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Clippers rally, even series with Thunder

Clippers guard Darren Collison scored 10 of 18 points in the final 2:58, helping to erase a 16-point deficit in the fourth quarter. (Associated Press)
Clippers guard Darren Collison scored 10 of 18 points in the final 2:58, helping to erase a 16-point deficit in the fourth quarter. (Associated Press)

NBA: Darren Collison scored 10 of his 18 points in the final 2:58 and the Los Angeles Clippers rallied to beat the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder 101-99 on Sunday to tie the Western Conference semifinal series 2-2.

Russell Westbrook, who scored 27 points, missed a 3-pointer and Serge Ibaka’s tip attempt was too late at the buzzer, allowing the Clippers to salvage a game they trailed until the final 1:23.

Blake Griffin led Los Angeles with 25 points, making 9 of 11 free throws, and Chris Paul had 23 points and 10 assists. Jamal Crawford added 18 points. DeAndre Jordan had 14 rebounds, helping the Clippers win the boards, 45-43 – the first time in 11 playoff games the Thunder were outrebounded.

Kevin Durant scored 40 points, hitting 15 of 18 free throws, for the Thunder.

Pacers outlast Wizards, take 3-1 lead: Paul George poured in a career playoff-high 39 points and added 12 rebounds to lead the Indiana Pacers back from a 19-point deficit and past the host Washington Wizards 95-92 to move one victory away from returning to the Eastern Conference finals.

George played 46 minutes and scored 28 points after halftime Sunday, including making six of his franchise playoff-record-tying seven 3-pointers.

Roy Hibbert had 17 points and nine rebounds, continuing his recent surge after a poor-as-can-be start to the series. He helped Indiana overcome Washington’s 32-2 advantage in bench scoring.

Rangers beat Pens, force Game 7

HOCKEY: Martin St. Louis and Carl Hagelin scored 2:51 apart in the first period, and Henrik Lundqvist made 36 saves and the New York Rangers avoided elimination again with a 3-1 home victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins and force a Game 7 in the NHL Eastern Conference semifinals.

Derick Brassard pushed the Rangers’ lead to 3-1 in the second period.

Blackhawks beat Wild: Jonathan Toews had a rebound goal early in the third period, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the visiting Minnesota Wild 2-1 to take a 3-2 series lead in the NHL Western Conference semifinals.

Bryan Bickell also scored and Corey Crawford made 27 saves as Chicago bounced back from consecutive losses in Minnesota that handed the momentum to the Wild heading into Game 5.

Sweden, Russia win at worlds: Defending champion Sweden prevailed in a shootout to edge the Czech Republic 4-3 at the ice hockey world championships in Minsk, Belarus, and Russia handed Finland a 4-2 defeat for its second straight win.

Joakim Lindstrom scored the winning goal for Sweden when he found the space between the pads of Alexander Salak.

Germany, which defeated Latvia 3-2, and Norway, which beat Denmark 4-3, also made it two wins in two games, while France failed to build on its upset victory over Canada as it lost 2-1 to Italy.

Sharapova recovers, wins Madrid Open

TENNIS: Maria Sharapova bounced back from a poor start to defeat Simona Halep 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 and win the Madrid Open.

Sharapova, who lost to Serena Williams in last year’s final, crumbled in the opening set, holding her serve just once.

But Halep’s serve dipped in the second set and Sharapova started hitting pinpoint ground strokes that kept the Romanian running. The Russian converted both her break points in the set to even the match.

Sharapova then pulled away in the deciding set with an early break to follow up her triumph in Stuttgart with a maiden title in Madrid.

• Nadal claims men’s Madrid title: Rafael Nadal won his fourth Madrid Open title after Kei Nishikori was forced to withdraw with an injury when trailing 2-6, 6-4, 3-0 .

Nishikori’s powerful groundstrokes helped him win the first set against the top-ranked Nadal, who couldn’t find a way to counter his Japanese opponent.

But Nadal slowly clawed back into the match at the Magic Box and broke twice in the second set to even the match. Nishikori was in obvious discomfort in the third and received treatment on his lower back during a medical timeout before eventually retiring.

Kittel takes second straight stage at Giro

CYCLING: Marcel Kittel sprinted to a second straight stage victory in a wet third leg of the Giro d’Italia, while Michael Matthews retained the overall leader’s pink jersey.

Kittel lost contact with his rivals inside the final kilometer but the German cyclist came from behind to edge out Ben Swift on the line and deny the Briton a maiden Grand Tour stage victory.

Kittel finished in 4 hours, 28 minutes, 43 seconds. Elia Viviani was third in a bunch sprint at the end of the 187-kilometer (116-mile) cross-border leg from Armagh to Dublin in Ireland.

Cavendish wins first stage in Sacramento: Mark Cavendish surged ahead of John Degenkolb in a thrilling sprint to win the first stage of the Tour of California in the closest finish in the event’s nine-year history.

Degenkolb pulled ahead of the most decorated stage winner in Tour de France history in the final stretch before the “Manx Missile” burnished his legacy again. The two raced shoulder-to-shoulder until Cavendish threw the rim of his bicycle’s tire just ahead as he crossed the line in a photo finish.

Former Minnesota quarterback arrested

MISCELLANY: Former Minnesota Gophers quarterback Philip Robert Nelson was jailed following an altercation in Mankato early Sunday that sent a former Minnesota State, Mankato, linebacker to the hospital in critical condition.

A police statement said officers came across Isaac Dallas Kolstad, 24, of Mankato, while patrolling the city’s downtown entertainment district around 2 a.m. The 20-year-old Nelson was arrested at the scene and taken to the Blue Earth County jail, the statement said. Police are requesting felony charges of third-degree assault, KTOE-AM reported.

Nelson left the Gophers in January to transfer to Rutgers. He played in 11 games last season, but said Rutgers offered a more pass-friendly offense.

Stanford beats UCLA for NCAA water polo title: Annika Dries broke a tie with the first of Stanford’s four fourth-quarter goals and the top-ranked Cardinal won the NCAA women’s water polo title, beating UCLA 9-5.

No. 2 UCLA led 5-3 at the half, but could not score in the final two quarters.

Stanford tied it with 2 seconds remaining in the third quarter and scored on three consecutive possessions in a 1:23 span to put it out of reach.

Gatlin first at Golden Grand Prix: Justin Gatlin of the United States won the men’s 100 meters at the Seiko Golden Grand Prix, an IAAF World Challenge event.

Gatlin finished in 10.02 seconds, beating compatriot Mike Rodgers by .09 at Tokyo’s National Stadium. Christophe Lemaitre of France was third in 10.31.

Timbers, Galaxy fight to draw: Diego Valeri scored in the final minute of stoppage time to pull the Portland Timbers into a 1-1 MLS draw with the visiting Los Angeles Galaxy.

The equalizer came after Robbie Keane’s header 2 minutes into stoppage time appeared to give the Galaxy the win.