Portland’s Damian Lillard hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Trail Blazers a stunning 99-98 win over Houston on Friday, clinching a 4-2 win in their playoff series and a place in the NBA Western Conference semi-finals for the first time 14 years.
On a dramatic day in the playoffs, Dallas staged a fourth-quarter comeback to overrun Texan rival San Antonio and square their series at 3-3, while Brooklyn also won at home against Toronto to force a Game 7 in their series.
Portland, making their first playoff appearance since 2011, had been eliminated in the first round in their last six trips, and had not advanced to the second round since 2000.
Dwight Howard’s layup and foul shot put the Rockets up 96-94, but Nicolas Batum’s fadeaway jump shot tied it again with 39.9 seconds left.
Chandler Parsons scored on a reverse layup with 0.9 seconds left to give Houston the lead, but there was just enough time for Lillard to hit a three-pointer that will go down in Blazers folklore.
Portland will face the winner of the series between San Antonio and Dallas, and that remains up for grabs after the Mavericks pulled off an equally dramatic 113-111 comeback win over the Spurs.
Monta Ellis scored 12 of his 29 points to lead a fourth-quarter surge. It was an unlikely comeback by the eighth-seeded Mavericks, as San Antonio had won every time this season when leading after three quarters in a road game.
Dirk Nowitzki added 22 for Dallas, who will travel to San Antonio for the decider today with the knowledge that the last time they went there for a Game 7, they won, in 2006.
Tony Parker scored 22 to lead the heavily favored Spurs, who won all four games against Dallas during the regular season and had been expected to quickly dispatch their state rival.
Brooklyn had a relatively comfortable 97-83 home win over Toronto, with Deron Williams shaking off a second-half injury to score 23 points.
Despite appearing to hurt his left foot or ankle early in the third quarter, Williams dominated his matchup with Kyle Lowry and helped the Nets put it away with a three-pointer with 1 minute, 13 seconds left that made it 92-79.
Game 7 is today in Toronto, with the winner advancing to face the defending champions Miami Heat.
DeMar DeRozan scored 28 for the Raptors, who have never won a post-season series that went seven games, and have not won any playoff series in 13 years.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017