzer.

The Clippers won their first home playoff game in six seasons to take a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference playoffs.

Paul hit a fadeaway jumper with 2:02 left for an 82-80 lead. On the next possession he had a no-look bounce pass to Griffin coming in off the baseline for a monster slam.

Trailing 86-80 after two free throws by Paul, Gay hit a three-pointer with 12.9 seconds left, Memphis' first field goal since 7:10. After Los Angeles missed three of four free throws, Gay hit another trey with 8.9 seconds.

Eric Bledsoe missed two more free throws, Gay got a good look but missed. Gay finished with 24 points.

Pacers beat Magic in OT

George Hill hit a pair of free throws with 2.2 seconds left in overtime to help the Indiana Pacers survive squandering a 19-point fourth-quarter lead and beat the host Orlando Magic, 101-99, to take a 3-1 lead in the first-round series.

David West scored 26 points, including 12 in the third quarter and four in overtime for Indiana. Danny Granger added 21 points.

The Pacers won their third straight game and will try to close out the Eastern Conference series Tuesday in Indianapolis and get out of the opening round for the first time since 2005.

Bynum says he'll be ready

Andrew Bynum is promising to get to Denver's Pepsi Center early for Game 4 of Los Angeles' first-round series against the Nuggets following his first-half doughnut in a 99-84 Game 3 loss for the Lakers on Friday night.

Bynum, who finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds, was shut out in the first half, when the Nuggets used an astonishing 28-2 run to take control in the first quarter, then raced to a 41-17 lead in the second quarter.

L.A.'s big man acknowledged he wasn't ready Friday, when he arrived later than he had wanted to and didn't get the chance to go through his full pregame routine in which he practices his footwork.

Doctor Shaq

Former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal received his doctorate in education from Barry University in Florida, the Miami Herald reported.

His doctoral project explored how business leaders use humor in the workplace.

- Staff and wire reports

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|