Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Sports

Spurs put Lakers down 2-0

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Tony Parker scored 28 and had seven assists as the Spurs pulled away from the Lakers 102-91 to take a 2-0 lead in their Western Conference first-round playoff series on Wednesday night.

Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard added 16 each for San Antonio, which also got 13 points from Manu Ginobili.

Dwight Howard scored 16 and had nine rebounds to lead the Lakers, who struggled again without Kobe Bryant. Steve Blake also scored 16.

Thunder avoids slipup

OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook each scored 29, and the Thunder recovered after squandering a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter to beat the Rockets 105-102 and take a 2-0 Western Conference first-round series lead.

Durant hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:28 to play, and the Thunder didn't relinquish the lead after that. Durant missed a free throw with 1 second left, but Houston was out of timeouts and Carlos Delfino couldn't hit a desperation shot at the buzzer.

James Harden scored 36 and spearheaded a 21-2 comeback that wiped out the deficit and put the Rockets up 95-91. But the top-seeded Thunder was able to respond and protect homecourt.

"It's frustrating and it hurts really bad," said Chandler Parsons, who scored 17 for Houston. "But you've got to take some positives out of it. It's a long series."

Houston starting point guard Jeremy Lin sat out the second half because of a chest muscle bruise. Lin said X-rays were negative and he could play in Game 3 if spasms stop.

George lifts Pacers

INDIANAPOLIS — Paul George followed his triple double by scoring a playoff career-high 27 to lead the Pacers past the Hawks 113-98.

The Pacers lead the best-of-seven first-round Eastern Conference series 2-0 and have won four straight home games over the Hawks.

George was 11-for-21 from the field, and had eight rebounds, three assists and four steals.

"We naturally just play physical," George said. "It wasn't like 'Hey, let's play physical, let's retaliate.' That's just how we play. That's how we approach the game. We just have to keep playing how we play."

Indiana starting guard Lance Stephenson left in the first quarter when he landed on his right hip. He was diagnosed with a bruised hip, and returned to start the second half. George Hill, the Pacers' other starting guard, appeared to hurt his right elbow late.

Devin Harris led Atlanta with 17 points.

Cavs rehire Brown: Three years later, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert conceded for the first time publicly that he should have never fired coach Mike Brown, and he then hired him back Wednesday.

Brown led the Cavs to the playoffs in each of his five seasons with the club, but he was let go after it was eliminated in 2010 and not long before superstar LeBron James left as a free agent.

"Sure it was a mistake," Gilbert said of his choice to fire Brown. "We have the benefit of hindsight right now, and in hindsight it was a mistake. That summer we went through three years ago was a unique time for us as a franchise and the uncertainty on a lot of levels. We are very happy that we get to rectify any position we took back then."

Brown, who was fired five games into this season by the Lakers, said he has no reservations about returning to work for Gilbert or coaching in Cleveland. "It's funny how life works out," he said.

Golden state emboldened: The Warriors returned to California sleep-deprived but confident after beating the host Nuggets 131-117 late Tuesday to wrest away the homecourt advantage. Golden State evened the series after shooting nearly 65 percent, making 14 of 25 3-point attempts and having four players score at least 20 points in stopping a Denver squad that had an NBA-best 38-3 home record entering the playoffs.

Gasol top defender: Marc Gasol, the Grizzlies' 7-foot-1 center from Spain, received 212 points and 30 first-place votes to edge Miami's LeBron James (149, 18) and became the first European player to win the NBA's defensive player of the year award. Gasol averaged 1.7 blocks and 1.0 steals for a defense that allowed an NBA-best 88.7 points per game.

Spurs 102, Lakers 91

L.A. LAKERS (91): World Peace 5-13 2-2 13, Gasol 5-14 3-5 13, Howard 7-12 2-4 16, Nash 4-8 1-1 9, Blake 6-15 1-1 16, Clark 2-4 0-0 4, Morris 4-7 0-0 10, Jamison 2-6 0-0 6, Goudelock 1-2 0-0 2, Hill 1-1 0-0 2, Sacre 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 37-82 9-13 91.

SAN ANTONIO (102): Leonard 8-12 0-0 16, Duncan 8-18 0-0 16, Splitter 4-5 0-0 8, Parker 9-20 9-10 28, Green 1-5 0-0 2, Bonner 4-5 0-0 10, Ginobili 4-7 2-4 13, Joseph 1-2 0-0 2, Neal 3-7 0-0 7, Blair 0-1 0-0 0, Baynes 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 42-82 11-14 102.

