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Pacers, Raptors make playoffs; Bucks flop

Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2002

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Milwaukee Bucks failed in their last chance to clinch an NBA playoff berth, losing by 34 points to the Detroit Pistons -- 123-89 -- as Ben Wallace all but locked up the rebounding title Wednesday night.

The blowout loss was the final act in a dramatic Milwaukee collapse, as the Bucks -- who came within one game of going to the NBA Finals last year -- lost 16 of their final 22 games.

The defeat opened the way for the Toronto Raptors and Indiana Pacers to grab the last two open spots in the Eastern Conference with victories.

Wallace, who grabbed 20 rebounds, joins Hakeem Olajuwon, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton as the only players to lead the league in rebounds and blocks in the same season.

Cliff Robinson scored 24 points and Jerry Stackhouse added 23 as Detroit (50-32) got its first 50-win season since 1996-97.

Glenn Robinson led Milwaukee with 21 points, but Sam Cassell and Ray Allen had only six each.

Raptors 103, Cavaliers 85

TORONTO -- Morris Peterson and Jerome Williams each scored 22 points, and Toronto beat Cleveland and finished seventh in the Eastern Conference.

Antonio Davis had 21 points for the Raptors. Toronto, Milwaukee and Indiana began the night tied for seventh.

Williams added 12 rebounds for the Raptors, who won 12 of 14 after Vince Carter announced he would have season-ending knee surgery. Toronto lost 17 of 18 before Carter's announcement.

Peterson's 3-pointer sparked a 16-4 run late in the third quarter. His three free throws and 3-pointer gave Toronto a 15-point lead with 11:00 left in the fourth, and Williams followed with a free throw and layup, giving Toronto an 18-point lead.

Lamond Murray led the Cavaliers with 28 points.

Pacers 103, 76ers 80

INDIANAPOLIS -- Brad Miller scored 19 points and Jermaine O'Neal added 18 as Indiana beat Philadelphia to earn the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Pacers needed a victory and a loss by either Milwaukee or Toronto to make the playoffs. Toronto won, but the Bucks lost to Detroit. By the time the Bucks' score was posted, the Pacers held a 15-point lead.

Indiana will play No. 1 seed New Jersey. The Nets went 3-1 against the Pacers this season.

The Pacers are in the playoffs for the 12th time in 13 years, missing only the 1996-97 season.

Allen Iverson, Dikembe Mutombo and Derrick Coleman all missed the game with injuries for the Sixers. Philadelphia finished sixth in the East and will play the Celtics.

Eric Snow scored 16 points for the Sixers.

Spurs 86, Jazz 84

SALT LAKE CITY -- Tony Parker drove the length of the floor and scored on a layup with 2 seconds left, lifting San Antonio over Utah and clinching the Midwest Division for the Spurs.

Tim Duncan had 26 points and 16 rebounds as the Spurs won the division for the second straight year and closed the regular season with a nine-game winning streak.

Hornets 112, Bulls 106

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Jamal Mashburn and Elden Campbell scored 20 points each for Charlotte, which will get homecourt advantage over Orlando in the first round of the playoffs.

The Hornets began the night tied with Philadelphia for the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference. Charlotte trailed Orlando by one game for the No. 4 spot, but the Magic lost to Miami and Philadelphia fell to Indiana.

Heat 103, Magic 89

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The injury-riddled Orlando Magic finished their season-ending slide by losing to Miami, snuffing their hopes of having homecourt advantage in the first round.

The Magic lost four of their final five games, including three straight at home. Miami, having its worst season in seven years, beat Orlando twice in that stretch.

Celtics 89, Hawks 81

BOSTON -- Rodney Rogers, starting in place of Antoine Walker, scored 25 points as Boston beat Atlanta to head into the playoffs with seven wins in eight games.

Walker sat out for the first time this season, having gone on injured reserve Tuesday with a sore left thumb. He is expected to be ready when the Celtics open the playoffs Sunday -- their first playoff appearance since 1995 against Philadelphia.

Nets 99, Knicks 94

NEW YORK -- New Jersey overcame an 11-point third quarter deficit and Allan Houston's 32 points to sweep the season series from New York for the first time in 17 years.

After trailing 60-49 with 6:34 left in the third quarter, the Nets took the lead for good on Richard Jefferson's basket with 9:38 remaining in the game. It was the 16th time this season that the Knicks lost after having a double-digit lead.

Timberwolves 104, Nuggets 90

MINNEAPOLIS -- Wally Szczerbiak scored 20 points in 23 minutes as Minnesota tuned up for the playoffs by defeating Denver.

The Timberwolves, who clinched the Western Conference's fifth seed last week, closed the regular season by winning eight of 12 and tied a franchise record with 50 wins.

The Timberwolves, postseason qualifiers for the sixth straight year, have never won a playoff series. They had the league's second-best record behind the Sacramento Kings at the halfway point of the season and still held the fourth spot in the West in early March. But a 1-8 stretch cost them homecourt advantage for the first round.

Kenny Satterfield scored a career-high 21 points for Denver (27-55).



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