(The Sports Xchange) – Highlights of Sunday’s National Basketball Association games:
Jazz 104, Clippers 91
Gordon Hayward scored 26 points and collected eight rebounds to lead seven Utah players in double figures, and the Jazz eliminated the Los Angeles Clippers from the Western Conference playoffs with a 104-91 road victory in Game Seven on Sunday at Staples Center.
George Hill and Derrick Favors contributed 17 points apiece as the Jazz advanced to the second round, where they will meet the Golden State Warriors. Game One is Tuesday at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.
Favors also grabbed 11 rebounds before fouling out with 5:24 remaining to fill a void left by Jazz center Rudy Gobert, who also was plagued by fouls. Gobert finished with one point and four rebounds in 13 minutes.
The Jazz won three of their four games on the Clippers’ home court.
DeAndre Jordan had 24 points and 17 boards to lead the Clippers. Jamal Crawford added 20 points and Chris Paul scored 13 points and handed out nine assists.
The Jazz used a third-quarter spurt to grab a double-digit lead and retained it for almost the rest of the contest.
Clippers forward Paul Pierce, in his final NBA game, scored six points.
Celtics 123, Wizards 111
The Boston Celtics spotted Washington the first 16 points of the game and then roared to a 123-111 home victory over the Wizards in the first game of the Eastern Conference semi-finals.
Top-seeded Boston, winning its fifth straight playoff game after losing the first two games of the first round, both at home to the Chicago Bulls, trailed 22-5 just 5 1/2 minutes into the contest. But the Celtics caught up in the second quarter, stayed close and then exploded in a 36-point third quarter to lead by 15 after three before holding off a Washington charge.
Game Two in Tuesday night at TD Garden.
Isaiah Thomas, who flew from Chicago to Tacoma, Washington, to attend the funeral of his sister, Chyna, on Saturday before flying back late Saturday night, scored 12 of his 33 points and Jae Crowder 11 of his playoff career-high 24 in the 36-16 third quarter.
Thomas, who gave an emotional speech at the funeral, lost a tooth to an Otto Porter inadvertent elbow in the first half — the tooth flying up into the air before Thomas, who finished with nine assists, picked it up off the floor.
Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 27 points.
The Wizards scored the first nine points of the fourth quarter but the game then belonged to Al Horford, who scored 10 of his 21 points in a 3:25 span to ensure the win.
Washington’s Markieff Morris suffered a left ankle sprain after being fouled by Horford in the second quarter. He stayed in the game after a long delay, left with 7:16 remaining in the second quarter and didn’t return.
The 16-0 start was the biggest in the playoffs dating back to at least 2002-03, according to STATS Inc., as the Wizards grabbed the first 12 rebounds and Boston opened 0-for-8 from the floor.
(Editing by Andrew Both)