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Shaq lifts Lake Show over Timberwolves

Posted: Monday, April 28, 2003

LOS ANGELES Shaquille O'Neal had 34 points, 23 rebounds and six assists Sunday as the three-time defending NBA champions rallied for a 102-97 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves to tie their first-round playoff series 2-2.

Los Angeles scored 22 of the game's final 33 points, holding the Timberwolves without a field goal for a 5-minute stretch of the fourth quarter. O'Neal grabbed 10 offensive rebounds to help the Lakers to a 29-2 edge in second-chance points.

Kobe Bryant added 32 points, including 13 in the fourth quarter, despite shooting 7-of-25. He was 16-of-17 from the foul line, making four free throws without a miss in the last 12.8 seconds to clinch the victory.

Kevin Garnett had 28 points, 18 rebounds and five assists but missed two free throws with 15 seconds remaining and the Timberwolves trailing by three.

Celtics 102, Pacers 92

BOSTON Paul Pierce had 21 of his 37 points in the third quarter when the Celtics erased a 12-point halftime deficit. Boston now leads the series 3-1, with Game 5 Tuesday night in Indiana.

Jermaine O'Neal's 25 points and 19 rebounds were not enough for the Pacers, who looked poised to even the series after a strong first half.

Pierce had just five points on 2-for-7 shooting in the opening half, which ended with Indiana ahead 48-36. But he scored the last 11 points of the third quarter in which Boston outscored Indiana 37-14 and took a 73-62 lead.

Indiana cut the margin to 81-76 on Brad Miller's layup with 5:34 left in the game. But the Pacers came no closer as Antoine Walker hit two straight baskets for an 85-76 lead.

Magic 100, Pistons 92

ORLANDO, Fla. Tracy McGrady had 27 points and nine assists as the Magic took a 3-1 lead in the series. Drew Gooden added 20 points and 13 rebounds while Darrell Armstrong came off the bench to score 18.

Orlando shot 50 percent against the NBA's best defense, and at times it seemed as though everything the Magic tossed up went in. The clincher came with 6:14 to play when Armstrong hit a miracle falling-away heave on an inbounds pass with 1 second on the shot clock. The swish put Orlando ahead 95-77 its largest lead of the series.

The Magic can win the series Wednesday night in Detroit. Orlando hasn't advanced past the opening round since 1996, when it swept Detroit.

The Pistons, losers of 12 straight road playoff games, failed to top 43 percent shooting for fourth straight game. They shot 42 percent and committed 15 turnovers including two passes into the stands in the fourth quarter.

Trail Blazers 98, Mavericks 79

PORTLAND, Ore. Despite playing without Scottie Pippen, Derek Anderson and Arvydas Sabonis, the Portland Trail Blazers managed to avoid being swept in the first round by the Dallas Mavericks.

Zach Randolph had 25 points and 15 rebounds as the Trail Blazers beat the Mavericks 98-79 Sunday night.

The victory snapped Portland's 10-game playoff losing streak which dated back to Game 7 of the 2000 Western Conference finals against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks won his first playoff game as a coach after six straight losses.

The series will return to Dallas on Wednesday for Game 5. But no team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a seven-game series, and the Mavericks haven't lost four in a row all season.

Suns 86, Spurs 84

PHOENIX The Phoenix Suns are even with the San Antonio Spurs again in the NBA playoffs, thanks to the unlikeliest of heroes Jake Voskuhl.

The backup center, whose three-point play tied the game at 80-80 with 1:51 remaining, scored on a jump hook over Tim Duncan after receiving a pass from Penny Hardaway with 2.3 seconds left to give Phoenix an 86-84 come-from-behind victory over the Spurs on Sunday night.

It was the Suns' only lead of the fourth quarter.

Duncan, who had 24 points and 11 rebounds, missed an off-balance 16-footer at the buzzer.

The victory tied the best-of-seven first-round series at 2-2, with Game 5 Tuesday night in San Antonio.

Stephon Marbury scored 18 points, Shawn Marion had 17 points and Hardaway had 13 points and seven assists, including the game-winner. Scott Williams added 10 for the Suns.

San Antonio's Bruce Bowen, 3-for-18 from the field in the first three games of the series, shot 7-of-8 five of them 3-pointers for a career playoff high 19 points but didn't take a shot in the final 6:55. Tony Parker added 19 points, 15 in the first half.

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