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June 23, 2017

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Clippers among 3 teams reeling from Game 7 win

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Clippers, Indiana Pacers and Oklahoma City all capitalized on home-court advantage to win their respective Game 7s on Saturday, progressing to the second round of the NBA playoffs.

Los Angeles beat California rival Golden State 126-121, Indiana won 92-80 to finally see off eighth-seeded Atlanta, and Oklahoma City defeated Memphis 120-109.

Los Angeles' Blake Griffin scored 24 points, Chris Paul had 22 points and 14 assists and Jamal Crawford added 22 as the Clippers won only a playoff series for only the third time in 38 years.

They did so against a backdrop of uncertainty about the future of the team, which is likely to be put up for sale following the life ban on owner Donald Sterling for racist remarks.

Los Angeles will face Oklahoma City in the second round, with the Thunder hosting the opening game on Monday.

Stephen Curry had 33 points and nine assists while Draymond Green added 24 for Golden State, which blew a late lead and lost a Game 7 for the first time in 37 years.

Curry hit three free throws with 30 seconds left, and Green hit a 3-pointer to trim the lead to 120-118. But J.J. Redick hit two more free throws to ice it for the Clippers.

The game could have been the last for Golden State coach Mark Jackson, who might be on shaky ground with Warriors ownership despite presiding over the long-struggling franchise's best two-year stretch in two decades.

Indiana's Paul George scored a playoff career-high 30 points to lead the Pacers past Atlanta.

Indiana staved off elimination for the second time in three days. It's the first time since mid-March the Pacers' regular starters have won back-to-back games.

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