Road teams dominate in NBA playoff openers
Klay Thompson scored 22 points, David Lee added 20 and the Golden State Warriors got Blake Griffin and Chris Paul in foul trouble to beat the host Los Angeles Clippers 109-105 on Saturday in their playoff opener.
Stephen Curry added 14 points for the Warriors, who trailed by 11 points to start the game before rallying in the third when Griffin and Paul were on the bench together.
Paul led the Clippers with 28 points, and J.J. Redick added 22 points in 30 minutes. Griffin finished with 16 points, fouling out with 48 seconds left and the game tied at 105. DeAndre Jordan had 11 points and 14 rebounds.
Foul trouble plagued both teams, but losing Griffin and Paul for stretches cost the Clippers at both ends. For the Warriors, Andre Iguodala fouled out with 3:04 left in the game and Lee played with four fouls.
Paul returned early in the fourth with the Clippers trailing by 11. His fast-break layup trimmed Golden State’s lead to 98-92. Griffin came back at that point, hitting a hook shot and then feeding Paul for a 3-pointer that cut their deficit to 100-97 with 3½ minutes left.
Jordan then stepped to the line, having made just 1 of 6 free throws in the game. He hit both and the Clippers got within one. Paul tied it at 102 on a 3-pointer.
Darren Collison made one of two free throws, giving the Clippers their first lead since early in the third at 103-102. Harrison Barnes hit a 3 for the Warriors before Griffin made two free throws for the 18th and final tie of the game, 105-all with 1½ minutes left.
Atlanta 101, Indiana 93: Jeff Teague scored a playoff career-high 28 points and Paul Millsap added 25 as eighth-seeded Atlanta rolled past top-seeded Indiana 101-93, taking a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
The Hawks ended an eight-game road losing streak in the playoffs, which dated to May 2011. Game 2 is Tuesday in Indianapolis.
Indiana, which spent the whole season working to get home-court advantage in the playoffs, wasted no time in giving it right back with a dismal third quarter. Paul George finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds.
Brooklyn 94, Toronto 87: Deron Williams and Joe Johnson each scored 24 points, Paul Pierce scored nine of his 15 points in the final quarter and the Brooklyn Nets beat the host Toronto Raptors 94-87 in Game 1 of their first round playoff series.
Shaun Livingston scored 10 points and Kevin Garnett had five as the Nets won despite making 4 of 24 3-pointers.
Kyle Lowry scored 22 points and Jonas Valanciunas had 17 points and 18 rebounds for the Raptors.
Valanciunas is the second Raptors player to have a double double in his postseason debut. Tracy McGrady had 25 points and 10 rebounds against New York in his first playoff game in 2000.
Valanciunas also set a Raptors record for playoff rebounds by surpassing Keon Clark, who had 16 against Detroit in 2002.
Grizzilies’ Calathes suspended: NBA players are warned at the start of every season about the dangers of nutritional supplements.
One of them could be the reason the Memphis Grizzlies will begin the playoffs without Nick Calathes.
The reserve guard was suspended 20 games Friday for violating the league’s anti-drug policy by testing positive for tamoxifen.
Yahoo Sports, which first reported the suspension, reported that the drug was part of a supplement that Calathes had been using. And while the supplement may not have been illegal, players are reminded that many contain substances that are.
“They are not regulated by the federal government and so you don’t know what’s in them. And we tell that to our players every year,” NBA general counsel Rick Buchanan said Saturday.
“Be careful of these things, because you don’t know what’s in them and there might be something in there that’s banned by our drug program, and if it shows up in a drug test, then you’re going to suffer the consequences of that. So it’s a risky proposition for any of our players to put anything in their mouth that they don’t know what it is.”
Buchanan said a warning memo is sent to the players every year, and it is also laminated and posted in all locker rooms. It also warns of the potential dangers of supplements, which are not required to list all their ingredients on them.