The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 29, 2001 · Page 20
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 20

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, April 29, 2001
Page 20
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-pfl SUNDAY. APRIL 29, 2001 THE SAUNA JOURNAL • WESTERN CONFERENCE Mavs snap 13-year drought Nash hits game-winner with 22.7 seconds left; Dallas wins first playoff game since '88 By JAIME ARON Tlie Associated Press Jazz 91 Mavericks 94 •' Jazz leads, 2-1 DALLAS — After 13 years of playoff frustration for the Dallas Mavericks, Steve Nash wasn't about to let this game — or this season — slip away Nash, playing with seven stitches in his forehead, hit a go- ahead turnaround jumper with 22.7 seconds left and Michael Finley added two free throws as Dallas pulled out a 94-91 win Saturday over the Utah Jazz, avoiding a first-round sweep. "It's a different series now," said Nash, who had 16 points and seven assists. "We were positive and aggressive, but they're the more experienced team and 1 guarantee they'll play a great game on Tuesday." The Mavericks led by 11 early in the fourth, but the Jazz went ahead 91-90 with 34 seconds left on a layup by John Stockton. It was Utah's first lead since 18-16 and it left Dallas in jeopardy of an embarrassing end to a great season. "1 knew we needed to counter and there wasn't much time," Nash said. "The reaction was, 'Let's get going.'" Nash, whose head was bloodied in a third-quarter collision with Stockton, raced downcourt and, as he headed to the hoop, spun back out and drilled a 10-footer to put the Mavs ahead 92-91. Stockton then fed Donyell Marshall underneath, but Shawn Bradley got a piece of the ball and Finley grabbed it. He was fouled with eight seconds to go and hit both free throws. The Jazz had one last chance, but Stockton uncharacteristically wasted it. He threw up a wild 3- pointer with five seconds left and the rebound, fittingly, went to Nash. Stockton stood over his Nash, but let time run out rather than foul him. "1 got myself into the air, Donyell made a nice cut and I just didn't make the pass. That's the ballgame," said Stockton, who had his first triple double in 171 career playoff games with 12 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. At the buzzer, Juwan Howard jumped atop the scorer's table wearing a giant grin, Mavs coach Don Nelson thrust his right hand in the air and 18,187 relieved fans cheered something they hadn't seen since June 2,1988: a Mavericks playoff victory BIB* PLAYOFFS Saturday's Scores Philadelphia 92, Indiana 87, Dallas, 94, Jazz 91 Minnesota 93, San Antonio 84 Oriando 121, Milwaukee 116 (ot) Today's Games New York at Toronto, 11:30 a.m. Sacramento at Phoenix, 2 p.m. L.A. Lakers at Portland, 4:30 p.m. The Associated Press Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) shoots over Jazz guard Jacque Vaughn during game 3 of their first-round playoff series Sunday in Dallas. T-Wolves extend series with Spurs Foul trouble forces Duncan to sit much of fourth quarter By JOHN AKERS The Associated Press MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Timberwolves learned it's not enough to use one or two players against Tim Duncan. So they ran four at him Saturday. Terrell Brandon had 21 points and nine assists, Kevin Garnett scored 22, and Minnesota got Duncan in foul trouble in its 93-84 victory over the San Antonio Spurs, extending the playoff series. Reggie Slater, Rasho Nes- terovic, LaPhonso Ellis and Dean Garrett combined for 14 fouls while limiting Duncan to 15 points and 10 rebounds. Most importantly, they kept the Spurs' star off the court for 19 of the game's 48 minutes because of his foul woes. T AWARDS [13 Spurs 84 T-Wolves 93 Spurs lead,- 2-1 David Robinson led San Antonio with 22 points and 17 rebounds. "There's no question our ability to go at Timmy and get him in foul trouble had a big part in the game," Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders said. "It takes pressure off you defensively, because you don't have to expose yourself as quickly by trapping both Duncan and David. "It helps when you only have to play one of the Twin Towers." Game 4 is Monday night in Minneapolis. The Spurs hold a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five first- round series. "We can't get frustrated," San Antonio's Derek Anderson said. "There's no point getting upset or frustrated. They didn't get frustrated when they were down 2-0." Duncan had 15 points and 10 