Chris Paul hit a pair of free throws with 23.7 seconds left, and the Los Angeles Clippers rallied from 27 down to beat the Grizzlies, 99-98, Sunday night in Memphis in the opening game of this Western Conference series.
Rudy Gay missed a 15-footer with 0.9 seconds left after the Grizzlies squandered a lead they held for the first 47 minutes.
The Clippers lost Caron Butler to a broken left hand. But Nick Young scored 19 points off the bench, including three 3-pointers in the midst of the Clippers’ 26-1 run. Paul finished with 14 points, and Blake Griffin had 17. Butler had 12 before leaving the game.
Gay finished with 19 for Memphis. Mike Conley and O.J. Mayo had 17, and Marc Gasol had 14.
Lakers 103, Nuggets 88 - Kobe Bryant scored 31 points, Andrew Bynum posted the Lakers’ first playoff triple-double in 21 years with a postseason record-tying 10 blocked shots, and host Los Angeles thoroughly controlled the tempo in a playoff-opening victory over Denver.
Bynum, the Lakers’ All-Star center coming off his best regular season, also had 10 points and 13 rebounds while incredibly blocking 11 percent of the Nuggets’ 90 shots.
While Bynum had the Lakers’ first playoff triple-double since Magic Johnson in the 1991 NBA finals, fellow 7-footer Pau Gasol added 13 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists for the playoff-tested Lakers, who never trailed while forcing the NBA’s highest-scoring team to play Los Angeles’s preferred half-court style.
Danilo Gallinari scored 19 points for the sixth-seeded Nuggets, but the NBA’s second-youngest playoff roster struggled to run. Andre Miller had 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists while helping out Ty Lawson, Denver’s leading scorer, who managed just 7 points while failing to make a shot in the first three quarters.
Bynum blocked eight shots in the first three quarters before surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s franchise-record nine blocks in the fourth. He swatted Timofey Mozgov’s shot for No. 10 in the closing minutes to equal the NBA record set by Utah’s Mark Eaton on April 26, 1985, and matched by Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon on April 29, 1990.
Spurs 106, Jazz 91 - Putting together his best playoff game since 2009, Tony Parker scored 28 points and top-seeded San Antonio erased four years of putting itself in 0-1 holes to start the playoffs, beating visiting Utah in Game 1 of their first-round series.
It marked the 11th straight win for the Spurs dating to the regular season, and kept San Antonio from being hounded by the same doubts that emerged this time last year when they also entered the playoffs as the No. 1 seed, only to be ousted by Memphis.
“I think everybody knows what happened last year,’’ Parker said. “Everybody’s motivated this year, but we don’t even talk about it.’’
The Jazz hung close for three quarters in the franchise’s first playoff game without Jerry Sloan since 1988. Paul Millsap led Utah with 20 points, but the Jazz couldn’t keep up when the NBA’s top 3-point shooting team began burying them with threes in a two-minute burst to end the third.