Anthony Davis dominated with 31 points, 17 rebounds, and three blocked shots to lead the host Los Angeles Lakers to a solid 111-101 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 3 of their tense first-round series on Saturday night.
LeBron James added 25 points and nine rebounds as the Lakers took a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference matchup. D’Angelo Russell had 17 points and Rui Hachimura scored 16 for Los Angeles, which led by as many as 29 points in the wire-to-wire victory.
Ja Morant (hand) was cleared to play less than an hour before tipoff for the Grizzlies and had 45 points, 13 assists and nine rebounds. Memphis’ Dillon Brooks was ejected after drawing a flagrant 2 foul for delivering a blow to the groin area of James 17 seconds into the second half. Brooks had just seven points on 3-of-13 shooting before his departure.
Morant energized Memphis in the fourth quarter by scoring 22 straight Grizzlies points to pull his club within 106-96 with 2:54 left. Desmond Bane (18 points) ended the Morant run with a 3-pointer that cut the Los Angeles lead to 108-99 with 1:24 remaining. Russell answered with a basket 17 seconds later as the Lakers closed it out.
76ers 96, Nets 88
Tobias Harris scored 14 of his 25 points in the second half as Philadelphia completed an Eastern Conference first-round sweep of Brooklyn with a victory in New York.
The 76ers survived the absence of Joel Embiid after soreness was discovered in his knee following Game 3 on Thursday. They will face either the Boston Celtics or Atlanta Hawks in the next round. Philadelphia swept a best-of-seven series for the first time since defeating Milwaukee in the second round in 1985.
Harris made 11 of 19 shots and also grabbed 12 rebounds as the 76ers dominated the boards 54-38. James Harden collected 17 points, 11 assists, and eight rebounds. Spencer Dinwiddie scored 20 points for the Nets, who were swept in the first round for the third time in four seasons and saw their postseason losing streak reach 10 games.
Suns 112, Clippers 100
Kevin Durant recorded 31 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists and Devin Booker added 30 points, nine rebounds and seven assists as visiting Phoenix moved one victory away from the second round of the Western Conference playoffs by getting past short-handed Los Angeles in Game 4.
Russell Westbrook scored 37 points for the Clippers, but his stellar play in the series has not been enough to overcome the loss of two Los Angeles stars. Paul George has not played since March 21 and Kawhi Leonard has not played in either of the last two games of the series. Both are dealing with knee injuries and Leonard might not be available in Game 5 either.
Chris Paul put the victory away for the Suns, first hitting a 3-pointer with 3:39 remaining for a 107-96 lead, then making a fall-away 16-footer from along the baseline when he thought the shot clock was running out, even though it had just been reset after a Torrey Craig shot clipped the rim. The basket gave Phoenix a 109-96 advantage with 2:58 remaining
Heat 121, Bucks 99
Jimmy Butler scored 30 points before resting in the fourth quarter as host Miami beat Giannis Antetokounmpo-less Milwaukee to take a 2-1 lead in their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.
Game 4 is Monday in Miami. Reserve Duncan Robinson made five 3-pointers and scored 20 points on his 29th birthday for Miami, which led by as many as 29 and never trailed after taking control late in the first quarter.
Khris Middleton led Milwaukee with 23 points, and Jrue Holiday scored 19. Antetokounmpo missed his second straight game due to a lower back contusion that occurred in the Bucks’ 130-117 loss on Sunday in Game 1 of the series. The two-time MVP is listed as day-to-day.
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