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Chiris Paul scored 19 points and Nick Young added 13 off the bench as the LA Clippers defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 82-72 in a defensive struggle at the Fed Ex Arena winning the first round best of 7 series 4-3. Paul recorded only 4 assists and made only 7/17 (41%) including just 1/6 (17%) from 3 point range along with 9 rebounds and 6 turnovers. Young battled foul trouble throughout but provided a much needed lift from the reserves as did Keynon Martin who contributed 11 points and 10 rebounds. LA shot just 39% from the field including just 4/17 (24%) from 3 point range. However they managed to convert 18/23 (78%) from the much maligned foul line and outrebounded Memphis 46-44 despite committing 17 turnovers. Rudy Gay and Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies with 19 points each however the rest of the team managed only 34 the rest of the way with nobody else in double figures. Gay shot 7/15 (47%) and collected 9 rebounds despite cmmitting 5 turnovers. Gasol shot 55% and blocked 4 shots. Zach Randolph hauled down a team high 12 rebounds but shot only 3/12 (25%) for 9 points. Memphis notched just 13 first quarter points, shot only 33% and missed all 13 of their 3 point attempts while recording just 12 team assists. Both teams could not get into an offensive flow throughout and played good defense in the first half. The Grizzlies managed to pull within 39-38 at halftime even though they kept struggling to find the basket. Mike Conley missed his first seven shots with his drought stretching to the free throw line where he missed his first attempt. Conley didn't hit his first bucket until a jumper in the early seconds of the third quarter. Conley finished with seven points on 2 of 13 shooting. The Clippers, who trailed 56-55 after three quarters, took control by opening the fourth with an 11-2 run started by a jumper by Martin. He tipped in a shot for a 66-58 lead with 8:41 left. Mo Williams matched the Clippers' biggest lead to that point at 10 with a 3-pointer pushing it to 71-61 with 7:04 left in a 16-5 spurt to open the quarter. Memphis got away from the inside-out approach that won the last two games. The Grizzlies outscored the Clippers 36-24, but Randolph said they took far too many jumpers instead of feeding the ball to Gasol and himself. The home-court advantage that didn't help the Grizzlies when they blew a 27-point lead in Game 1 didn't help again Sunday as they went cold from the floor. Gasol's one-handed dunk with 3:09 left was Memphis' last field goal down the stretch as the Grizzlies hit only 4 of 18 in the fourth quarter. Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals features the Clippers at San Antonio tomorrow night.
Lebron James scored 32 points and Dwqyne Wade added 29 as the Miami Heat took charge late and defeated Indiana 95-86 in the opening game of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at the American Airlines Arena. James shot 12/26 (46%) from the floor, grabbed a team high 15 rebounds and dished out 5 assists bearking open a tight game in the 4th quarter. Wade made only 8/23 (35%) from the field but drained 13/14 (93%) from the charity stripe. Chris Bosh was the only other Heat player in double figures contributing 13 points and 5 rebounds despite suffering an abdominal strain in the second quarter notching just 16 minutes. Miami shot only 41% overall but converted 29/38 (76%) from the foul line outrebounding Indiana 45-38. David West and Roy Hibbert each led the Pacers with 17 points while Darren Collison and George Hill added 10 apiece. West collected 12 rebounds and Hibbert hauled down 11 while both shooting 6/12 (50%) overall. Indiana shot only 40% and converted only 4/17 (24%) from 3 point range while committing 16 turnovers. Everything was undecided until the final moments. Hill made a 3-pointer with 4:51 left, getting Indiana within 86-85. But the Pacers missed their final nine shots of the game, James had a dunk in transition to make it 90-85 with 4:10 left, and his off balance jumper with 31.8 seconds remaining wrapped up the Heat win. Game 2 is tomorrow evening.