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Pacers find themselves for clinching victory

The Pacers’ Lance Stephenson celebrates with fans.

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The Pacers’ Lance Stephenson celebrates with fans.

INDIANAPOLIS — The Pacers salvaged their season Saturday by reverting to form.

Paul George scored a career-playoff-high 30, Lance Stephenson had 19 and Roy Hibbert finally came up big against the more nimble Hawks as the Pacers survived a first-round scare with a 92-80 victory in the decisive seventh game of their Eastern Conference series.

The top-seeded Pacers advanced to a conference semifinal against the Wizards that starts Monday. "We know what we want to get to, and we know what our journey is," George said.

Indiana, the league's best home team in the regular season, twice gave away homecourt advantage by losing Games 1 and 5. Atlanta's spread offense and 3-point shooters had Indiana's normally stout defense scrambling for answers after the Hawks took a 3-2 lead Monday. Hibbert, an All-Star center, had just 20 points in the first six games. George spent the week dealing with a burglary at his home and a possible Game 7 suspension.

On Saturday, George sparked the two biggest runs of the game, finished 11-of-23 from the field and grabbed 11 rebounds for a league-leading sixth double double in the playoffs. Stephenson also had nine rebounds and five assists. Hibbert had 13 points, seven rebounds and five blocks.

The Pacers got back to using their size advantage, beating Atlanta 55-38 on the glass, yet still found a way to limit the Hawks to 11 of 44 shooting from 3-point range. The 44 attempts broke the league's single-game playoff record (42) set by the Mavericks in May 2003.

Kyle Korver led the Hawks with 19 points. "You have to make some shots," Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said. "And (Saturday) we weren't able to do it at the rate that we needed to."

Pacers 92, Hawks 80

ATLANTA (80): Carroll 1-7 0-0 2, Millsap 6-21 3-5 15, Antic 0-5 0-0 0, Teague 5-16 6-6 16, Korver 6-13 2-3 19, Scott 5-14 2-2 15, Williams 0-3 0-0 0, Mack 5-12 0-0 13, Brand 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 28-92 13-16 80.

INDIANA (92): George 11-23 7-8 30, West 1-7 2-2 4, Hibbert 6-10 1-2 13, G.Hill 3-10 9-9 15, Stephenson 8-12 2-4 19, Copeland 1-2 0-0 3, Watson 3-6 1-2 7, Mahinmi 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 33-70 23-29 92.

Atlanta 23 13 27 17— 80

Indiana 24 23 24 21— 92

3-Point GoalsAtlanta 11-44 (Korver 5-10, Mack 3-8, Scott 3-10, Williams 0-1, Teague 0-2, Antic 0-3, Carroll 0-5, Millsap 0-5), Indiana 3-18 (Copeland 1-1, Stephenson 1-3, George 1-8, Watson 0-1, G.Hill 0-5). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsAtlanta 46 (Millsap 17), Indiana 64 (Stephenson 14). AssistsAtlanta 16 (Mack 7), Indiana 17 (Stephenson 5). Total FoulsAtlanta 24, Indiana 19. TechnicalsStephenson, West.

Thunder rolls to semis

OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant scored 33 points, Russell Westbrook had a triple-double and the Thunder beat the Grizzlies 120-109 in Game 7 of their Western Conference series.

In the semifinals, the Thunder meets the winner of the Clippers-Warriors series, which played Game 7 late Saturday.

Westbrook had 27 points, 16 assists and 10 rebounds. His assist total tied the franchise record for a playoff game set in 1987 by Nate McMillan when the team was in Seattle.

The Grizzlies, playing without leading scorer Zach Randolph because of a suspension, led by 11 in the first half before the Thunder overwhelmed them and shot 66 percent after the break. Marc Gasol led Memphis with 24 points.

Thunder 120, Grizzlies 109

MEMPHIS (109): Allen 4-11 7-8 15, Miller 1-3 0-0 3, Gasol 7-20 10-11 24, Conley 8-14 4-5 20, Lee 5-10 4-5 16, Prince 3-6 0-0 6, Koufos 2-3 0-0 4, Udrih 4-8 3-3 12, Leuer 3-5 2-2 9, Davis 0-1 0-0 0, Franklin 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 37-83 30-34 109.

OKLAHOMA CITY (120): Durant 12-18 4-6 33, Ibaka 6-8 0-0 12, Perkins 2-2 0-0 4, Westbrook 10-16 5-6 27, Butler 3-10 8-9 15, Adams 3-3 2-3 8, Jackson 5-6 4-4 16, Fisher 1-4 2-2 5, Lamb 0-2 0-0 0, Jones 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 42-69 25-30 120.

