Weekend Sports Round-up

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana salvaged its season Saturday by reverting to form: its first-half form.


Paul George scored a career playoff-high 30 points, Lance Stephenson added 19 and Roy Hibbert finally came up big against the more nimble Atlanta Hawks as the Pacers survived a first-round scare with a 92-80 victory in the decisive seventh game.

Two days after staving off elimination in Atlanta, the top-seeded Pacers did it again and advanced to a second-round series against Washington that starts Monday in Indiana.


"We know what we want to get to and we know what our journey is," George said.

Though they have a quick turnaround, at least the Pacers get a brief respite from the problems and distractions that lingered during the series.

Indiana, the NBA's best home team during the regular season, twice gave away home-court advantage by losing Games 1 and 5. Those losses sparked public debate about what needed to change in the offseason and whether coach Frank Vogel would even return if the Pacers became the sixth No. 1 seed to lose in the first round since the league went to its current 16-team playoff format.

Atlanta's spread offense and 3-point shooters had Indiana's normally stout defense scrambling for answers after the Hawks took a 3-2 lead Monday night.

Hibbert, an All-Star center, was a non-factor with just 20 points in the first six games combined.

OKC
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Kevin Durant scored 33 points, Russell Westbrook had a triple-double, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Memphis Grizzlies 120-109 on Saturday night in Game 7 of their first-round Western Conference playoff series.

Westbrook had 27 points, 16 assists and 10 rebounds. His assist total tied the franchise record for a playoff game set in 1987 by Nate McMillan when the team was still in Seattle.


The gritty Grizzlies, playing without leading scorer Zach Randolph because of a suspension, led by 11 points in the first half before the Thunder overwhelmed them and shot 66 percent after the break.

Marc Gasol led Memphis with 24 points. Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley had 20 points and nine assists while playing with a strained right hamstring.

It was Westbrook's second triple-double in the past three games. He made 10 of 16 shots from the field, both of his 3-pointers and five of his six free throws.

Durant, slowed for much of the series, looked like his normal self. The regular-season scoring champion made 12 of 18 field goals and all five of his 3-pointers after struggling from long range throughout the series.

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LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Doc Rivers couldn't begin the Los Angeles Clippers' only day of preparation for Game 7 in the film room or on the practice court.

The coach was downtown at the Clippers' team offices Friday, meeting with an angry roomful of ticket-sellers and marketers still outraged by owner Donald Sterling's racist comments.

"I'll say this much: Our players thought about not working. So did our employees, and they still felt that way," Rivers said. "They needed somebody to ask them to continue to work and support us. We're still trying to put this thing together."

For both the Clippers and the Golden State Warriors, basketball has been secondary for much of this extraordinary series. But after the most tumultuous week in Clippers history, the first round is finally down to its grand finale.

The Clippers will host a seventh game for the first time in franchise history on Saturday night, hoping to draw energy from their Staples Center crowd for a cathartic victory. The winner gets a second-round date with Oklahoma City.


LAS VEGAS -- Floyd Mayweather Jr., already the highest-paid athlete in the world for 2013, is off to a great start for 2014.

douchebags
(how can you not want this douchebag to lose?

Mayweather will earn a minimum guaranteed purse of $32 million for his welterweight unification fight with Marcos Maidana of Argentina on Saturday night (Showtime PPV, 9 ET) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, according to contract figures released on Wednesday by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

"It's just a testament to what he brings to sports, not just boxing," said Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather's close friend and chief executive of Mayweather Promotions. "He's a terrific entertainer and he is the reason why this arena will be packed and why there will be a million-plus (buys on pay-per-view) -- because it's all about the Mayweather experience."

In 2013, Mayweather fought twice -- both dominant decision wins -- earning $73.5 million in minimum purses, $32 million against Robert Guerrero in May and $41.5 million against Canelo Alvarez in September.



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This Mayweather fight is going to be a fucking mess. Tyrese just sang the pledge "on behalf of a racist free America." And I'm pretty sure an announcer just quoted 8 Mile. And now Lil Wayne is rapping.