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Professional

NBA: Pacers force Game 7 against Hawks

Thunder forward Kevin Durant shoots over Marc Gasol during Oklahoma City's 104-84 win over the Grizzlies in Memphis. Durant scored 36 points to help force a Game 7 in the Western Conference first-round series.
Thunder forward Kevin Durant shoots over Marc Gasol during Oklahoma City's 104-84 win over the Grizzlies in Memphis. Durant scored 36 points to help force a Game 7 in the Western Conference first-round series.

ATLANTA – The Indiana Pacers have changed who they are, going to a different style in hopes of surviving the opening round of the playoffs.

No matter what, they can always count on David West.

With the top-seeded Pacers poised for an early summer, West fearlessly led a 16-4 run to end the game, extending the season with a 95-88 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday night.

"He's our rock," Indiana coach Frank Vogel said. "There's no other way to put it."

Trailing 3-2 after losing at home for the second time in the best-of-seven series, Indiana was in big trouble when the Hawks pushed out to an 84-79 lead with just over 3 minutes remaining, cheered on by a raucous crowd that barely sat down in the second half.

But, for the fourth time in this back-and-forth affair, the road team won.
West seemed to make every big play down the stretch, scoring four straight points and forcing a huge turnover to begin the turnaround. He hit two more baskets in the final minute to wrap things up, finishing with 24 points.

Game 7 is Saturday in Indianapolis.

Paul George also scored 24 points for the Pacers, making four straight free throws to help fend off a team that was trying to become only the sixth No. 8 seed to win a playoff series.

Jeff Teague scored 29 points, nearly pulling out a victory on a night when Atlanta shot just under 36 percent.

Thunder 104, Grizzlies 84: Kevin Durant scored 36 points to break out of a slump, as the Thunder routed the Grizzlies in Memphis to force a decisive Game 7.

Russell Westbrook added 25 points for the Thunder, who haven't been eliminated in the first round of the playoffs since 2010. They took control early with Durant scoring 14 points in the first quarter, led by 15 at halftime and never let Memphis get closer in the second half in the first game in the series to end in regulation since the opener.

Durant also had 10 rebounds and made 14 of 15 free throws. Reggie Jackson had 16 points off the bench for the Thunder.

Game 7 is Saturday night in Oklahoma City.

Marc Gasol had 17 points and Zach Randolph 16 for Memphis. Guard Mike Conley strained his right hamstring, briefly returned then left for good with 8:48 left.

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