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Lin lifts Charlotte in NBA playoffs

Associated Press Associated Press 23/04/2016

Jeremy Lin scored 18 points and Kemba Walker had 17 as Charlotte beat Miami 96-80 on Saturday to snap a 12-game playoff losing streak and earn its first postseason victory in 14 years.

The Heat lead the series 2-1, with game four set for Monday night.

"This isn't about winning one playoff game, it's about winning a playoff series," Clifford said of ending the team's playoff drought. "This gives us a chance."

Marvin Williams had 12 points and 14 rebounds for the Hornets.

Luol Deng scored 19 points and Dwyane Wade added 17 for the Heat.

Miami, which shot 58 per cent from the field in the first two games, was limited to 34 per cent shooting. The Hornets outscored the Heat 52-28 in the paint and had four turnovers to Miami's 15.

"We made a lot of mistakes," Deng said. "In the first two games we did a good job with of taking away of guys' tendencies. They rebounded and ran out when they got the lead and keep going."

In an explosive game in Dallas meanwhile, Kevin Durant got ejected, Russell Westbrook was part of a shouting match in front of his bench and Serge Ibaka drew a technical for throwing an elbow in the final seconds of Oklahoma City's 119-108 win over the Mavericks.

Leading 3-1, the Thunder are now in firm control of a testy first-round series.

Westbrook had 25 points and 15 assists and Durant added 19 points in a quiet game before he was thrown out following a flagrant foul in the final minute.

Going into game five on Monday night in Oklahoma City, Durant doesn't think things are getting out of hand despite several tense moments that included Dallas team security making sure he didn't leave the court in front of the Mavericks bench after his ejection.

"I don't believe they're trying to hurt us, and we're not trying to hurt them," Durant said.

"We're going to do some talking. We're going to do some shoving here and there because that's how competitive both teams are."

In Indianapolis, George Hill and Ian Mahinmi each scored 22 points and Paul George added 19 as the Indiana Pacers beat the Toronto Raptors 100-83 to tie their first-round playoff series at 2-2.

Jonas Valanciunas led Toronto with 16 points, and Kyle Lowry and DeMarre Carroll each had 12.

Game five in the best-of-seven series is Tuesday night in Toronto.

In Portland, Damian Lillard scored 32 points as the Trail Blazers beat the Los Angeles Clippers 96-88 to pull within 2-1 in the Western Conference first-round series.

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