Published — Wednesday 24 April 2013
Last update 24 April 2013 2:35 am
LOS ANGELES: Chris Paul’s running jump shot with a tenth of a second left gave the Los Angeles Clippers a 93-91 victory over Memphis Grizzlies on Monday and a 2-0 lead in their first-round playoff series.
Earlier at New York, Carlos Boozer had 13 points and 12 rebounds, and Joakim Noah played his way through a foot injury to make three fourth-quarter baskets as the Chicago Bulls downed the Brooklyn Nets 90-82 to level their series at 1-1.
Both the Clippers and the Grizzlies stayed on the court while the referees reviewed Paul’s last gasp 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, Blake Griffin added 21 points and eight rebounds and Jamal Crawford scored 15 points.
Paul carried the Clippers over the final 3:46, scoring eight straight points, including a basket that gave them a 91-89 lead with 1:20 to play.
Mike Conley scored a career playoff high 28 points while leading the Grizzlies’ fourth-quarter charge that came up just short. He had 10 points in the period, while Darrell Arthur scored five straight to pull Memphis into an 89-all tie.
Luol Deng bounced back from a poor opener with 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulls, who became the first team to win a road game this postseason.
Chicago held the Nets to two baskets in the third quarter to build a big enough lead to hold off a charge in the fourth.
Noah finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulls, who host Game 3 on Thursday.
Brook Lopez scored 21 points for the Nets, who shot 35 percent from the field and were just 4 of 21 from 3-point range. Star point guard Deron Williams was 1 of 9, finishing with eight points.
Knicks’ J.R. Smith wins NBA Sixth Man award
New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith has won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award.
Smith received 484 points, including 72 first-place votes, from a panel of 121 writers and broadcasters. The Clippers’ Jamal Crawford finished second with 352 points, getting 31 first-place votes.
Smith averaged 18.1 points in 80 games, all off the bench. He had 29 games in which he scored 20 points as a reserve, tying Crawford for the NBA lead.
Smith helped the Knicks win the Atlantic Division title for the first time since 1994. New York is the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference and leads the Boston Celtics 1-0 in their first-round playoff series.
Meantime, Indiana forward Paul George has been honored as the NBA’s Most Improved Player.
Tuesday’s announcement comes less than a week after the 6-foot-9 forward finished his breakthrough regular season and less than 48 hours after he became only the second player in franchise history to record a triple double in the NBA playoffs. He had 23 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists in the Pacers’ 107-90 Game 1 win over Atlanta — giving the Pacers their first 1-0 series lead since 2006.
Game 2 is Wednesday night in Indy.
George averaged 17.4 points and 7.6 rebounds this season, both career highs. He averaged 12.1 points and 5.6 rebounds in 2011-12. He’s the fourth player in franchise history to win the award, joining Jalen Rose, Jermaine O’Neal and Danny Granger.