rebounds, but sat out a chunk of the fourth quarter with five fouls. He avoided fouling out for what would have been only the seventh time in his four-year, 317-game career, including the playoffs. His fifth foul came while he was on offense and away from the ball, trying to separate himself from Slater. "I have to be more cautious," Duncan said. "I have to stay in the game." He left the court with 9:03 left and the Spurs trailing 73-68, but they were within 77-74 when he returned with 5:15 remaining. Duncan promptly dunked at the end of a break, pulling the Spurs within a point. Brandon, though, hit a pair of pullup jumpers and Anthony Peeler, who was 6-for-29 in the first two games of the series, hit a pair of 3-pointers to help the Timberwolves pull away Peeler had five of the Timber­ wolves' 12 steals, which led to 26 points. "I was just trying to be a little pest on David and Timmy," Peeler said. Slater, who gave up about 5 inches against Duncan and Robinson, scored six points early in the fourth quarter to chants of "Reggie! Reggie!" He had a few slammed back in his face, too, but kept shooting. "Sometimes you're the bug," said Slater, who played only 14 minutes in the first two games. "Sometimes you're the windshield." The Wolves went on a 10-2 run to take a 64-54 lead in the third period, but the Spurs answered with a 12-4 run and pulled to 68-66 going into the fourth. Duncan picked up his fourth foul on a drive by Wally Szczer- biak that resulted in a three- point play, giving the Wolves a 52-47 lead with 8:42 left in the period. McGrady named most improved player After leaving Raptors, foHA /ard averaged 26.8 points per game By MIKE BRANOM 'ihe Associated Press ORLANDO, Fla. — Tracy McGrady, who blossomed into a superstar in Orlando, is the NBAs Most Improved Player. The 21-year-old McGrady earned the honor by posting career highs in points (26.8), rebounds (7.5), assists (4.6), steals (1.51) and minutes played (40.1) this season. His .457 field-goal percentage, .355 three-poiht field-goal percentage, and .733 free-throw percentage also were career-best marks. The 6-foot-8 forward received 74 of a possible 124 votes from a nationwide panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. His selection was announced Saturday ' Sacramento's Peja Stojakovic finished second with 14 votes and Dallas' Steve Nash was third with 12. Phoenix forward Shawn Marion finished fourth with six votes. "Playing behind a superstar in Vince Carter last year, it wasn't my turn," said McGrady who left Toronto to join ihe Magic as a free agent before ,this season. "I believe I could have done some of the things I did this year last year, but I was held back. So, I brought my talent to Orlando and exploited it hei'e:" : After starting 53 games in his first three seasons with Toronto, McGrady started 77 games JForthe Magic this season and [was voted through fan ballot­ ing as a starter in his first career NBA All-Star game. McGrady is the first player to start an All-Star game and be honored as the league' Most Improved Player in the same season. In each of his first four years in the NBA, Mc-. Grady has improved on his averages in scoring, rebounding and assists from the previous season. Last year, McGrady finished fifth in the voting for the Most Improved Play- MCGRADY en "The thing that I like most about him is that as good as he is, he still wants to get better," Magic coach Doc Rivers said. "Every challenge that's been thrust upon him, he's basically answered. The biggest surprise to me is not only all the talent he has, but the type of guys he's been off the court. He's been special in that way." McGrady and Grant Hill, another free-agent acquisition, were expected to lead Orlando into title contention this season. But when Hill missed all but four games because of ankle problems, the pressure fell on McGrady's shoulders. "Everybody looked toward me to really step up and carry this team," McGrady said. "And that's what I've always wanted. I think I did a pretty good job of that." Behind McGrady's all- around play, the Magic posted a record of 43-39, a two-game improvement from the previous season, and reached the playoffs after a year's absence. The Magic play the Milwaukee Bucks in the third game of their opening-round series on Saturday night. Milwaukee has a 2-0 lead and can eliminate Orlando with a victory • EASTERN CONFERENCE Sixers silence Pacers, crowd 76ers 92 Pacers 87 I 76ers lead, 2-1 Iverson scores 32 as Philly regains series advantage