Bulls thrash Bucks to win series

The Bulls won the series 4-2 to advance to an Eastern Conference semi-final showdown against Cleveland.

It was Milwaukee’s heaviest ever defeat. Chicago led by as many as 18 in the first quarter, 32 at half-time and 40 early in the third quarter.

Mike Dunleavy led the Bulls with 20 and Pau Gasol added 19. Zaza Pachulia scored eight points to lead Milwaukee, who had some momentum after a surprising road victory in Game Five.

The Bucks, who had Giannis Antetokounmpo ejected late in the first half for shoving Dunleavy, hit 39 percent from the field in the first quarter and had only 33 points at half-time.

Forward Blake Griffin scored 26 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, helping the Los Angeles Clippers defeat the San Antonio Spurs 102-96 to even their NBA Western Conference first-round playoff series at 3-3.

Game Seven is on Saturday in Los Angeles, though home court may not be much of an advantage for the Clippers. Both teams are 1-2 at home in the series.

Before losing on Thursday, the Spurs had finished off seven straight playoff opponents at home since losing a Game Seven to the Dallas Mavericks in 2006.

Guards J.J. Redick and Chris Paul scored 19 apiece for the Clippers. Paul, who added 15 assists, scored 15 in the second half, including a basket that gave the Clippers a 98-93 lead with 21 seconds remaining. Los Angeles centre DeAndre Jordan contributed 15 points and 14 rebounds.

Reserve guard Marco Belinelli led the Spurs with 23 points. Belinelli was lethal from long range. He made seven three-point baskets, one of them that left the Spurs trailing by two with 14.5 seconds left.

Backup guard Jamal Crawford secured the win for the Clippers by making two free throws with 10 seconds remaining.

San Antonio reserve forward Boris Diaw supplemented Belinelli with 17 points, but the Spurs’ starters struggled.

Forwards Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard scored 12 points each, but Leonard hit just three of 15 shots from the field. Guard Tony Parker wasn’t much better, making four of 12 shots and scoring eight point. Guard Danny Green went 3-for-9 in a seven-point effort.