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nba playoff roundup

Roundup: Pacers, Thunder each force Game 7s

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) went to the basket and scores past Toronto Raptors forward Amir Johnson (15) at Air Canada Centre.

Tom Szczerbowski/USA Today Sports

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) went to the basket and scores past Toronto Raptors forward Amir Johnson (15) at Air Canada Centre.

Stephen Curry scored 24 points and dished out nine assists, and the Golden State Warriors forced a decisive Game 7 by outlasting the Los Angeles Clippers, 100-99, Thursday night in Oakland, Calif.

Andre Iguodala added 15 points and Draymond Green had 14 points and 14 rebounds for the Warriors, handing Los Angeles one more obstacle to overcome in a week full of them after Clippers owner Donald Sterling earned a lifetime ban from the NBA for his racist remarks.

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The Warriors limited big men Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan even after center Jermaine O'Neal left with a sprained right knee in the second quarter. The Clippers simply ran out of time in the closing minute, missing three shots before Matt Barnes made a 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds to play.

Game 7 is Saturday in Los Angeles.

Pacers 95, Hawks 88 — David West led Indiana on a 16-4 run to end the game, extending the season for top-seeded Indiana in Atlanta.

Trailing, 3-2, after losing at home for the second time in the best-of-seven series, Indiana was poised for an early summer when the Hawks pushed out to an 84-79 lead with just over three minutes remaining, cheered on by a raucous crowd.

But, for the fourth time in the series, the road team won.

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West seemed to make every big play down the stretch, scoring 4 straight points and forcing a huge turnover to begin the turnaround. West hit two more baskets in the final minute to wrap things up, finishing with 24 points.

Game 7 is Saturday in Indianapolis.

Paul George also scored 24 points for the Pacers, making four straight free throws to help finish off the Hawks, trying to become only the sixth No. 8 seed to knock off a No. 1 seed.

Atlanta, playing perhaps its biggest home playoff game since the 1980s, looked as if it was on the verge of a huge celebration when Indiana’s defense sagged and Jeff Teague knocked down a jumper, pushing the home team to a 5-point lead with 3:16 to go.

But the Pacers showed some of the resolve they've been accused of lacking, led by West. After swishing a pair of free throws, he hustled back to swat the ball away from Atlanta’s Pero Antic. Making sure Indiana took advantage of the turnover, West scored again on a jumper from the top of the key.

Paul Millsap missed at the other end, and George Hill burst into the lane to drop one in. Just like that, the Pacers were back up, 85-84, with 1:58 remaining.

Thunder 104, Grizzlies 84 — Kevin Durant scored 36 points to break out of a slump, and Oklahoma City routed host Memphis to force a deciding seventh game in the first-round Western Conference series.

Russell Westbrook added 25 points for the Thunder, who haven’t been eliminated in the first round of the playoffs since 2010. They took control early with Durant scoring 14 points in the first quarter, led by 15 at halftime and never let Memphis get closer in the second half in the first game in the series ended in regulation since the opener.

Durant also had 10 rebounds and made 14 of 15 free throws. Reggie Jackson had 16 points off the bench for the Thunder.

Game 7 is Saturday night in Oklahoma City.

Marc Gasol had 17 points and Zach Randolph 16 for Memphis. Guard Mike Conley strained his right hamstring, briefly returned and left for good with 8:48 left.

Conley went down in the third quarter near midcourt dribbling when Kendrick Perkins reached in for a steal. The Memphis guard returned briefly, but Conley was limping noticeably. With the Thunder in control, Conley went to the locker room again and didn’t return.

Durant had to answer questions after the shootaround Thursday about being called ‘‘Mr. Unreliable’’ in a headline in the Oklahoma City newspaper. Durant said he had no problem with the headline and that he just needed to hit shots and be more aggressive.

Smiling just before tipoff, Durant did just that as he finished 11 of 23 from the floor. He continued to struggle outside the arc where he missed all six of his attempts.

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