Clippers, 76ers even series…Williamson leaves Duke…Virginia loses Jerome, Hunter
UNDATED (AP) – The Los Angeles Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers have knotted their respective NBA first-round playoff series at a game apiece. The Clippers erased a 31-point deficit before Larry Shamet drained a tiebreaking, 3-pointer with 16.5 seconds left in a 135-131 stunner over the Golden State Warriors. Joel Embiid scored a game-high 23 points and Ben Simmons had a triple-double of 18 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds to highlight the Sixers’ 145-123 downing of the Brooklyn Nets.
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – Power forward Zion Williamson has announced that he’s leaving Duke after one outstanding season in which he was named the AP national player of the year. The ACC player and rookie of the year tied teammate RJ Barrett for the conference lead in scoring at 22.6 points a game and also averaged 8.9 rebounds. Williamson is widely projected as the first player taken in the draft.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) – Virginia guards Ty Jerome and De’Andre Hunter are leaving school early for the NBA draft. Jerome helped Virginia win the national championship, leading the Cavaliers with 202 assists and finishing second on the team with 79 3-pointers. Hunter was the national champions’ second-leading scorer at 15.2 points per game, an All-ACC first team selection and the league’s defensive player of the year.
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) – Gonzaga junior forward Rui Hachimura has declared for the NBA draft and says he will hire an agent as he pursues a professional career. The 6-foot-8 native of Japan led Gonzaga in scoring this season with 19.7 points per game. He was also named the West Coast Conference player of the year.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Clayton Kershaw made his season debut last night and worked seven innings before the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied to beat the Cincinnati Reds, 4-3 on Joc Pederson’s two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth. Kershaw held the Reds to two runs on five hits and no walks while striking out six. His season began late after he was bothered by shoulder inflammation during spring training.