Away teams thrive in playoffs

The away teams dominate the opening day of the NBA playoffs with the Atlanta Hawks pulling off a huge upset in Indiana.

    Jeff Teague scored a playoff career-high 28 points in the Hawks' surprise win [Reuters]
    Jeff Teague scored a playoff career-high 28 points in the Hawks' surprise win [Reuters]

    Road teams dominated on the opening day of the NBA playoffs, with Atlanta pulling off the biggest upset with victory at Eastern Conference top seed Indiana.

    Elsewhere, Golden State beat the Clippers, Brooklyn beat Toronto and Oklahoma City eased past Memphis.

    The Pacers had been expected to be too strong for a Hawks team that had lost its previous eight playoff games, but Jeff Teague led Atlanta to an important victory.

    Teague scored a playoff career-high 28 points and Paul Millsap added in the Hawks' surprise win.

    Indiana, who spent the whole season working to get home-court advantage in the playoffs, wasted no time in giving it right back with a dismal third quarter.

    Atlanta opened the third quarter on an 8-0 run, breaking a 50-50 tie, then pulled away when Teague scored nine points in a 14-0 run that made it 74-58 with 4:08 minutes left in the quarter.

    Indiana couldn't get closer than eight the rest of the way despite 24 points and 10 rebounds from Paul George.

    Warriors battle on

    Golden State also produced a strong third quarter in a tight 109-105 win at the Clippers, who were hurt by having Blake Griffin and Chris Paul in foul trouble.

    Klay Thompson scored 22 points and David Lee added 20 for the Warriors, who trailed by 11 points early but capitalised in the third as Griffin and Paul were benched due to accumulating foul numbers.

    Paul led the Clippers with 28 points and JJ Redick added 22 points in 30 minutes for Los Angeles but Griffin finished with 16 points after fouling out with 48 seconds left and the scores tied.

    Foul trouble plagued both teams, but losing Griffin and Paul for stretches cost the Clippers at both ends.

    In Toronto, Brooklyn's Deron Williams and Joe Johnson each scored 24 points as the Nets won 94-87 against the Raptors, while Paul Pierce scored nine of his 15 points in the final quarter to guide the visitors to victory.

    Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant scored 13 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter to help the Thunder down Memphis 100-86 in the only home-court winner of the day.

    SOURCE: AP


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