By STEVE HERMAN Vxe Associated Press INDIANAPOLIS - Allen Iverson loves the team whose fans seem to hate him most. Iverson had 32 points and the Philadelphia 76ers silenced the Indiana hecklers by scoring their final 10 points on free throws to beat t h e Pacers 92-87 on Saturday to take a 2-1 lead in the best- of-five Eastern Conference first-found series. Game 4 is in Indianapolis Wednesday night. "Anybody can give up, but the. team that beat us two years in a row isn't going to give up," Iverson said. "This whole series is something I'll cherish, because this team brings out a lot in Allen Iverson. This team helps me be a better player than I already am." The Pacers, who eliminated the 76ers from the playoffs each of the past two years, erased a 15-point deficit and tied the game 8282 with less than three minutes to go on a 3-pointer by Reggie Miller, who led all scorers with 35 points. The Pacers had a chance to take the lead after George Lynch missed two free throws. But Miller missed a shot and Al Harrington fouled Dikembe Mutombo, whose two free throws started the 76ers' parade to the foul line. Iverson had three free throws, Aaron McKie and Tyrone Hill had two apiece and Eric Snow one. "It was hard," Iverson said. "If they would have made a couple more shots, it might have been a different outcome.... We stopped playing the way we were playing." • Philadelphia led 45-41 at halftime. After a tie at 49, baskets by Snow and Iverson put the 76ers ahead until the Pacers' late run in the fourth quarter. Iverson had six points during a 17-4 run that gave Philadelphia its biggest lead at 70-55. "I got a couple one-on-one plays in the third quarter and took advantage of it," Iverson said. "Then they started doubling again and I started looking for Aaron and Eric. That's the thing. That's been important in this series, because if they're going to double I have to believe in my teammates." Pacers fans behind the 76ers bench were generally well-behaved, and so was Iverson. The star guard was fined $5,000 by the NBA for shouting a derogatory remark about gays to hecklers the last time he played in Indianapolis. McKie added 22 points for Philadelphia, while Rose finished with 19 and Croshere 13 for the Pacers. "McKie was great the whole game," 76ers coach Larry Brown said. "We wouldn't have won without him going the way he did. He came up with some big rebounds. We have to have people make big plays." Magic wins in OT By The Associated Press ORLANDO, Fla. — Tracy McGrady had 42 points — 21 in the fourth quarter and overtime — as the Orlando Magic finally beat the Milwaukee Bucks, winning 121-116 Saturday night to stay alive in their playoff series. Bucks 116 H Magic (ot) 121 Bucks lead, 2-1 M c Grady, h 0 n - ored as t h e NBA's Most Improved Player earlier Saturday tied Orlando's playoff scoring record and added 10 assists and eight rebounds. Orlando, which had lost 11 straight games against Milwaukee, finally found McGrady some offensive help, with Darrell Armstrong scoring 18 points and Pat Garrity adding 16. The Magic pulled out the victory despite letting a 14- point lead slip away in the last five minutes of regulation. Ray Allen scored 27 points, Sam Cassell had 21 points and a career-high 16 rebounds, and reserve Tim Thomas scored 18 for Milwaukee, which won the first two games of the series at home. Game 4 in the best-of-five, series is Tuesday in Orlando. The Magic appeared to have the game in hand leading 101-87 with 4:58 remaining, but Milwaukee rallied behind Glenn Robinson, held in check by McGrady most of the series, and Allen. Robinson's jumper with 35.7 seconds left gave the Bucks a 108-107 lead. Robinson, averaging just 14 points entering the game, had all seven of his fourth-quarter points in the final 2:15. McGrady's three-point play off a layup put the Magic ahead 110-108. Allen then tied it with 3.5 seconds left on a dunk over McGrady after he drove past Armstrong. In overtime, McGrady capped off a 7-0 run with a leaner and a layin for a 119114 lead with a minute to go. YMCA WORLD'S LARGEST RUN™ r 5K run cind fun walk Saturday, June 2 BE A PART OF «I,STOI^Y 700 cities fxmsf America—one syttr|inized slart time ^1 5K Race begins a.rn, 2 mile Fun Walk begins at 9:|D a.n| > Cri|ck-in starts at 7:30 Salina if mily Yl 570 YMOA Drive for Info #1(7^) ,^25^:2151 Kl SI Nil I) IIV Finish Line Adult yi^and up) Youtr? (6-t2 yrs.) $5; kids un fee is $18 arefree f# ' Re^sfer of r/ Proceeds

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