Monday night game round-up: Injury blow for Clippers as Blazers draw level

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The Portland Trail Blazers levelled the series with the Los Angeles Clippers at 2-2 as Al-Farouq Aminu produced a career night for the home team. 

The forward shot 55 percent from the field for his career-high 30 points, including six made attempts from downtown. The Clippers limited Damian Lillard to 12 points while C.J. McCollum had 19. Mason Plumlee ended the game with 10 assists. 

There was a terrible moment for Los Angeles as Chris Paul exited the game in the third quarter with a broken hand that looks to have ended his season. The point guard shot 50 percent for his 16 points before injuring himself while guarding a Gerald Henderson layup.

There was further injury trouble for the visitors as Blake Griffin appeared to aggravate the left quad issue that had caused him so many problems throughout the regular season - he finished with seven points and as many rebounds. 

The series is finely balanced and returns to the City of Angels on Friday. However, without Paul, there is a sense the tide may have turned in Portland's favour. 

HEAT (3) 85, HORNETS (6) 89 

Kemba Walker was on fire at the Time Warner Cable Arena as the Charlotte Hornets protected their home court to make it level at two-game apiece.

The point guard produced a playoff career-high scoring night to end proceedings with 34 points, shooting 13-of-28 from the field. Walker scored ten consecutive buckets for the Hornets in a crucial fourth quarter run. 

Charlotte had a 21-4 run in the second as they battled back from a slow start against the Heat. Jeremy Lin scored 21 off the bench while Courtney Lee posted 11 points. 

For Miami, Joe Johnson shot 80 percent from three for his team-high 16 points. Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic dropped 12 each while Wade had 10 assists. Luol Deng had 15 points and Hassan Whiteside, playing through a right thigh contusion, had eight.

Game five takes place at the American Airlines Arena at 1a.m. on Thursday morning and the Heat will be confident of advancing with homecourt advantage. However, the Hornets have shown they will be no pushover. 

MAVERICKS (6) 104, THUNDER (3) 118 

The Oklahoma City Thunder became the third team to book their place in the semi-finals with a routine win in game five over the Dallas Mavericks. 

After Mark Cuban said Russell Westbrook was an All-Star but not a superstar, the point guard showed his incredible ability at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. 

He ended the night with 36 off 46.5 percent shooting, 12 rebounds and nine assists. His teammate Kevin Durant had 33 points and seven rebounds.

Dirk Nowitzki passed Scottie Pippen for 14th on the all-time playoff scoring chart but he will have to wait until next season to potentially add to his tally. The forward had a team-high 24 points, shooting 50 percent from the field. 

The Thunder will now face the San Antonio Spurs in the next round. The teams tied the regular season series at two games each. The first encounter is at the AT&T Center on Saturday.

Charlotte Hornets
Southeast Division
Eastern Conference
Dallas Mavericks
Southwest Division
Western Conference
NBA Playoffs
Oklahoma City Thunder
Northwest Division
Miami Heat
L.A. Clippers
Pacific Division
Portland Trail Blazers

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