NEW YORK — 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 on Friday night.
Despite appearing to hurt his left foot or ankle early 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 the defending champion Miami Heat.
It became the fourth first-round series ticketed for a do-or-die game in these playoffs.
DeMar DeRozan scored 28 for the Raptors, who will have to go the distance if they are to win a seven-game series for the first time in franchise history. They haven’t won any postseason series since 2001.
MAVERICKS 113, SPURS 111: In Dallas, 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.
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 heavily favored Spurs, who are stuck in a tossup series after they won all four games against Dallas during the regular season. San Antonio took a nine-game winning streak against the Texas rival into the sixth postseason meeting between the teams.
The second Game 7 between these teams is Sunday in San Antonio. The Mavericks won the other one there in 2006.
COACH MEETS WITH ANGRY EMPLOYEES: In Los Angeles, Clippers coach Doc Rivers said employees on the team’s business side considered not working for the franchise after owner Donald Sterling’s racist comments were exposed a week ago.
Rivers met with team employees who were still upset and angry Friday, several days after Sterling was banned for life from the NBA.
Rivers said he made the trip downtown at the request of other top executives with the Clippers, who will play the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of their first-round playoff series Saturday night.
Rivers spent Friday morning at the Clippers’ team offices, listening to employees in ticket sales, marketing and other departments. The coach said it was “really hard” to see the pain in the employees who took the brunt of public backlash against the Clippers.
RANDOLPH SUSPENDED FOR GAME 7 FOR PUNCHING ADAMS: In New York, Memphis forward Zach Randolph has been suspended for Game 7 of the Grizzlies’ playoff series against Oklahoma City for punching Thunder center Steven Adams in the jaw.
The ruling Friday by the NBA leaves the Grizzlies without their leading scorer for the deciding game in Oklahoma City on Saturday night.
The play came with 6:42 left in the Thunder’s 104-84 victory Thursday night. Randolph first elbowed Adams in the midsection with his left elbow, then struck Adams with his right hand. Randolph is averaging a team-best 18.2 points in the series.
NOAH UNDERGOES LEFT KNEE SURGERY: In Chicago, Bulls center Joakim Noah is recovering after undergoing arthroscopic left knee surgery.
Chicago announced the operation Friday.
It was performed by team physician Dr. Brian Cole.
The team said Noah will rehab his knee for eight to 12 weeks.
Noah is coming off his best season with the Bulls, when he was the NBA Defensive Player of the Year. The 6-foot-11 Noah set career highs with averages of 12.6 points, 11.3 rebounds and 5.4 assists.
Noah helped the Bulls win 48 games during the regular season, but it was clear that the knee was bothering him when Chicago was eliminated by Washington in the first round of the playoffs.
He had the knee drained at some point during the season and the injury flared up again.