Memphis 36 22 23 28— 109

Oklahoma City 27 34 33 26— 120

3-Point GoalsMemphis 5-17 (Lee 2-5, Udrih 1-2, Leuer 1-2, Miller 1-3, Gasol 0-1, Allen 0-1, Prince 0-1, Conley 0-2), Oklahoma City 11-19 (Durant 5-5, Westbrook 2-2, Jackson 2-3, Fisher 1-3, Butler 1-5, Lamb 0-1). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsMemphis 37 (Leuer 7), Oklahoma City 45 (Westbrook 10). AssistsMemphis 22 (Conley 9), Oklahoma City 22 (Westbrook 16). Total FoulsMemphis 22, Oklahoma City 28. TechnicalsAdams.

Late Friday: Damian Lillard always admired Brandon Roy for his ability to make game-changing shots. Now the second-year Blazers guard is making the game-changers. Lillard hit a 3 as time expired to send host Portland to the West semis with a 99-98 Game 6 win over the Rockets. It was the first buzzer-beating shot to win a series since John Stockton's 3 led Utah over Houston in the 1997 West final. "I've got a lot of confidence in myself," Lillard said. "When you have a team full of guys that you know have the same confidence in you when the ball is in your hands … it makes it that much easier."

nba to name clippers ceo: The league said it will appoint a chief executive officer to supervise the Clippers' operations in the wake of the sanctions levied against owner Donald Sterling for making racist comments. Commissioner Adam Silver last week banned Sterling for life, fined him $2.5 million and urged league owners to force him to sell the team. Sterling's long-estranged wife, Rochelle, said she supports Silver's decisions and agrees the league and team should work together to find "fresh, accomplished" leadership."

Playoffs

EAST

Raptors 3, NETS 3

Game 1: Nets 94, Raptors 87

Game 2: Raptors 100, Nets 95

Game 3: Nets 102, Raptors 98

Game 4: Raptors 87, Nets 79

Game 5: Raptors 115, Nets 113

Game 6: Nets 97, Raptors 83

Sunday: at Toronto

PACERS 4, HAWKS 3

Wizards 4, Bulls 1

Heat 4, Bobcats 0

WEST

Spurs 3, Mavericks 3

Game 1: Spurs 90, Mavs 85

Game 2: Mavs 113, Spurs 92

Game 3: Mavs 109, Spurs 108

Game 4: Spurs 93, Mavs 103

Game 5: Spurs 109, Mavs 103

Game 6: Mavericks 113, Spurs 111

Sunday: at San Antonio

CLIPPERS 4, wARRIORS 3

Game 1: Warriors 109, Clippers 105

Game 2: Clippers 138, Warriors 98

Game 3: Clippers 98, Warriors 96

Game 4: Warriors 118, Clippers 97

Game 5: Clippers 113, Warriors 103

Game 6: Warriors 100, Clippers 99

Game 7: Clippers 126, Warriors 121

Thunder 4, Grizzlies 3

Trail Blazers 4, Rockets 2

Conference semifinals

EAST

Heat vs. Raptors/Nets

Tuesday: at Miami, TBD, TNT

Thursday: at Miami, TBD, ESPN2

Saturday: at Toronto/Brooklyn, 8, Ch. 28

May 12: at Toronto/Brooklyn, TBD, TNT

May 14: at Miami, TBD, TNT*

May 16: at Toronto/Brooklyn, TBD, ESPN*

May 18: at Miami, TBD, Ch. 28*

Pacers vs. Wizards

Monday: at Indiana, 7, TNT

Wednesday: at Indiana, 7, TNT

Friday: at Washington, 8, ESPN

May 11: at Washington, 8, TNT

May 13: at Indiana, TBD, TNT*

May 15: at Wash., TBD, ESPN*

May 18: at Indiana, TBD, TBD*

WEST

Thunder vs. Clippers

Monday: at Okla. City, 9:30, TNT

Wed.: at Okla. City, 9:30, TNT

Friday: at L.A., 10:30, ESPN

May 11: at L.A., 3:30, Ch. 28

May 13: at Okla. City, TBD, TNT*

May 15: at L.A., TBD, ESPN*

May 18: at Okla. City, TBD, TNT*

Blazers vs. Spurs/mavs

Tuesday: at San Antonio or at Portland, TBD, TNT

Thursday: at San Antonio or at Portland, TBD, ESPN2

Saturday: at Portland or at Dallas, TBD, ESPN

May 12: at Portland or at Dallas, TBD, TNT

May 14: at San Antonio or at Portland, TBD, TNT*

May 16: at Portland or at Dallas, TBD, ESPN*

May 19: at San Antonio or at Portland, TBD, TNT*

* if necessary

Pacers find themselves for clinching victory 05/03/14 [Last modified: Sunday, May 4, 2014 2:41pm]

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