L.A. Lakers 23 25 20 23— 91

San Antonio 28 28 22 24— 102

3-Point GoalsLakers 8-22 (Blake 3-7, Morris 2-2, Jamison 2-4, World Peace 1-6, Goudelock 0-1, Nash 0-2), San Antonio 7-14 (Ginobili 3-4, Bonner 2-2, Parker 1-2, Neal 1-2, Green 0-1, Joseph 0-1, Leonard 0-2). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsLakers 43 (Howard, Gasol 9), San Antonio 49 (Leonard 7). Assists Lakers 18 (Nash 6), San Antonio 21 (Ginobili, Parker 7). Total FoulsLakers 20, San Antonio 17. TechnicalsHoward. A18,581.

Thunder 105, Rockets 102

HOUSTON (102): Harden 9-24 17-20 36, Parsons 7-23 0-0 17, Asik 3-6 3-4 9, Lin 3-7 0-0 7, Beverley 7-13 0-0 16, Delfino 4-13 0-0 11, Smith 3-3 0-0 6, Garcia 0-1 0-1 0, Brooks 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 36-91 20-25 102.

OKLAHOMA CITY (105): Durant 10-25 7-8 29, Ibaka 5-6 2-2 12, Perkins 2-3 0-0 4, Westbrook 10-26 8-10 29, Sefolosha 4-9 0-0 11, Jackson 2-4 0-0 6, Martin 3-9 1-2 10, Collison 1-2 2-2 4, Fisher 0-1 0-0 0, Liggins 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 37-85 20-24 105.

Houston 28 27 17 30— 102

Oklahoma City 29 28 21 27— 105

3-Point GoalsHouston 10-35 (Parsons 3-10, Delfino 3-10, Beverley 2-4, Lin 1-3, Harden 1-7, Garcia 0-1), OkCity 11-35 (Sefolosha 3-7, Martin 3-7, Jackson 2-4, Durant 2-9, Westbrook 1-7, Fisher 0-1). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsHouston 65 (Asik 14), OkCity 47 (Ibaka 11). AssistsHouston 16 (Beverley, Harden 6), OkCity 20 (Durant 9). Total FoulsHouston 23, OkCity 22. TechnicalsSmith, Houston defensive three second, OkCity defensive three second 2. A18,203.

Pacers 113, Hawks 98

ATLANTA (98): Korver 3-10 0-0 9, Smith 7-10 1-2 16, Horford 5-11 3-6 13, Teague 7-16 2-2 16, Harris 6-10 3-5 17, I.Johnson 1-3 2-4 4, Stevenson 1-2 0-0 3, Jones 1-2 0-0 2, Petro 2-4 0-0 4, Scott 2-5 0-0 4, Jenkins 0-1 0-0 0, Mack 2-2 0-0 5, Tolliver 2-3 0-1 5. Totals 39-79 11-20 98.

INDIANA (113): George 11-21 4-7 27, West 1-4 5-7 7, Hibbert 5-10 5-5 15, Hill 7-12 4-4 22, Stephenson 2-4 0-0 4, T.Hansbrough 2-6 1-4 5, Green 6-11 0-0 15, Augustin 2-6 2-2 8, Pendergraph 4-6 0-0 8, Young 0-3 0-0 0, B.Hansbrough 0-1 0-0 0, O.Johnson 0-1 0-0 0, Mahinmi 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 41-87 21-29 113.

Atlanta 19 31 26 22— 98

Indiana 25 34 29 25— 113

3-Point GoalsAtlanta 9-23 (Korver 3-9, Harris 2-4, Mack 1-1, Smith 1-2, Stevenson 1-2, Tolliver 1-2, Scott 0-1, Teague 0-2), Indiana 10-25 (Hill 4-7, Green 3-6, Augustin 2-4, George 1-4, Stephenson 0-1, B.Hansbrough 0-1, Young 0-2). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsAtlanta 48 (Horford 10), Indiana 55 (Hibbert 9). AssistsAtlanta 25 (Horford, Teague 5), Indiana 22 (Augustin, Hibbert, Hill, George, West 3). Total FoulsAtlanta 24, Ind. 19. TechnicalsHarris, Horford, I.Johnson. A18,165.

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