(The Sports Xchange) – – -Guard Klay Thompson scored 22 points and forward David Lee added 20 points and 13 rebounds, and the Golden State Warriors surprised the Los Angeles Clippers 109-105 in the opening round of the Western Conference quarter-finals.
Guard Stephen Curry and forward Harrison Barnes had 14 apiece as the Warriors grabbed a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
The Warriors prevailed despite blowing a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter.
They led 98-88 after a layup by Lee midway through the final period, but the Clippers used a 15-4 surge to take a 103-102 lead after a free throw by guard Darren Collison with 2:10 left.
A three-pointer by Barnes gave Golden State the lead again, but forward Blake Griffin, who was plagued by foul trouble, tied it at 105 with two free throws with 1:31 remaining.
Forward Draymond Green hit a pair of free throws for a 107-105 Warriors’ lead with 24 seconds left.
Point guard Chris Paul, who led the Clippers with 28 points, eight assists and four steals, missed two free throws with 11.9 seconds remaining.
Griffin, who fouled out with 48.3 seconds remaining, finished with 16 points and three rebounds in only 19 minutes.
Nets 94, Raptors 87
Guard Deron Williams and forward Joe Johnson each scored 24 points as the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Toronto Raptors in the opening game of an NBA first-round playoff series.
Veteran forward Paul Pierce scored nine points in the final three minutes of the game for the Nets and finished with 15.
Johnson also grabbed eight rebounds as did center Kevin Garnett, and guard Shaun Livingston chipped in with 10 point points for Brooklyn.
Guard Kyle Lowry led Toronto with 22 points, while guard Greivis Vasquez added 18.
The Raptors, who trailed by five points entering the fourth quarter, tied the score on five straight points by forward Patrick Patterson, who hit a three-pointer and a running slam dunk.
The Nets pulled ahead by four only to have the Raptors tie it again, 73-73, with 6:25 left.
The teams exchanged the lead before Garnett hit on a fadeaway shot and Pierce added a three-pointer gave the Nets a six-point lead with 2:57 to play.
Hawks 101, Pacers 93
Guard Jeff Teague scored 14 of his game-high 28 points in the third quarter, leading the Atlanta Hawks to a stunning 101-93 victory over Indiana in the first game of their playoff series.
The Hawks entered the post-season with the worst regular-season record (38-44) of the 16 playoffs teams.
The Pacers won the Central Division title and the top seed in the Eastern Conference, but were completely outplayed by Atlanta in the third quarter.
Teague and forward Paul Millsap combined for 27 points and five rebounds in the third quarter as the Hawks outscored the Pacers 30-16.
Forward Paul George led Indiana with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Guard Lance Stephenson added 19 points.
Millsap scored 25 points for the Hawks. Forward DeMarre Carroll and guard Kyle Korver both added 12. Carroll also had 10 rebounds.
Thunder 100, Grizzlies 86
Forward Kevin Durant posted 33 points, eight rebounds and seven assists to lead Oklahoma City to a 100-86 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies in the opening game of the Western Conference playoffs first round.
With 8:44 left, Oklahoma City’s earlier 25-point lead had all but been erased. Memphis was down by just two and had momentum squarely on its side after guard Mike Miller drained a three-pointer.
But, after using up a vast amount of energy to get back into the contest, the Grizzlies didn’t have enough left in the tank to climb over the hill and take the lead. The younger Thunder took advantage and outscored the Grizzlies 26-13 to close out the game.
Forward Zach Randolph paced the Grizzlies with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Center Marc Gasol added 16 points on 7-for-19 shooting. Guard Mike Conley scored 16 points to go with 11 assists.
Guard Russell Westbrook scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Oklahoma City. Forward Serge Ibaka added 17 points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots.