Tuesday, May 6, 2003

Shaq fouls out as Spurs get the jump

Nets beat Boston to take Game 1

The Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO - It looked like last season all over again.

Just like in the 2002 playoffs, the San Antonio Spurs let a double-digit lead over the Los Angeles Lakers dissolve to one point in the fourth quarter.

But this time the finish was different as the Spurs pulled out an 87-82 victory Monday night in the opening game of their Western Conference semifinal series.

Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal fouled out with more than three minutes to play, and San Antonio then took advantage of its size to counter Kobe Bryant's outside shooting.

O'Neal, who fouled out of a playoff game for the first time in his career, had 24 points and 21 rebounds.

A 3-pointer by Bryant brought Los Angeles within 85-82 with 1:08 left in the game.

That was the last field goal of the game, as the scoring ended with a free throw by Tony Parker after a technical foul against Robert Horry and a free throw by David Robinson with 9.9 seconds left.

Bryant led all scorers with 37 points.

Nets 97, Celtics 93

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The Boston Celtics had the last chance. The New Jersey Nets got the first win.

Kenyon Martin overcame foul problems to score 21 points, and Paul Pierce spoiled a 34-point effort by missing the only shot that really mattered for Boston as the Nets won Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinal.

"It was back and forth," said Jason Kidd, who added 15 points, nine assists and six rebounds for the Nets. "It's going to be like that the whole series. You've got two talented teams who will try to force their will and style on one another. It's just a matter of who has the ball last."

Pierce had it with the Nets ahead 96-93 with just under 10 seconds to play in the rematch of last year's conference final. He used a pick at the top of the circle and had an open look when Kidd and Richard Jefferson seemed to back off.

"I thought I got a great look," said Pierce, who hit one of four 3-pointers on a night the Celtics were 9-for-28 from long range. "It felt good coming out of my hands. It was a little short. What more can you ask for? Down three, you get a good look at the end of the game, and maybe you get it into overtime."

At a glance

Monday's games

New Jersey, 97, Boston 93

San Antonio 87, L.A. 82

Today's games

Philadelphia at Detroit, 8 p.m.

Sacramento at Dallas, 9 p.m.

Wednesday's games

Boston at New Jersey, 7 p.m.

L.A. at San Antonio, 9:30 p.m.

Reds 5, Cards 4
Utility man Branyan on cusp of activation
Tomko: Reds dealt me bad hand

NL: Miller's time finally comes
AL: Detroit wheels out first winning streak
Cubs' Alfonseca back, but won't close at first

Bengals seek help at defensive end
Team releases two tackles

Racing set to start at Speedway
Childress Racing fires driver Green over feud

McNick's Doerger will not return
Kings gets new hoops coach
Monday's Results
Today's Games

Eustachy leaves Cyclones after reaching settlement
Proposed rule changes get lukewarm reception

Shaq fouls out as Spurs get the jump
Today's conference semifinal openers
Iverson must find answer for Pistons' star Wallace

Red Wings say so long to Robitaille
Senators eliminate Flyers 5-1

Tuesday's sports on TV, radio