Monday, May 21, 2018
Sports

Pacers force Game 7 with Hawks

ATLANTA — The Pacers have changed who they are, going to a different style in hopes of surviving the opening round of the playoffs.

No matter what, they can always count on David West.

With the top-seeded Pacers poised for an early summer, West fearlessly led a 16-4 run to end the game, extending the season with a 95-88 victory over the Hawks on Thursday night.

Trailing 3-2 after losing at home for the second time in the best-of-seven series, Indiana was in big trouble when the Hawks pushed out to an 84-79 lead with just over 3 minutes remaining,

But, for the fourth time in this back-and-forth affair, the road team won.

West scored four straight points and forced a turnover down the stretch to begin the turnaround. He hit two more baskets in the final minute, finishing with 24 points.

Paul George also scored 24 for the Pacers, making four straight free throws to help fend off a Hawks team that was trying to become only the sixth No. 8 seed to win a playoff series.

Coach Frank Vogel went with a smaller lineup much of the game, hoping to match up better with Atlanta's 3-point shooters. Roy Hibbert was the starting center, but played only about 12 minutes .

The plan worked. Atlanta was 9-of-35 from beyond the arc.

"We tried some different lineups," West said. "Coach rolled the dice. I told the guys, 'If worse comes to worse, we've got to play park basketball.''

Pacers 95, Hawks 88

INDIANA (95): George 7-18 9-10 24, West 10-20 4-4 24, Hibbert 0-1 0-0 0, G.Hill 5-12 2-4 14, Stephenson 7-13 6-7 21, Copeland 1-2 2-2 5, Watson 3-9 0-0 7, Butler 0-1 0-0 0, Mahinmi 0-1 0-0 0, Scola 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 33-77 23-27 95.

ATLANTA (88): Carroll 3-7 0-0 7, Millsap 4-13 7-8 16, Antic 1-7 3-4 5, Teague 9-21 9-9 29, Korver 3-8 0-0 9, Brand 0-1 0-0 0, Williams 6-12 2-2 16, Scott 2-9 0-1 4, Mack 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 29-81 21-24 88.

Indiana 20 24 20 31— 95

Atlanta 22 17 28 21— 88

3-Point GoalsIndiana 6-20 (G.Hill 2-5, Copeland 1-1, Stephenson 1-2, Watson 1-4, George 1-6, West 0-1, Butler 0-1), Atlanta 9-35 (Korver 3-8, Williams 2-5, Teague 2-6, Carroll 1-2, Millsap 1-4, Antic 0-4, Scott 0-6). Fouled OutMillsap. ReboundsIndiana 53 (West 11), Atlanta 50 (Millsap 18). AssistsIndiana 15 (West 6), Atlanta 14 (Millsap 5). Total FoulsIndiana 27, Atlanta 23. TechnicalsG.Hill, Indiana defensive three second, Antic, Korver, Scott. A19,044 (18,729).

OKC forces Game 7

MEMPHIS —Kevin Durant scored 36 to break out of a slump and the Thunder routed the Grizzlies 104-84 to force a deciding seventh game in their Western Conference series.

"We needed to win this game," Durant said. "That's more motivation than anything, so our team responded. We've got to do an even better job in Game 7."

The Thunder hasn't been eliminated in the first round of the playoffs since 2010. It took control early with Durant scoring 14 in the first quarter, led by 15 at halftime and never let Memphis get closer in the second half.

Thunder 104, Grizzlies 84

OKLAHOMA CITY (104): Durant 11-23 14-15 36, Ibaka 3-6 2-2 8, Perkins 3-4 0-0 6, Westbrook 9-21 6-6 25, Butler 2-5 1-2 7, Collison 1-1 0-0 2, Jackson 6-9 0-0 16, Fisher 1-4 0-0 2, Adams 1-2 0-0 2, Jones 0-0 0-0 0, Lamb 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 37-75 23-25 104.

MEMPHIS (84): Prince 0-1 0-0 0, Randolph 7-14 2-4 16, Gasol 6-13 5-6 17, Conley 2-10 1-2 5, Lee 2-7 0-0 4, Allen 5-9 3-4 13, Miller 2-6 1-1 7, Udrih 1-8 0-0 2, Koufos 1-2 0-0 2, Davis 1-1 0-1 2, Johnson 4-11 6-8 15, Leuer 0-1 0-0 0, Franklin 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 31-83 19-28 84.

Oklahoma City 25 31 26 22— 104

Memphis 17 24 20 23— 84

3-Point GoalsOklahoma City 7-21 (Jackson 4-5, Butler 2-4, Westbrook 1-2, Ibaka 0-1, Fisher 0-3, Durant 0-6), Memphis 3-14 (Miller 2-4, Johnson 1-4, Conley 0-2, Udrih 0-2, Lee 0-2). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsOklahoma City 52 (Durant 10), Memphis 49 (Randolph 8). AssistsOklahoma City 15 (Westbrook 5), Memphis 19 (Conley 6). Total FoulsOklahoma City 19, Memphis 19. TechnicalsButler, Westbrook, Memphis Coach Joerger, Johnson. A18,119 (18,119).

LATE WEDNESDAY: Dwight Howard had 22 points and 14 rebounds, and Jeremy Lin scored 21 off the bench as the host Rockets beat the Blazers 108-98 in Game 5 of their series.

Sterling proceedings: The league's 10-member advisory/finance committee held its first meeting about Clippers owner Donald Sterling, two days after commissioner Adam Silver said he would urge owners to force a sale of the team.

"The committee unanimously agreed to move forward as expeditiously as possible and will reconvene next week," executive vice president Mike Bass said.

Silver banned Sterling for life and fined him $2.5 million Tuesday for making racist comments. Sterling can have no association with the league or the team, but Silver wants more.

A forced sale would require approval by three-fourths of the league's other 29 owners. Silver said he was confident he would get the votes.

Minnesota owner Glen Taylor chairs the committee that includes the owners of the Heat, Lakers, Thunder, Knicks, Celtics, Spurs, Pacers and Raptors.

Lakers to be cautious: After two misfires in the last three years with Mike Brown and Mike D'Antoni, the Lakers will not rush a coaching search. GM Mitch Kupchak said the search could extend past the draft lottery May 20. D'Antoni resigned when the team was unwilling to commit to him beyond next year.

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