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Badal to retire in February

Pacers stay alive

ATLANTA — Just when it looked as if their demise were complete, the Indiana Pacers found some life.

The Pacers fought off the gritty Atlanta Hawks and an electric crowd at Philips Arena to stay alive in the Eastern Conference playoffs with a 95-88 win Thursday in Game 6.

Indiana forward David West scored 12 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter, and forward Paul George added 24 points and came up with a big steal in the game's final minute to force Game 7.

The teams have alternated wins through the first six games of the first-round series. Game 7 will be Saturday in Indianapolis.

The Pacers were 41-12 at the All-Star break, but they unraveled in final months of the regular season and were in danger of becoming the sixth No. 1 seed to lose to an No. 8 seed in the first round of the playoffs.

Point guard Jeff Teague hit a jumper that put the Hawks up 84-79 with 3:13 to play, but West scored eight points in the final three minutes, and Indiana closed out the game with a 16-4 run. Teague led all scorers with 29 points.

Indiana was in control in the third quarter and had quieted the crowd before a thunderous one-handed dunk by Atlanta forward Mike Scott electrified Philips Arena and completely changed the momentum. The Hawks closed the quarter on a 13-5 run and took a 67-64 lead into the fourth quarter. Teague scored the Hawks' last six points of the quarter, including a dazzling spin move and layup that gave Atlanta its first lead since early in the second quarter.

In a back-and-forth first half, Indiana withstood an early surge by the Hawks before grabbing the lead in the second quarter. Pacers point guard George Hill hit a deep 3-pointer as time expired on the second quarter, sending Indiana to locker room up 44-39.

Indiana forward Lance Stephenson finished the night with 21 points, and Hill added 14 points.

Atlanta forward Paul Millsap scored 16 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, and guard Louis Williams added 16 points.

The Hawks set a franchise record by making 15 3-pointers in their win at Indiana on Monday, but made just nine of 35 attempts from beyond the arc in Game 6.

Thunder 104, Grizzlies 84

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Forward Kevin Durant matched his series high with 36 points, and the Oklahoma City Thunder staved off playoff elimination Thursday night with a 104-84 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum.

The Thunder, the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, evened the first-round series at three games apiece. Game 7 will be played Saturday in Oklahoma City.

Thunder guard Russell Westbrook scored 25 points Thursday, and guard Reggie Jackson contributed 16. Durant grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.

The Grizzlies trailed by as many as 22 points. Oklahoma City led by 15 points at halftime, and Memphis never got closer than that margin in the second half.

Center Marc Gasol led Memphis with 17 points, and power forward Zach Randolph had 16 points and eight rebounds. Forward James Johnson added 15 points off the bench, and guard Tony Allen scored 13.

Thunder coach Scott Brooks inserted guard Caron Butler into the starting lineup in place of Thabo Sefolosha, and Brooks stayed with a smaller lineup much of the game. Oklahoma City shot 49.3 percent (37-for-75) from the floor, with Durant hitting 11 of 23 shots. Westbrook shot 9-for-21.

Durant went 14-for-15 at the free-throw line, and Oklahoma City finished 23-for-25 (92 percent).

The Thunder outrebounded Memphis 47-36. The Grizzlies shot 37.3 percent from the field (31-for-83).

Memphis point guard Mike Conley (five points and six assists) hit the floor hard in the third quarter and went back to the locker room a with right hamstring strain. He returned midway through the fourth for less than a minute, then limped back to the locker room.