NBA Playoff Capsules
CHICAGO (AP) — Derrick Rose banked in a 3-pointer at the buzzer and scored 30 points Friday night to give the Chicago Bulls a 99-96 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers and a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Cleveland had just tied it on a 3-pointer by J.R. Smith with 10.8 seconds left when Rose came through with the winner.
He took the inbounds pass from Mike Dunleavy Jr. on the sideline after Chicago called time with 3 seconds remaining. Rose then dribbled past the top of the key before burying a wild shot over Tristan Thompson, drawing a mob from his teammates and a deafening roar from the crowd for the hometown star who returned from his most recent knee surgery late in the season.
LeBron James scored 27 points for Cleveland and passed Tony Parker, Steve Nash and Larry Bird for fourth on the career playoff assists list. He had 14 in the game, giving him 1,073.
Chicago never won more than one game in three previous playoff series against teams led by James. But the Bulls have a chance to take a commanding lead with Game 4 at home on Sunday.
CLIPPERS 124, ROCKETS 99
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Austin Rivers scored a career playoff-high 25 points, sparking a decisive run to end the third quarter, and Los Angeles beat Houston for a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference semifinals.
Chris Paul returned from a hamstring injury to bolster the Clippers with 12 points and seven assists after he missed the first two games of the series. J.J. Redick had a career playoff-best 31 points, Blake Griffin added 22 points and 14 rebounds, and DeAndre Jordan had 15 rebounds.
But it was the coach’s son who came off the bench and helped the Clippers use a 20-3 run to finally get the separation they lacked in the first half. Rivers scored 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting in the dominating offensive outburst that extended the Clippers’ lead to 99-76 going into the fourth.
James Harden had 25 points and 11 assists, and Dwight Howard added 14 points and 14 rebounds for the Rockets.
Game 4 is Sunday at Staples Center.