Monday, April 29, 2002

Sixers find Answer for Celtics

Mavs, Lakers sweep

The Associated Press

        PHILADELPHIA — Allen Iverson was a franchise player on Sunday.

        After being challenged by his coach to take responsibility for winning and losing, Iverson scored 42 points, including 11 of Philadelphia's last 15, as the 76ers avoided elimination with a 108-103 victory over the Boston Celtics.

        Derrick Coleman got the go-ahead basket for the Sixers with 45.5 seconds left.

        Game 4 of the best-of-5 first-round series is Wednesday night in Philadelphia. Boston leads the defending Eastern Conference champions 2-1. Only six teams in league history have come back to win a five-game series after losing the first two. Dallas did it against Utah last year.

        Paul Pierce had 29 points for Boston and Antoine Walker added 27, including seven 3-pointers in the first half. Boston hit 15-of-30 from beyond the arc, but only 5-of-16 in the second half.

        Mavericks 115, Timberwolves 102

        MINNEAPOLIS — Dirk Nowitzki scored 28 of his 39 points before halftime and Michael Finley had 13 of his 30 in the third quarter, helping Dallas finish a three-game sweep of Minnesota.

        Steve Nash had 25 points and 11 assists for the Mavericks, who were 13-for-24 from 3-point range and advanced to the second round for the second consecutive year to meet the winner of the Utah-Sacramento series.

        Kevin Garnett had 22 points and 17 rebounds, and Wally Szczerbiak and Anthony Peeler each scored 20 points for the Timberwolves, who made their sixth straight first-round exit from the playoffs.

        Lakers 92, Trail Blazers 91

        PORTLAND, Ore. — Robert Horry made a 3-pointer with 2.1 seconds left to cap a furious last-minute comeback, and Los Angeles completed a three-game sweep of Portland.

        The Blazers, who have lost seven straight playoff games to the Lakers dating to Game 7 of the 2000 Western Conference finals, appeared to have the game won after Rasheed Wallace made one of two free throws to give Portland a 90-86 lead with 17.1 seconds left.

        Kobe Bryant immediately made a 3-pointer with 12.7 seconds to go, and Portland's Scottie Pippen shot 1-of-2 from the line after he was fouled.

        Rick Fox inbounded the ball to Bryant, who was guarded by the self-proclaimed “Kobe Stopper,” Ruben Patterson. Bryant went right and flung the ball to Horry, who was waiting in the corner off to Bryant's right. Pippen was late in getting a hand up, and Horry swished the jumper.

        Wallace had 20 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Blazers, who were beaten 3-0 by the Lakers for the second straight year. The Lakers have eliminated Portland from the postseason in five of the last six years.


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