SB Nation

SB Nation NBA Staff | May 4, 2014

NBA playoff scores, results and highlights from Saturday's action

The Clippers and Thunder will dance

Saturday's best Game 7 was a barnburner between the Clippers and Warriors. Here's a rundown of what happened in that one plus the two earlier Game 7s.

Atlanta Hawks RECAP
Indiana Pacers RECAP
80 - 92 IND wins 4-3
Memphis Grizzlies RECAP
Oklahoma City Thunder RECAP
109 - 120 OKC Wins 4-3
Golden State Warriors RECAP
Los Angeles Clippers RECAP
121 - 126 LAC Wins 4-3
5 things to know
  • Lob City grows up
    The story of the season for the L.A. Clippers was that the games of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan had grown up. Griffin's floor game improved by leaps and bounds, and injuries to others allowed him to show off his playmaking and shooting skills. Jordan cut down on the JaValian elements of his game to become a legitimately elite defender.

    The fourth quarter was a microcosm of that growth. Jordan played incredible defense, forcing the Warriors into tough shots and getting a big block in the final frame. Griffin hit key buckets and made some laser-precise passes for scores. Combined, they went 7-7 in the fourth for 14 points, 5 rebounds and 3 blocks. They were the reason the Clippers held on and won Game 7.

    But the best part is that they showed deference to their roots. Jordan's buckets came off of two lobs -- one from Chris Paul and one from Griffin -- and a nasty putback. Griffin hammered home a lob, too. Lob City lives, because all of that talk about it being incompatible with winning was baloney. That the Clippers move on while leaning on that style is all the proof you need. -Tom Ziller
  • Mr. Undeniable
    Kevin Durant's ascension to the top of the NBA is unfolding before our eyes. He'll be adding the first meaningful piece of hardware to his collection when the NBA announces he's the league's Most Valuable Player, and he just delivered back-to-back gems for Oklahoma City to keep their playoff run alive.

    He escaped the Grizzlies stifling defense, making it look easy as Oklahoma City sailed to victory in both Game 6 and 7. If he can continue cutting like a razor to the rim, plucking the net from anywhere on the court and using that freakish length to his advantage, the Thunder could be back at top of the mountain with an opportunity to claim it as their own.

    It seems like an eternity ago that he had an NBA Finals patch sewn onto his jersey, but that makes him all the more dangerous this time around. He's a better player than he was in 2012, rounding out his game and gaining a vast amount of experience since being scorched by the Heat. He's two series closer to giving it another go on the game's greatest stage, and the teams that survived a wild first round of NBA playoff action should all be disappointed Memphis couldn't finish the job Saturday night.

    This has been the year of Durant, and we still don't know how this chapter ends. Be afraid -Andrew Garrison
  • Crisis averted
    The Indiana Pacers finally made it to the playoffs. In a clear-cut Game 7 victory over the Hawks that staved off not only elimination, but utter and complete embarrassment, the Pacers team that we all remembered from last season and the first half of this one made its triumphant return.

    Paul George was back to his budding superstar self with 30 points, 11 rebounds and a nifty mid-range game. The good Lance Stephenson was on the floor and even Roy Hibbert contributed 13 and seven with five blocked shots in 31 minutes. We also saw the Pacers play the kind of defense that made them contenders. Frank Vogel tightened his rotation considerably and put the season in the hands of his starting five, and they delivered the knockout punch.

    There were a handful of anxious moments, because even at their best, the Pacers walk a thin line between anxiety and control. But none of that really matters now. Indiana is moving on and all will be forgiven if they can recapture their form in the next round against Washington. -Paul Flannery
  • The end of Grit 'N Grind?
    In one sense, the Grizzlies weren't even supposed to be here. They started 10-15 in a brutal conference and most around Memphis figured it'd be a transition year. Instead, they ended up in Game 7 against one of the league's best teams and might have won it if Zach Randolph wasn't suspended and Mike Conley was healthy.

    In another sense, though, this defeat stings because the window is closing. Randolph will turn 33 in July and may become a free agent. Tony Allen will turn 33 next January. Marc Gasol will be 30 at around the same time. Optimism exists, sure. Mike Conley is still in his prime, Dave Joerger grew into an excellent coach over the course of the season and the front office has done a great job fortifying the bench with undervalued pieces. But this is a team that lacks young talent and must come closer to staring a painful transition in the face. It says a lot that Ed Davis, once considered the team's top young prospect, played zero minutes in Game 7 even with Randolph not playing.

    It's unfortunate because in many ways, this was Memphis' best team. There was more shooting, better depth, the same stifling defense and (maybe) better coaching. But Gasol's injury and the slow start forced Memphis into a tough first-round matchup and a much earlier exit than they deserved. Now comes the tough part. -Mike Prada
  • Not such a Golden State of mind
    This wasn't how it was supposed to end in Golden State. The team that captivated the basketball world with a classic series against the San Antonio Spurs last year looked like a serious title threat with an improved roster and another season of experience under their belt.

    Except, they couldn't cross the threshold from great to elite this year. Andrew Bogut was healthy all year, then once again couldn't stay on the court. Andre Iguodala dealt with hamstring injuries throughout the year. Harrison Barnes found himself as the odd man out, regressing so much that he played less than two minutes more than Jordan Crawford in Game 7. A healthy Bogut could have made a world of difference for the Warriors as they dealt with a giant in DeAndre Jordan, but really they found out the harsh reality that the Western Conference is stacked, and sometimes the ball just doesn't bounce your way.

    They have issues to address, particularly at head coach. Mark Jackson appears gone thanks to inner turmoil with the coaching staff and elsewhere, blustering about disrespect on the way out. But whoever coaches this team next year will have a great core. The challenge will be to find the right string to tie it all together this off-season. They pulled of a coup once by acquiring Iguodala last summer, so what's next?

    Until then, better luck next time, Warriors. Thanks for a memorable season. -Andrew Garrison
Tonight's Schedule
Brooklyn Nets at Toronto Raptors Series tied 3-3 | 1 p.m., ABC Air Canada Center, Toronto, Ont.
Dallas Mavericks at San Antonio Spurs Series tied 3-3 | 3:30 p.m., ABC AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas

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