Dick Parsons is hoping for a short stint running the Los Angeles Clippers, though he's ready to stay on as long as it takes.
Moving the franchise away from Donald Sterling and to new ownership might require a lengthy fight, but it's one Parsons thinks is worthwhile. The NBA chose Parsons, the 66-year-old former Citigroup chairman and former Time Warner chairman and CEO, as interim CEO of the Clippers on Friday.
"This is an issue that's actually bigger than just the Clippers, bigger than just the NBA in my judgment," Parsons said. "The whole world is kind of watching how, frankly, we as a country navigate our way through this crisis. So if I can help, I'm happy to try."
On the court, Kevin Durant scored 36 points, Russell Westbrook added 23 and the Oklahoma City Thunder outplayed the Clippers in the fourth quarter for a 118-112 victory and a 2-1 lead in their Western Conference semifinal.
Serge Ibaka added 20 points and Westbrook had 13 assists for the Thunder in a game that neither team ever led by double digits.
Blake Griffin scored 34 points, and Chris Paul added 21 points and 16 assists for the Clippers, who saw their four-point lead disappear for good early in the fourth quarter. Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford added 20 points.
Oklahoma City led 113-107 on Durant's turnaround jumper with 1:23 left. It followed Westbrook's 3-pointer after the Clippers had closed within 108-107 when Griffin muscled in for a layup.
Game 4 is Sunday at Staples Center.
Parsons will oversee the management of the franchise and represent it at owners meetings while the league tries to force Sterling to sell after his lifetime ban for making racist remarks.
Parsons, who is black, met with commissioner Adam Silver on Monday and accepted the position Thursday.
He had gotten to know Silver, then the deputy commissioner, when Time Warner owned the Atlanta Hawks.
"I think it's a very good hire for us," said Doc Rivers, Clippers coach and senior vice president of basketball operations.
Pacers 85, Wizards 63: Paul George had his best game of the series with 23 points and eight rebounds, Roy Hibbert was again a factor by scoring 14 points, and Indiana held Washington to a franchise-low playoff total.
The Pacers lead the Eastern Conference semifinal 2-1.
Washington made only 24 field goals, another team postseason worst, on 73 attempts, 32.9 percent. That included 4 of 16 on 3s, and it didn't get much better on free throws, where the Wizards were 11 of 21.
So much for the bandwagon-hopping in Washington.
There were boos on occasion, and most of the crowd started heading to the exits after George's 3 with 3½ minutes left made it 75-58.
"This was probably the ugliest game of the postseason thus far. This is our style of basketball," George said. "That's what we do. Whether you like it or not, are a fan of watching our games or not, defense is what we hang our hats on."
Trail Blazers: Portland reserve point guard Mo Williams is unlikely to play in Game 3 against San Antonio on Saturday night because of a groin injury, coach Terry Stotts said. Earl Watson and Will Barton will come off the bench in his place.
Kings: The city of Sacramento has completed an agreement for a downtown arena for the Kings. The city released the 35-year lease agreement Friday night.
The Sacramento City Council is scheduled to vote on the deal May 20, when it could end years of uncertainty surrounding the home of the Kings.
The project will cost an estimated $477 million. The city is responsible for $223 million, while the Kings will contribute $254 million.
The arena is scheduled to open for the 2016-17 season.