Tim Duncan scored 21 points and Tony Parker added 17 as the San Antonio Spurs rallied in the final minutes to beat the Clippers, 102-99, on Sunday night in Los Angeles, closing out the series in four games to advance to the Western Conference finals.
The Spurs extended their winning streak to 18 games and their playoff record to 8-0, tying the third-best postseason streak in franchise history.
Chris Paul had 23 points and 11 assists, Blake Griffin added 21 points, and Eric Bledsoe had 17 for the Clippers, who blew a 6-point lead in the fourth quarter.
Both nursing injuries, Griffin and Paul combined to score 21 of the Clippers’ 28 points in the third quarter when they took their first lead of the game. In the fourth, Bledsoe came up big, scoring 11 in a row, to extend the lead to 90-85 with 5:38 remaining.
After Reggie Evans missed two free throws, Green hit a 3-pointer to tie it at 92.
Duncan’s hook put the Spurs in front, 96-94, before Paul tossed up a one-handed shot that rose to the top of the backboard before dropping straight in as he crashed into a baseline photographer. He made the free throw to put the Clippers ahead by one.
Parker scored consecutive baskets and the Spurs regained the lead, 100-97, with 1:47 left.
Paul’s two free throws drew the Clippers within 1. After a timeout, Paul drove the basket and lost the ball. He fouled Green, who made the first and missed the second to keep the Spurs ahead, 101-99.
Paul then missed another shot, and Mo Williams fouled Parker, who missed the first and made the second with a second left.
Heat 101, Pacers 93 - Miami’s season, the one that’s supposed to end in an NBA championship and vindication, was slipping away.
LeBron James brought it back. And this time, Dwyane Wade helped him.
James scored 40 points, Wade added 30 - 22 in the second half - and Miami’s dynamic duo took over after halftime to get the Heat even in the series with a win over the Pacers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals in Indianapolis.
With Chris Bosh injured and back in Florida, the James-Wade tandem saved the Heat, who will host Game 5 on Tuesday.
“Just survival,’’ Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “This is what the playoffs are about.’’
James was at his MVP best, adding 18 rebounds and nine assists and refusing to let Miami’s season slip away.
“It’s still going to be a dogfight,’’ James said. “It’s a three-game series now.’’
Wade rebounded from the worst playoff game of his career, shaking off a 1-of-8 shooting start and adding nine rebounds and six assists. Danny Granger scored 20 to lead the Pacers, who had the Heat down but couldn’t put the defending conference champions away.
Down by 10 points in the third quarter, the Heat were in danger of having their championship dreams obliterated by an Indiana team outworking them at both ends and backed by a towel-waving fans. James would have none of it. Wade either.
Wade, who scored 5 points in Game 3 and yelled at Spoelstra on the sideline during a third-quarter timeout in Miami’s 19-point loss, came alive in the third when he made all six shots and scored 14 points.
“I’ve been doubted before. I’ll be doubted again,’’ Wade said.
James added 14 as well in the period as the pair landed a 1-2 punch on the Pacers’ chin.
“We had a terrible performance in Game 3,’’ James said. “We wanted to redeem ourselves.’’
Granger’s 3-pointer had given Indiana a 61-51 lead and the Pacers, outhustling the Heat to loose balls, appeared poised to take a commanding lead in the series.
But that’s when James and Wade put on a jaw-dropping spectacle, combining for all but 2 points in a 25-5 run that put Miami up, 76-66.
The Heat took a 76-70 lead into the fourth, and every time Indiana got close, either Wade or James responded.
Miami also got a huge lift down the stretch from Udonis Haslem, who made four big jumpers in the final six minutes despite playing with a bandage over his right eye after being elbowed by Tyler Hansbrough.