NBA Roundup: Wizards take 1-0 lead with 102-96 win
Bradley Beal scored 14 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter and Trevor Ariza added 22 on Monday night, leading Washington past top-seeded Indiana 102-96 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
The Wizards won a second-round game for the first time since 1982 and are 4-0 on the road in this year's playoffs. They ended a 12-game losing streak at Indiana that dated to April 18, 2007, and they did it by nearly leading from wire-to-wire.
Paul George and George Hill had 18 points each for Indiana.
The Wizards trailed only once, 31-30, and took control with a 17-6 run to close the first half that made it 56-43. Indiana couldn't get closer than five points in the second half.
Game 2 is Wednesday night at Indiana.
The Pacers have lost both of their playoff series' openers and will face another uphill battle — just days after rallying from a 3-2 deficit to beat Atlanta in seven games in the first round.
Washington made a playoff franchise-record 10 3-pointers, going 10 of 16. Ariza was 6 for 6 with five coming in the first half when he scored a playoff-career best 17 points.
But the Wizards won this one because of their defense, especially late.
After pulling out to a 92-78 lead midway through the fourth quarter, Indiana scored six straight to close to 92-84 with 3:24 left.
But Washington didn't allow another field goal for nearly 6 minutes — from 7:41 left in the fourth until Indiana's last-minute 3-point flurry, and by then it was too late.
The Wizards took advantage of a five-day break after beating Chicago in the first round, looking fresh and stealing a page out of the Hawks' playbook by spreading out the Pacers.
It worked perfectly.
The Wizards jumped to an 8-0 lead and extended the margin to 28-15 after one quarter.
The Pacers spent the second half playing catch-up and the Wizards never let them get closer than two possessions.
After the Wizards took a 68-52 lead midway through the third quarter, the Pacers finally charged back with a 10-0 run that got them within 68-62.
But Washington sealed the game with a 7-0 fourth-quarter run that made it 92-78 with 5:46 to play. It was too much to overcome for Indiana, which made four 3s in the final minute.
NOTES: Washington has won nine of its last 10 dating to the regular season. ... Indiana held Washington to 66 points on Jan. 10, the lowest single-game point total this season. It took the Wizards 26:02 to top that mark Monday. ... Robert Mathis and Reggie Wayne of the Colts attended the game.
Paul scores 32; Clippers roll past Thunder 122-105
OKLAHOMA CITY — Chris Paul made a career-high eight 3-pointers and scored 32 points to help the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 122-105 on Monday night in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal.
Paul, who had never made more than five 3-pointers in a game, had 10 assists. Blake Griffin scored 23 points, Jamal Crawford had 17 and J.J. Redick added 12 for the Clippers, who shot 55 percent from the field and made 15 of 29 3-point attempts.
Russell Westbrook scored 29 points, Kevin Durant had 25 and Serge Ibaka added 12 for the Thunder, who suffered their worst home loss since moving to Oklahoma City.
The Clippers scored 23 points off Oklahoma City's 18 turnovers.
Game 2 is Wednesday night in Oklahoma City.
Both teams were coming off Game 7 wins in the first round on Saturday night.
Oklahoma City opened by taking a 16-10 lead but the Clippers responded with a 24-6 run. Paul hit five 3-pointers in the first quarter, matching his career high for 3s in a playoff game in the first 12 minutes. The Clippers shot 67 percent in the first quarter to take a 39-25 lead.
Los Angeles extended its lead to 24 points in the second quarter and took a 69-52 halftime lead with Paul getting 22 points and six assists.
Durant and Westbrook scored 16 points each in the first half, but the Thunder committed 11 turnovers before halftime.