The Los Angeles Clippers beat the Memphis Grizzlies 93-91 for a second straight win in their National Basketball Association playoff series as Chris Paul hit a driving bank shot with a tenth of a second remaining.
Paul scored 24 points last night in Los Angeles, including the final eight for the Clippers, who seized a 2-0 lead in games in their best-of-seven Western Conference matchup.
“It was a hard-fought game,” Paul, who added nine assists, said in a televised interview. “We’ll take it, 2- and-0, and now we’ve got to go to Memphis. You’ve got to protect home court and after Game 1 we knew they were going to come in hungry and try to steal Game 2.”
The Chicago Bulls yesterday became the first team to win on the road in 10 games so far this postseason, holding on for a 90-82 victory against the Brooklyn Nets that ties their Eastern Conference playoff series at one game apiece.
Home teams won the opening game in all eight first-round playoff series.
Three more Game 2 matchups are scheduled for tonight, with the New York Knicks hosting the Boston Celtics in their Eastern Conference series and the defending-champion Miami Heat, the top seed in the East, home to the Milwaukee Bucks. In the West, the Golden State Warriors visit the Denver Nuggets.
The Clippers blew a 12-point fourth-quarter lead last night before pulling out the win on Paul’s contested shot just before time expired. Referees reviewed the play and the home crowd celebrated when the basket was ruled good.
Blake Griffin added 21 points for the Clippers, the fourth seed in the West, while Mike Conley scored 28 points to lead the fifth-seeded Grizzlies. Memphis will host the next two games, starting with Game 3 on April 25.
The Bulls last night rebounded from a 17-point Game 1 loss in Brooklyn as Joakim Noah scored nine of his 11 points in the fourth quarter. Luol Deng scored 15 points to lead Chicago and Carlos Boozer had 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Kirk Hinrich added 13 points for Chicago, which led by 14 points early in the final quarter before the Nets twice made runs to get as close as four points.
“When the Nets made a run, we did a good job responding with important shots,” Deng said.
The best-of-seven series now heads to Chicago for the next two games, with Game 3 scheduled for April 25.
While the Bulls shot 48 percent in Game 2, the Nets were held to 35 percent. Joe Johnson, Deron Williams and Gerald Wallace combined to miss 26 of 34 shots.
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