HEAT 95, PACERS 86: LeBron James scored 16 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter and added 15 rebounds and five assists as host Miami took Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Dwyane Wade chipped in 29 points for the Heat, who lost Chris Bosh to an abdominal strain late in the second quarter. Bosh collected 13 points and five rebounds before exiting.
Danny Granger, who averaged over 20 points in the first round for Indiana, was held to seven points on 1-of-10 shooting.
The Heat led by as much as eight (82-74) after four straight points from James early in the fourth quarter. The Pacers stormed back, cutting it to 86-85 when George Hill nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 4:50 to play.
James came back on the other end and hit two free throws and Paul George missed a long 3-pointer, giving Miami a chance to get out in transition. Mario Chalmers found James for a dunk, getting the crowd on its feet.
Indiana had a fastbreak opportunity shortly after but Wade raced the length of the court for a block of George’s layup attempt.
James scored four points in the final two minutes to put it away.
The Pacers shot 50 percent in the first half and led 48-42 at the break.
Miami turned it up on the defensive end in the third quarter and leaned on its stars, getting 10 points apiece from James and Wade in the period. The Heat’s 12-4 run to start the fourth put them on top for good.
CLIPPERS 82, GRIZZLIES 72: A hobbled Chris Paul scored 19 points and Los Angeles used a dominant fourth-quarter defensive effort to advance to the second round of the playoffs.
Paul, dealing with a strained right hip flexor, added nine rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals as the Clippers advanced to the Western Conference semifinals for the first time since 2006. Los Angeles will face the San Antonio Spurs, who host Game 1 on Tuesday night.
Nick Young added 13 points while Kenyon Martin had 11. Blake Griffin, battling through a left knee sprain, had just eight points on 3-of-11 shooting.
Rudy Gay and Marc Gasol poured in 19 points apiece for the Grizzlies, who saw their chances to advance torpedoed by a 4-for-18 shooting performance in the fourth quarter.
Up by a point at the half, the Clippers went back and forth with the Grizzlies in a tightly-contested third quarter that saw neither team lead by more than three points. Consecutive long jumpers from Paul put the Clippers back in front with 29 seconds left in the frame, but Gay answered with a 15-foot buzzer-beater as the Grizzlies led 56-55 entering the fourth.
The Clippers responded by scoring the first five points of the quarter, paced by a Nick Young 3-pointer that made it 60-56. Memphis closed to within two before Los Angeles ripped off an 11-3 run capped by a Mo Williams 3-pointer that extended the advantage to 11 with 7:03 remaining.
Memphis clawed back once more, making it a 75-69 game on two Mike Conley free throws with 2:26 left. But the Grizzlies couldn't muster much of anything the rest of the way, missing five more shots and turning the ball over once as the Clippers used free throws to put the game away.
Defense - and lackluster shooting - was the focus in the opening half as the Clippers enjoyed a 39-38 edge at the break. Paul led all scorers with 11 points for Los Angeles while Gasol and Gay had nine apiece to lead the Grizzlies, who shot just 32.5 percent in the half.