In brief: Damian Lillard’s 3 beats buzzer, Rockets in 6
NBA: Damian Lillard hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer and the Portland Trail Blazers stunned the visiting Houston Rockets 99-98 to take their playoff series in six games and advance to the Western Conference semifinals for the first time in 14 years.
Portland, making its first playoff appearance since 2011, had been eliminated in the first round in its last six trips, and hadn’t advanced to the second round since 2000.
Dwight Howard’s layup and foul shot put the Rockets up 96-94 before Nicolas Batum’s fadeaway jumper tied it again with 39.9 seconds left. Chandler Parsons scored on a reverse layup with 0.9 seconds left to give Houston the lead before Lillard won it.
• Ellis lead Mavs over Spurs to force Game 7: Monta Ellis scored 12 of his 29 points to lead a fourth-quarter comeback, Dirk Nowitzki added 22 and the Dallas Mavericks forced a Game 7 in their first-round series with top-seeded San Antonio, beating the Spurs 113-111.
The eighth-seeded Mavericks bounced back from consecutive losses by handing the Spurs their first road defeat when leading after three quarters this season.
Tony Parker scored 22 to lead the Spurs. The second Game 7 between these teams is Sunday in San Antonio, with the winner playing Portland. The Mavericks won the other one there in 2006.
• Nets beat Raptors, force Game 7: Deron Williams scored 23 points, shaking off a second-half injury, and the Brooklyn Nets forced a seventh game in their first-round series by beating the Toronto Raptors 97-83 at Brooklyn, New York.
Despite appearing to hurt his left foot or ankle in the third quarter, Williams dominated his matchup with Kyle Lowry and helped the Nets put it away with a 3-pointer with 1:13 left that made it 92-79.
Game 7 is Sunday in Toronto, with the winner advancing to face defending champion Miami.
Brassard lifts Rangers
NHL: Derick Brassard scored 3:06 into overtime to give the visiting New York Rangers a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Play continued after Brassard’s goal, with Benoit Pouliot pumping a shot past Marc-Andre Fleury seconds after Brassard’s shot. A review showed Brassard’s flip beat Fleury cleanly.
Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby was held without a goal for the 12th straight playoff game.
• Kane lifts Blackhawks over Wild: Patrick Kane scored two goals for Chicago in the third period, including a terrific dash through the Minnesota zone for the tiebreaking score, and the host Blackhawks beat the Wild 5-2 in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.
Bryan Bickell also scored twice for the Blackhawks, who have won five in a row. Marian Hossa had a goal and an assist as the defending Stanley Cup champions made the most of two costly penalties on Minnesota’s Jonas Brodin.
Cabrera, Flores share lead
Golf: Angel Cabrera hit a pair of superb short-game shots for a 3-under 69 that gave him a share of the lead with Martin Flores in the Wells Fargo Championship at Charlotte, North Carolina.
Cabrera loves Quail Hollow because he hits driver on just about every hole. But it was a pitch-and-run on the par-5 seventh hole and perfectly judged flop shot out of the rough on the next hole that enabled him to share the lead.
Flores played in the morning and had a 68. They were at 9-under 135, one shot ahead of Justin Rose.
Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy both went the wrong direction. Mickelson shot 75 and was seven shots behind. McIlroy shot 76 and made the cut on the number.
• Langer, Bryant on top of Insperity: Bernhard Langer birdied the final six holes for a share of the lead with Bart Bryant in the Champions Tour’s Insperity Invitational.
Langer matched Bryant at 6-under 66 at The Woodlands (Texas) Country Club. Defending champion Esteban Toledo was a stroke back.
• Lee, Masson go low in North Texas: Meena Lee shot a season-best 64 and Caroline Masson had her second straight 67 to share the lead in the North Texas LPGA Shootout at Irving, Texas.
At 8-under 134, South Korea’s Lee and Germany’s Masson were stroke ahead of Texan Stacy Lewis and fellow American Natalie Gulbis.
Lewis, the No. 3 player in the world, had a bogey-free 64 to match Lee for the day’s best round.
Spilak outlasts Froome
Cycling: Simon Spilak edged defending champion Chris Froome to win the hilly fourth stage of the Tour de Romandie at Aigle, Switzerland, and take the overall lead by a second.