Thunder and Bulls move closer to next round of NBA playoffs

U.S. Sports Desk, Apr 28 (EFE).- It was an emotional weekend in the NBA playoffs with games that moved the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Chicago Bulls closer to the semi-finals in the Western and Eastern Conferences, respectively.

The Memphis Grizzlies played their best basketball and rolled over the Los Angeles Clippers to tie that series and the Atlanta Hawks got their first win over the Indiana Pacers, a victory that gave them new life.

Forward Kevin Durant led the Thunder to a 104-101 victory over the Houston Rockets in the third game of their first round playoff series.

Durant scored 41 points, including 27 in the first half, and racked up 14 rebounds and four assists, providing the leadership the Thunder needed after losing star point guard Russell Westbook, who a few hours earlier had undergone a successful operation to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.

Reserve guard Nate Robinson led the Bulls' attack, bringing them back from a 14-point deficit to beat the Brooklyn Nets in triple overtime 142-134 in the fourth game of their elimination series, where Chicago stands at 3-1.

Spanish center Marc Gasol, meanwhile, contributed 24 points and 13 rebounds to the Grizzlies decisive 104-83 victory over the Clippers in the fourth game of their Eastern Conference series.

Gasol, who played for 42 minutes, hit nine of his 14 shots from the field and was 6 for 7 at the free throw line. Ten of his 13 rebounds were defensive and he also tossed in four assists and three blocked shots for good measure.

Dominican center Al Horford put 26 points on the board, along with 16 rebounds, to help the Hawks achieve a blowout 90-69 win over Indiana in their third playoff matchup.

This was the first win for the Hawks over Indiana this post-season and their best-of-seven series now stands at 2-1 Pacers with a key game coming on Monday at Atlanta's Philips Arena.