Chris Paul's running bank shot with a tenth of a second left gave the Los Angeles Clippers a 93-91 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies and a 2-0 lead in their first-round Western Conference playoff series.
LOS ANGELES — Chris Paul’s running bank shot with a tenth of a second left gave the Los Angeles Clippers a 93-91 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night and a 2-0 lead in their first-round Western Conference series.
Both teams stayed on the court while the referees reviewed the play. It was declared good, leaving Memphis a tick of the clock to inbound the ball but not enough to get off a final shot.
Paul finished with 24 points and nine assists and Blake Griffin added 21 points and eight rebounds.
Paul carried the Clippers in the final 3:46, scoring eight straight points, including a basket that gave them a 91-89 lead with 1:20 to play.
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Mike Conley scored a career playoff-high 28 points while leading the Grizzlies’ fourth-quarter charge that came up short.
Conley found Marc Gasol alone in the paint and the big man dunked to tie the score at 91-all with 13 seconds left.
The Clippers won a jump ball, but Paul missed a three-pointer. He redeemed himself and set off a raucous reaction when he fought off Tony Allen’s defense and banked in the winner from 4 feet.
“Chris has done this his whole career, especially since he’s been here the last couple of seasons,” Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. “I have incredible confidence in him at the end of games.”
Gasol added 17 points, Allen had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Zach Randolph had 13 points while racking up five fouls for the second straight game.
Game 3 of the best-of-seven series is Thursday in Memphis.
Bulls get even with Nets
NEW YORK — The criticism flew fast and furious, the obituaries started to take shape and the Chicago Bulls reacted the way they often do when faced with adversity.
They looked inward. They challenged themselves to play with more intensity and aggressiveness. And they didn’t merely circle the wagons; they walled off the lane.
Swarming and double-teaming guard Deron Williams at virtually every opportunity, the vaunted Bulls defense returned. Chicago downed the Brooklyn Nets 90-82 at Barclays Center to even their best-of-seven Eastern Conference first-round series at a game apiece.
Game 3 is Thursday in Chicago.
The Luol Deng impostor who got dominated by Brooklyn’s Gerald Wallace in the opener disappeared, replaced by a more aggressive version who scored 15 points for the Bulls. Joakim Noah again battled his way through plantar fasciitis, contributing 11 points and 10 rebounds.
After repeatedly beating the Bulls in pick-and-roll situations in Game 1, Williams didn’t make his first and only field goal until midway through the third quarter. He finished with eight points on 1-for-9 shooting and 10 assists.
“I’ve got to do a better job of everything, really,” Williams said. “This was a bad one for me.”
• J.R. Smith of the New York Knicks was voted the league’s Sixth Man of the Year.
Smith received 484 points, including 72 first-place votes, in balloting by a 121-person media panel. The Clippers’ Jamal Crawford, a graduate of Rainier Beach High School in Seattle, was second with 352 points and 31 first-place votes.
Crawford said he and Smith exchanged congratulatory texts. Crawford won the award for the 2009-10 season, when he played for Atlanta.