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NBA playoffs: Clippers players make silent protest against alleged racist remarks

Clippers guard Chris Paul (right) and forward Blake Griffin warm up before game four of the first round of the NBA playoffs against the Warriors on Sunday in Oakland, Calif. The Clippers players wore their shirts inside-out in a silent protest against alleged racist remarks made by team owner Donald Sterling. (Kyle Terada / USA TODAY Sports)

Warriors 118, Clippers 97

All-Star guard Stephen Curry scored 17 of his game-high 33 points in the first quarter as the Golden State Warriors added on-court misery to the Los Angeles Clippers’ off-the-court issues, thumping them to even the Western Conference first-round series at 2-2.

Game Five is scheduled for Tuesday in Los Angeles though it is unsure whether Clippers owner Donald Sterling will attend the game.

He was asked not to show up in Oakland on Sunday after racial remarks attributed to him went public and were so powerful that even President Obama felt compelled to respond during a trip to Malaysia.

Clippers players made a silent protest during Sunday’s pre-game warmups when they circled mid-court, threw their jackets on the ground, which exposed T-shirts that were turned inside-out to hide any reference to the team.

Golden State built a 15-point lead after the first quarter and never looked back. Andre Iguodala added 22 for the Warriors.

Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 21.

Wizards 98, Bulls 89

Trevor Ariza scored a playoff-high 30 points with six three-pointers and guard Bradley Beal had 18 points as the Washington Wizards defeated the Chicago Bulls to take a 3-1 series lead.

Marcin Gortat added 17 points and guard John Wall had 15 for the Wizards, who scored the game’s first 14 points, led 55-40 at halftime and by 23 in the fourth quarter.

Washington played without power forward Nene after the NBA suspended him for one game following a tussle with the Bulls’ Jimmy Butler during the fourth quarter of the third game.

The Wizards can clinch the series with a win in Game Five on Tuesday in Chicago.

Taj Gibson set a career-playoff high with 32 points for the Bulls. The reserve forward made his first nine attempts from the field and finished 13-of-16 while his teammates went 22-of-62.

Raptors 87, Nets 79

DeMar DeRozan scored 20 of his 24 points in the first half and visiting Toronto survived a back-and-forth affair to knot the Eastern Conference first-round series at two games apiece.

Kyle Lowry scored 22 points, Amir Johnson had 17 and Greivis Vasquez added nine points and nine assists for the Raptors, who will host Game 5 on Wednesday. Toronto opened the game with a 13-2 run and closed it with a 14-2 push to steal back homecourt advantage with its first road playoff win since May 6, 2001.

Paul Pierce led Brooklyn with 22 points while Mirza Teletovic added 12 off the bench. Guards Joe Johnson and Deron Williams, who averaged a combined 44 points in the first three games, totaled 17 on 6-of-19 shooting and had seven of the Nets' 16 turnovers.

Pierce had a layup with 6:12 to go for a 77-73 lead but Brooklyn managed just two free throws the rest of the way, going 0-for-6 from the floor and turning the ball over four times in a dismal stretch run. DeRozan's free throws with 4:43 to go gave Toronto the lead for good at 80-79, Vasquez followed with a 3-pointer and Lowry scored the final four points to ice it.

Johnson (11 points), DeRozan (10) and Lowry (10) combined for 31 first-quarter points and the Raptors led by as many as 17 midway through the second before Pierce had a layup and a 3-pointer as part of a 14-2 surge that helped Brooklyn pull within 51-44 at the break. Pierce opened the second half with a 3-pointer and a layup and the Nets kept coming, grabbing their first lead of the game moments later on a Kevin Garnett hoop to make it 52-51 less than three minutes into the third.

Rockets 121, Trail Blazers 116 (OT)

Rookie Troy Daniels hit the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 11 seconds left and James Harden had 37 points and nine rebounds as visiting Houston outlasted Portland to cut the Trail Blazers' lead to 2-1 in the Western Conference series.

Dwight Howard had 24 points and 14 rebounds and Patrick Beverley contributed 16 points and nine rebounds for the Rockets, who scored the last nine points while holding the Trail Blazers scoreless over the final 3:07 of overtime. Chandler Parsons added 15 points and Jeremy Lin had 13.

Damian Lillard scored 30 points, Nicolas Batum had 26 points and nine rebounds and LaMarcus Aldridge added 23 points and 10 rebounds for Portland, which hosts Game 4 on Sunday. Mo Williams added 17 points for the Trail Blazers, who had a chance to force a second overtime but Batum missed a tying 3-pointer with five seconds to go before Harden sealed it with two free throws.

The Rockets had an 11-point lead after Lin's basket with 8:04 remaining in regulation but the Trail Blazers chipped away and took a 107-106 lead on Lillard's layup with 1:59 left. Four free throws by Harden gave Houston a 3-point lead before Portland's Batum drained a tying 3-pointer with 41.9 seconds remaining.

The Trail Blazers used a 16-0 second-quarter run to overcome a 12-point deficit and later scored the final five points of the half for a 55-54 lead. Harden scored 11 points in the third quarter as Houston took an 81-78 edge into the final stanza..

Late Saturday: Thunder 92, Grizzlies 89

Overtime. Again. But this time, after losing two straight overtime games, the Oklahoma City Thunder survived for a 92-89 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum to even their first-round Western Conference playoff series at 2-2.

Reggie Jackson scored a career-high 32 points, including the last five in regulation, as the Thunder rallied from an 80-75 deficit over the last 1:20 to send the game into overtime tied at 80.

The Thunder had led by 14 with 26 seconds left in the third quarter.

In overtime, Jackson scored eight of the Thunder’s 12 points and sank four free throws over the last 12.2 seconds.

The Thunder never led by more than three in overtime and the Grizzlies never led by more than one, the last time at 1:34 when point guard Mike Conley hit a step-back jumper.

Conley’s three-point attempt bounced high off the iron as the overtime ended.

Memphis missed opportunities at the free-throw line, shooting 56.5 percent (13-for-23).

Thunder stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook again struggled against the Grizzlies’ physical defense and scored less combined (30 points) than Jackson did by himself.

Westbrook finished with 15 points, going 6-for-24 from the field, and Durant scored 15 while making 5-of-21 from the floor.

Marc Gasol led Memphis with 23 points and 11 rebounds and four assists.

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