James, Wade combine for 70 as Heat win Game 4
By TOM WITHERS
Posted May 20 2012 9:25PM INDIANAPOLIS AP
The coveted NBA championship, the one LeBron James needs to validate everything, was vanishing.With 18,000 towel-waving fans roaring like the engines at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indiana Pacers had knocked the Miami Heat to the floor and to the edge of elimination.James didn’t panic. He simply picked up his teammates and carried them to a win.And this time, Dwyane Wade helped.James scored 40 points with 19 rebounds and nine assists, and Wade added 30 points – 22 in the second half – as Miami rallied to even their semifinal series against Indiana with a 101-93 win on Sunday over the Pacers, who had the defending Eastern Conference champions down couldn’t keep them there.”I felt like I had to do whatever it took to win,” said James, who played all but four minutes.With All-Star forward Chris Bosh injured and back in Florida, the James-Wade tag team saved the Heat, who will host Game 5 on Tuesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena.”Me and `Bron had it going,” said Wade, who bounced back from the worst playoff game of his career – five points on 2-of-13 shooting – with one of his best, “We played off of each other very well. We both were aggressive at the same time. That’s beautiful basketball for the Miami Heat when we play that way.”The Heat now head home back in control of the best-of-seven series, which is down to a best-of-three with two of the games on Miami’s home floor.”It’s still going to be a dogfight,” James said.
Thunder rally past Lakers, take 3-1 series lead
By GREG BEACHAM
Posted May 20 2012 4:04AM
LOS ANGELES (AP) Kevin Durant stood above the 3-point line and watched the shot clock dwindle in the final seconds of Game 4. When Metta World Peace backed up slightly on defense, Durant hesitated only an instant before launching a 26-footer.
“It left my hand, (and) I was thinking, `If this doesn’t go in, it’s going to be a terrible shot,”‘ Durant said.
The three-time scoring champ trusts his instincts and his silky-smooth jumper. Neither let him down while he and Russell Westbrook engineered yet another late comeback that pushed a frustrated Kobe Bryant to the brink.
Westbrook scored 10 of his 37 points during a stirring fourth-quarter rally, Durant added 31 points and hit that tiebreaking 3-pointer with 13.7 seconds left, and the Thunder seized control of their second-round series with a 103-100 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night.
Serge Ibaka scored 14 points and the second-seeded Thunder took a 3-1 series lead with a rally from a 13-point deficit in the final 8 minutes, moving one win away from their second straight trip to the Western Conference finals.
“Everybody kept fighting,” Westbrook said. “We all believed in each other. It’s the playoffs. You can’t afford to sit back and wonder about it.”
Game 5 is Monday night in Oklahoma City.
Spurs beat Clippers 96-86 to take 3-0 series lead
By BETH HARRIS
Posted May 19 2012 7:49PM
LOS ANGELES (AP) Nothing was going to rattle the calm, cool and collected Spurs. Not even a 24-point deficit.
Tim Duncan scored 19 points, helping engineer a defining 24-0 run in the third quarter, and San Antonio defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 96-86 on Saturday to take a commanding 3-0 lead in their second-round playoff series.
“We didn’t plan on being down that much,” said Duncan, who at 36 is
hungry to win the team’s fifth NBA championship and first since 2006-07. “We stuck with it.”
Led by Tony Parker’s 23 points and his defense on an ailing Chris Paul, the Spurs kept running their plays even as Blake Griffin’s early offensive assault buried them in a huge hole. Griffin missed three shots in the first half, when he scored 20 points and carried his team to a 24-point lead despite a left hip injury and a sprained right knee.
“They came out like we expected, very strong. Blake was making crazy shots,” Parker said. “We just took our time. It’s a long game, a very long game. At halftime, we were very calm.”
Griffin had 28 points and 16 rebounds, and reserve Mo Williams added 19 points for the Clippers, who face some daunting NBA history heading into Game 4 on Sunday at Staples Center. No team has ever rallied from a 3-0 deficit to win a series.