The Indiana Pacers defeated the Chicago Bulls 89-84 to avoid elimination from the National Basketball Association’s first round of playoffs.
The Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Dallas Mavericks 84-82, the Memphis Grizzlies beat the San Antonio Spurs 91-88; and the Oklahoma City Thunder topped the Denver Nuggets 97-94.
At Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Mike Dunleavy hit a free throw with 17 seconds left to give the Pacers an 85-81 lead. Joakim Noah answered with a layup and free throw two seconds later to bring the Bulls within one at 85-84. Danny Granger ended the game with four free throws for the Pacers in the final 14 seconds.
Granger scored 24 points and 10 rebounds and Roy Hibbert had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Pacers, who won their first game in four in the playoffs. Noah tallied 21 points and 14 rebounds and Luol Deng had 16 points for the Bulls, who can eliminate the Pacers with a win at home on April 26.
At Rose Garden in Portland, Brandon Roy hit a free throw with a minute, six seconds left to tie the game at 82-82 and then scored from nine feet with 39 seconds remaining to give Portland the win over the Mavericks, tying their Western Conference series at two games each.
Roy led the Trail Blazers with 24 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 18. Dirk Nowitzki had 20 points and Jason Terry had 13 for the Mavericks, who host Game 5 tomorrow.
At FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee, Zach Randolph hit a 26-foot 3-pointer with 41 seconds left to lift the Grizzlies to a 91-86 lead. Manu Ginobili hit two free throws with 31 seconds left to close the gap to three points for the Spurs, before the Grizzlies ran out the clock.
Randolph led the Grizzlies with 25 points and Marc Gasol had 17. Memphis, which has a 2-1 lead in the series, hosts Game 4 tomorrow. Ginobili led the Spurs with 23 points and Tony Parker had 16.
At the Pepsi Center in Denver, the Thunder, led by Kevin Durant’s 26 points and Russell Westbrook’s 23, won their third straight to put them one game away from knocking out the Nuggets, who host Game 4 tomorrow. Kenyon Martin, Nene Hilario and J.R. Smith each had 15 points for Denver.
In today’s games, the Miami Heat can sweep its series with a win at the Philadelphia 76ers; Boston can eliminate the New York Knicks with a victory at Madison Square Garden; the Orlando Magic need a win to tie their series at two games each; and the Los Angeles Lakers will be one game away from advancing to round two with a win over the New Orleans Hornets.