Wizards win series, Clippers, Grizzlies take leads
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Washington booked its place in the next round of the NBA playoffs with a victory on Tuesday, while Memphis and the Los Angeles Clippers moved to the brink of doing the same by taking 3-2 series leads.
Washington won 75-69 at Chicago in a dour defensive encounter to complete a 4-1 series victory. It is only the third time since the 1970s that the Wizards have gone beyond the first round of the playoffs.
The Clippers had an emotion-charged 113-103 win over Golden State just hours after team owner Donald Sterling was banned for life by the NBA for racial remarks he made in a recorded conversation.
Memphis and Oklahoma City went to overtime for the fourth-straight game in the series, with the Grizzlies pulling out a 100-99 road win that put them within one win of reaching the last eight.
Washington’s John Wall finished with 24 points and Nene scored 20 in the Wizards low-scoring win at Chicago.
Bradley Beal scored 17 points for Washington, which looks like extending its stay in the playoffs in what is the team’s first postseason appearance for six years.
The Wizards turned a halftime tie into a nine-point lead heading into the fourth quarter and hung on.
Chicago’s comeback chances took a big hit early in the final quarter when Taj Gibson suffered a game-ending ankle injury with his team trailing by six points.
Wall and Nene, back from a one-game suspension, both had seven rebounds. Marcin Gortat had two points and 13 rebounds.
The Clippers showed admirable composure to put aside the Sterling controversy and beat Golden State.
DeAndre Jordan had 25 points — a playoff career high — and 18 rebounds while Chris Paul scored 20 points for the Clippers.
Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers high-fived each of his players near the bench in an uncommon display of excitement as the final seconds ticked away.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver also fined Sterling $2.5 million and called on NBA owners to force him to sell the team.
The Clippers are on the brink of just their third playoff series victory since Sterling bought the team in 1981. Game 6 is Thursday in Oakland.
Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 21 points. David Lee and Andre Iguodala scored 18 apiece while Stephen Curry had a mediocre game with 17 points, including four 3-pointers.
Memphis prevailed in a thrilling finish at Oklahoma City to move to the verge of what would be a surprise series victory.
Oklahoma City called a timeout with the score at 100-99 and with 2.9 seconds remaining. Kevin Durant missed a long 3-point attempt and teammate Serge Ibaka tipped the ball in on the rebound. The shot was reviewed and it was determined that it was released after the buzzer, ending the game.
Mike Miller scored 21 points and Zach Randolph added 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who will host Game 6 on Thursday.
Russell Westbrook had 30 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds for the Thunder, who trailed by 20 points in the third quarter but trimmed its deficit to six by the start of the fourth quarter and finally took a 79-78 lead.
Consecutive baskets by Mike Conley put the Grizzlies up 87-82 with just under 4 minutes to play.