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NBA Series Preview & Prediction: Houston Rockets vs. Los Angeles Clippers

Chris Paul has long been one of the NBA’s best players. But Saturday night, he ascended into the echelon of timeless legends. His inspired, hobbled performance in the Los Angeles Clippers’ Game 7 victory over the San Antonio Spurs, 111-109, goes straight into a pantheon including iconic showings from Isiah Thomas and Michael Jordan. If you didn’t see his game-winner, you missed one of the sport’s finest moments:

National Basketball Association Playoff Game Capsules

Bradley Beal and John Wall overcame injury scares in the Washington Wizards' 104-98 win over the Atlanta Hawks in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series. Beal (right ankle sprain) and Wall (left wrist sprain) battled to score 28 and 18 points, respectively, for Washington on Sunday. Wall also had 13 assists and three blocks. Paul Pierce ended with 19 points for the Wizards, who had been off for a week since sweeping the Toronto Raptors in the first round. Marcin Gortat tallied 12 points and 12 rebounds. The Wizards became the first team in NBA history to win four straight Game 1s on the road. DeMarre Carroll scored 21 of his 24 points in the first half for the top-seeded Hawks, who needed six games to eliminate the Brooklyn Nets in the opening round. Al Horford recorded 17 points, 17 rebounds and seven assists. Jeff Teague played through a right ankle sprain and finished with 11 points and seven assists. Game 2 will be Tuesday night in Atlanta.

National Basketball Association Playoff Game Capsules

Chris Paul's acrobatic go-ahead basket with one second remaining lifted the Los Angeles Clippers to a 111-109 win over the San Antonio Spurs in a Game 7 thriller on Saturday night. After Tim Duncan's free throws tied the game with 8.8 seconds left, Paul had the ball just inside halfcourt with Danny Green draped all over him. Paul dribbled to his right to get a step on Green and alertly leaned farther right to avoid Duncan, flicking the ball in to put the Clippers in front. Boris Diaw's ensuing lob inbounds pass into the lane intended for Kawhi Leonard was batted away by Matt Barnes, ending the game. Paul exited at the 1:52 mark of the first quarter with a left hamstring strain before returning with 6:27 remaining in the second. Despite the injury, Paul managed to score 18 of his 27 points in the second half. He was 9-of-13 from the field overall and knocked down five of his six attempts from beyond the arc.

National Basketball Association Playoff Game Capsules

The Brooklyn faithful stunningly looked on as the Atlanta Hawks turned a semi-competitive game into a rout in a matter of minutes. The top-seeded Hawks cruised into the Eastern Conference semifinals Friday, using a strong start to the second half to defeat the Nets 111-87 in Game 6 of their first-round series on Friday night. Paul Millsap had 25 points, nine rebounds and six assists, Kyle Korver knocked down six 3- pointers and scored 20 points to go with eight boards and Jeff Teague dished out 13 assists for Atlanta, which will play the Washington Wizards in the next round. The fifth-seeded Wizards swept the Toronto Raptors in the first round. Game 1 is Sunday in Atlanta. The Hawks are 0-15 all-time in the semifinal round. A six-point halftime advantage rose to 26 following a 23-3 Atlanta run to begin the third quarter. Korver knocked down three of his triples during the near six-minute surge, including one to cap it that opened up a 74-48 advantage. The Hawks, who led by as many as 28, outscored the Nets 41-21 in the third. Game 6 was the first time that a road team won a game in the series. Atlanta shot 50.6 percent (43-of-85) from the floor and sunk 13-of-32 attempts from beyond the arc. It tallied 34 assists on its 43 made field goals. Brook Lopez posted 19 points and seven rebounds to lead Brooklyn, which finished 38-44 during the regular season.

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