PORTLAND – Damian Lillard made a three-pointer at the buzzer and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Houston Rockets 99-98 Friday to take their best-of-seven playoff series in six games and advance to the Western Conference semifinals for the first time in 14 years.
In the postgame celebration, Lillard took the public-address microphone and shouted “Rip City!”
Blazers coach Terry Stotts said, “I think he lives for these moments. It was a remarkable shot.”
Portland, making its first playoff appearance since 2011, had been eliminated in the first round in its last six trips, and hadn’t advanced to the second round since 2000.
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LaMarcus Aldridge led the Blazers with 30 points and 13 rebounds. Lillard scored 25 points.
Chandler Parsons scored on a reverse layup with 0.9 seconds left to give Houston a 98-96 lead.
James Harden led the Rockets with 34 points. Dwight Howard had 26 points and 11 rebounds.
At Mavericks 113, Spurs 111
Monta Ellis scored 12 of his 29 points to lead a fourth-quarter comeback, and Dallas beat San Antonio to force a deciding Game 7 in their West first-round series. The top-seeded Spurs will host Game 7 on Sunday.
At Nets 97, Raptors 83
Deron Williams scored 23 points, shaking off a second-half ankle injury, and Brooklyn forced a seventh game in the East first-round series by beating Toronto.
The deciding game is Sunday in Toronto, with the winner advancing to face the two-time defending champion Miami Heat.
• Memphis forward Zach Randolph has been suspended for Saturday’s Game 7 of the Grizzlies’ playoff series against Oklahoma City for punching Thunder center Steven Adams in the jaw in Thursday night’s game.
Randolph is averaging a team-best 18.2 points in the series.
• V. Stiviano says Donald Sterling’s racist comments on an audio recording leaked to the public were not the first by the Los Angeles Clippers’ owner in conversations with her.
“There’s been a number of occasions where Mr. Sterling and I had conversations just like this one,” Stiviano told Barbara Walters on ABC’s “20/20” in an interview that aired Friday.
Sterling told Stiviano in the recording she should not post online photos of herself with black people, including basketball legend Magic Johnson, or bring black people to Clippers’ games. On Tuesday, commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling for life and fined him $2.5 million.