Menu
Home

Basketball

Clippers rally to tame Grizzlies, Hawks down Celtics

The Los Angeles Clippers rallied from a 27-point deficit to stun the Memphis Grizzlies 99-98 in Game One of their first-round playoff series.

The visiting Clippers, who were blitzed by an early onslaught of Memphis three-pointers and trailed by 27 late in the third, tied an NBA playoff record of pulling off a victory after trailing by 21 points with one quarter remaining.

Nick Young scored 19 points off the bench, including a flurry of three straight three-pointers in the fourth, Chris Paul made two game-winning free throws with 23 seconds left and Los Angeles ended the game with an astonishing 28-3 run.

Memphis' Rudy Gay scored 19 but missed a shot as time expired that would have salvaged a victory which looked certain for most of the game.

"��Coach took me out at the end of the third quarter and I went nuts. I just said 'coach, give us a chance,'" Paul told reporters after finishing with 14 points and 11 assists.

��"(I thought we could win) the whole time."

In other playoff action, the San Antonio Spurs, LA Lakers and Atlanta all took 1-0 leads in their best-of-seven series with the Hawks upsetting a Boston Celtics team who could lose one of their key players after an ugly altercation.

Boston's Rajon Rondo may face a post-season suspension after his chest-bump with an official further soured the 83-74 home loss.

Rondo was given a technical foul for arguing a call in the final minute and quickly made matters worse by confronting referee Marc Davis and defiantly bumping him, earning a second technical and ejection.

Rondo claimed that the bump was unintentional, though the incident could see him penalized by the NBA.

��"As I was walking (toward him) I thought he stopped and my momentum carried me into him," said Rondo, who had 20 points and 11 assists. "��I didn't intentionally chest bump him but that's what it appears to be."

In Los Angeles, the Lakers dominated Denver 103-88 behind 31 points from Kobe Bryant and a triple-double by big man Andrew Bynum.

The 7ft Bynum tied an NBA playoff-record with 10 blocks, and added 13 rebounds and 10 assists to give the Lakers their first post-season triple-double since Magic Johnson in 1991.

Bynum's presence slowed the NBA's top scoring team during the regular season.

Danilo Gallinari had a team-high 19 for the Nuggets, who shot just 35 percent from the field.

In San Antonio, Tony Parker scored a game-high 28 points and the red-hot San Antonio Spurs rolled to a 106-91 victory over the Utah Jazz.

The West-leading Spurs, who were upset in the opening round last year despite also being the top seed, got off to a strong start to the playoffs this time round.

Eighth-seeded Utah, who used a five-game winning streak to squeeze into the playoffs, was led by Paul Millsap's 20 points.

(Editing by John O'Brien)