Rockets 103, Mavericks 94
James Harden scored 28 points, Terrence Jones had 10 of his 15 in the fourth quarter, and Houston beat visiting Dallas on Tuesday night for its first playoff series victory since 2009.
The Rockets won the Western Conference series 4-1 to advance to face the winner of the Clippers-Spurs series in the second round.
The Rockets bounced back from a lackluster performance in a 121-109 loss in Game 4 to head to the West semifinals for the first time since Yao Ming starred for Houston.
Dwight Howard had 18 points and 19 rebounds to help the Rockets dominate inside and Josh Smith scored 20 points. The Mavericks couldn’t get going from long-range, going just 5 of 26 on 3-pointers.
LATE MONDAY?Trail Blazers 99, Grizzlies 92
Damian Lillard had 32 points and host Portland avoided elimination from the playoffs. Memphis led by as many as 10 points in the fourth quarter, but Portland rallied to deny the Grizzlies their first-ever playoff sweep.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 18 points and 12 rebounds for Portland.
Game 5 is Wednesday in Memphis.
Memphis was playing without point guard Mike Conley, who was inadvertently elbowed in the face in the third quarter of Game 3 and underwent surgery Monday. His status for the rest of the playoffs is uncertain.
The winner of the series goes on to face the Golden State Warriors in the second round.
Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies with 21 points.
CJ McCollum added 18 points for the Blazers, who snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Grizzlies — including all four regular-season meetings.
NOTEBOOK:?David Lee recuperating
After spending the past two weeks on the sideline nursing a sore back, Golden State Warriors forward David Lee was happy for the chance to get back out and play full-court basketball — even if it was only in a scrimmage.
Lee is one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Warriors getting at least a week off after sweeping New Orleans in the first round of the NBA playoffs. The extra time off gives Lee the chance to heal even more and the opportunity to find his rhythm again with the extra practice time created by the time off.
The Warriors won’t start the second round until Sunday at the earliest. Game 1 might be pushed back until May 5 if the Memphis-Portland series goes seven games. The Grizzlies lead 3-1.
“It’s good to go out there and get a rhythm again,” Lee said Tuesday. “My back feels really good. It was the first time I had played full court in a while. It was important to get that rhythm back and the cardio.”
Pelicans owner backs coach
New Orleans Pelicans owner Tom Benson sent a letter of support to Pelicans coach Monty Williams and General Manager Dell Demps after the club’s first playoff appearance in four seasons.
In the letter obtained by the Associated Press, Benson thanks basketball operations staff and players for “a job well done” and says he’s “very excited about the future.”
Benson also says staff and players have his word and resolve “to bring everything to bear to win.”
The letter, first reported by Nola.com, was sent after the Pelicans’ first-round playoff loss to Golden State.
Williams has one year left on his contract and has not discussed whether he’s in any extension talks.
Williams says the club is moving in the right direction after winning 11 more games than last season.