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Clippers finally eliminate Grizzlies

MEMPHIS — Kenyon Martin scored seven of his 11 during the fourth quarter to help the Clippers beat the Grizzlies 82-72 in Game 7 of the West quarterfinal on Sunday.

The Clippers, who won only their third series in 41 years and second since relocating to Los Angeles before the 1984-85 season, avoided becoming the ninth team to blow a 3-1 series lead.

"That's why it's seven games," Martin said. "If you don't do it before, you get another chance."

Playing with a strained right hip flexor, Chris Paul scored 19 for Los Angeles, whose first three wins in the series came by a combined six points.

Next up: the top-seeded Spurs.

"I want the guys to enjoy this, and then we'll regroup (today) and focus in on that," coach Vinny Del Negro said. "But obviously, another big challenge."

Trailing 56-55, the Clippers opened the fourth with an 11-2 run started by a jumper by Martin. Later, he tipped in a shot for a 66-58 lead with 8:41 left.

Memphis made only 4 of 18 shots in the fourth and missed all 13 of its 3-pointers in the game.

"It was Game 7 pressure and jitters," said coach Lionel Hollins, whose team lost a Game 7 at Oklahoma City in last season's West semifinals. "You walk up here and have two strikes on you in the ninth inning, and you have to let it rip. And we didn't."

L.A. CLIPPERS (82): Butler 3-12 2-4 8, Griffin 3-11 2-3 8, Jordan 0-2 0-0 0, Paul 7-17 4-4 19, Foye 2-6 2-2 6, Bledsoe 3-6 2-2 8, Martin 5-7 1-2 11, Williams 4-9 0-0 9, Evans 0-0 0-0 0, Young 3-8 5-6 13. Totals 30-78 18-23 82.

MEMPHIS (72): Gay 7-15 5-6 19, Randolph 3-12 3-4 9, Gasol 6-11 7-9 19, Conley 2-13 3-4 7, Allen 3-8 1-2 7, Mayo 1-11 2-4 4, Pondexter 1-2 1-2 3, Speights 1-2 0-0 2, Haddadi 0-0 0-0 0, Arenas 0-1 0-0 0, Cunningham 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 25-77 22-31 72.

L.A. Clippers 16 23 16 27— 82

Memphis 13 25 18 16— 72

3-Point GoalsL.A. Clippers 4-17 (Young 2-3, Williams 1-4, Paul 1-6, Foye 0-1, Butler 0-3), Memphis 0-13 (Pondexter 0-1, Gasol 0-1, Gay 0-2, Allen 0-2, Randolph 0-2, Conley 0-2, Mayo 0-3). Fouled OutAllen. ReboundsL.A. Clippers 57 (Martin 10), Memphis 57 (Randolph 12). AssistsL.A. Clippers 12 (Paul 4), Memphis 12 (Conley 5). Total FoulsL.A. Clippers 28, Memphis 20. A18,119 (18,119).

James, Wade help Heat pull away in win

MIAMI — LeBron James and Dwyane Wade combined for 22 of the Heat's 25 points in the fourth for a 95-86 win over the Pacers in Game 1 of the East semifinal.

The third member of the big three, Chris Bosh, left late in the first half with a lower abdominal injury. Miami said only he would have an MRI exam at an undetermined time.

"It's unfortunate Chris went down," said Wade, who scored six in the fourth. "But we told him, 'Be healthy. We got 'em.' "

Down eight, Indiana cut it to 86-85 on George Hill's 3-pointer with 4:51 left. But Miami's final flurry included a dunk by James and Wade coming from behind to block Paul George's shot about a half-minute later.

"It came down to execution in the fourth quarter," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "And you've got to give credit to Miami's defense."

INDIANA (86): Granger 1-10 4-4 7, West 6-12 5-6 17, Hibbert 6-12 5-6 17, Hill 4-10 0-0 10, George 1-5 3-4 6, Barbosa 4-10 1-4 9, Amundson 0-2 0-0 0, Hansbrough 4-5 0-2 8, Collison 4-8 2-2 10, D.Jones 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 31-77 20-28 86.

MIAMI (95): James 12-26 8-10 32, Haslem 0-4 2-2 2, Bosh 6-11 1-2 13, Chalmers 0-3 4-4 4, Wade 8-23 13-14 29, Miller 1-3 0-0 2, Battier 0-3 0-0 0, Anthony 4-4 1-2 9, Turiaf 2-4 0-4 4. Totals 33-81 29-38 95.

Indiana 23 25 22 16— 86

Miami 20 22 28 25— 95

3-Point GoalsIndiana 4-17 (Hill 2-7, George 1-2, Granger 1-5, Collison 0-1, D.Jones 0-2), Miami 0-6 (Chalmers 0-1, Battier 0-2, James 0-3). Fouled OutGeorge. ReboundsIndiana 51 (West 12), Miami 60 (James 15). AssistsIndiana 18 (Collison 6), Miami 16 (James 5). Total FoulsIndiana 31, Miami 22. A19,600 (19,600).

Late Saturday: Gasol lifts Lakers to victory

LOS ANGELES — Pau Gasol had 23 points, 17 rebounds, six assists and four blocked shots as the Lakers, on their third try, eliminated the Nuggets 96-87 in Game 7 of the West quarterfinal.

Gasol put the Lakers up for good on a tip-in with 6:30 left that started an 11-2 run. Arron Afflalo's 3-pointer cut it to 89-84 with 1:09 left. But Kobe Bryant responded with a 3-pointer.

DENVER (87): Gallinari 1-9 0-0 3, Faried 3-5 0-0 6, Mozgov 1-1 0-0 2, Lawson 11-19 0-2 24, Afflalo 6-11 2-2 15, Miller 1-10 1-1 3, McGee 1-7 4-6 6, Harrington 9-18 3-3 24, Brewer 2-9 0-0 4. Totals 35-89 10-14 87.

L.A. LAKERS (96): World Peace 5-15 1-2 15, Gasol 9-19 5-5 23, Bynum 4-15 8-11 16, Sessions 2-8 0-1 4, Bryant 7-16 1-4 17, Hill 1-4 0-0 2, Blake 7-11 0-0 19, Barnes 0-1 0-0 0, Ebanks 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 35-89 15-23 96.

Denver 24 18 26 19— 87

L.A. Lakers 25 23 21 27— 96

3-Point GoalsDenver 7-26 (Harrington 3-10, Lawson 2-6, Gallinari 1-3, Afflalo 1-3, Miller 0-1, Brewer 0-3), L.A. Lakers 11-24 (Blake 5-6, World Peace 4-11, Bryant 2-2, Barnes 0-1, Sessions 0-4). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsDenver 63 (McGee 14), L.A. Lakers 57 (Bynum 18). AssistsDenver 23 (Miller 8), L.A. Lakers 22 (Bryant 8). Total FoulsDenver 21, L.A. Lakers 20. A18,997 (18,997).

Rookie of the year: Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving, last year's top overall pick, will win the award, the Associated Press and ESPN.com reported. The winner will be announced today.

Clippers finally eliminate Grizzlies 05/13/12 [Last modified: Sunday, May 13, 2012 11:03pm]
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