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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    NBA recaps

    Dallas 102, Memphis 76

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Dallas Mavericks wanted to get this one over quickly. They sure picked the right opponent.

    Dirk Nowitzki had 27 points and Josh Howard had 24 to lead the Mavericks over the Grizzlies 102-76 yesterday, Dallas’ first best-of-seven sweep and an NBA-record 12th consecutive playoff loss for Memphis.

    The Mavericks will face the winner of the San Antonio-Sacramento series, which is tied at two games apiece, in the Western Conference semifinals.

    “”You always want to close it out when you have the chance,”” Nowitzki said. “”We have some guys with some injuries, but I think we’ll be all right in the second round.””

    Nowitzki, who averaged 32.7 points in the first three games, was 12-of-21 from the floor and made all three of his 3-point shots, while Howard was 9-of-17. Howard had nine rebounds.

    Pau Gasol led Memphis with 25 points and Mike Miller scored 10. They were the only Grizzlies in double figures.

    The Grizzlies were swept for the third time in three consecutive playoff appearances, and fans began filing out of FedExForum early in the final period. Announced attendance was 15,104. The Grizzlies put a sellout at 18,119.

    The Grizzlies already had the longest losing streak of any playoff team before a first postseason victory. The previous record of 11 consecutive playoff losses was set by Baltimore and matched by Denver.

    Memphis was swept in the first round by Phoenix last year and San Antonio the year before.

    Dallas also got 19 points from Jerry Stackhouse and 12 from Jason Terry.

    Detroit 109, Milwaukee 99

    MILWAUKEE – The Milwaukee Bucks kept missing shots and mishandling the ball. Chauncey Billups kept hitting free throws.

    Billups was 16-of-16 from the foul line and scored 34 points to send the Pistons back to Detroit with a 3-1 series lead, beating Milwaukee 109-99 in the first round of the NBA playoffs last night.

    The Pistons can finish off the Bucks with a victory in Game 5 tomorrow night in Detroit.

    The Bucks had taken an 86-85 lead on Joe Smith’s jump shot with 5:52 remaining in the game. But the Pistons answered with an 8-0 run, including back-to-back 3-pointers by Billups and Richard Hamilton, to put Detroit ahead 93-86 with 3:47 remaining.

    The Pistons led 95-90 when Antonio McDyess was whistled for a technical foul – Detroit’s second technical of the game – with 2:42 remaining.

    Milwaukee’s Michael Redd made the free throw and was fouled on the ensuing possession, hitting another two free throws to cut the Pistons’ lead to 95-93 with 2:29 remaining.

    But six straight free throws by Billups, combined with missed shots and mishandled balls by the Bucks, allowed the Pistons to put away the game.

    Redd led the Bucks with 33 points, including 15 in the first half to lead all scorers. The Pistons held Redd to 11 points in the first game of the series, but the Bucks’ leading scorer had 40 in Saturday’s victory in Milwaukee.

    Milwaukee took a 76-74 lead into the fourth quarter thanks to 16 third-quarter points by T.J. Ford, but Ford picked up his fourth foul with 1:41 remaining in the period.

    Los Angeles Clippers 101, Denver 83

    LOS ANGELES – The Clippers’ 30-year drought is over.

    Cuttino Mobley and Corey Maggette each scored 23 points, Elton Brand added 21 points and 13 rebounds, and the Clippers took command in the third quarter to beat the Denver Nuggets 101-83 Monday night and win the first-round best-of-seven Western Conference series 4-1.

    Mobley pumped his fists repeatedly in the final minute, and his teammates waved at the Staples Center fans, who stood and cheered as the final seconds ticked off.

    The Clippers hadn’t won a playoff series since 1976, when the team was playing in Buffalo and beat the Philadelphia 76ers in the opening round before losing to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

    The franchise moved to San Diego in 1978, then to Los Angeles in 1984. The Clippers are in the playoffs for just the seventh time in their 36-year history, only the fourth time since heading west, and the first time in nine years.

    The four wins in these playoffs matched the total for the Clippers in their previous playoff appearances while playing in Los Angeles. The franchise was 13-22 in the postseason entering these playoffs, including 9-13 while playing in Buffalo.

    The Clippers meet the winner of the Lakers-Suns series in the second round. The Lakers take a 3-1 lead into tonight’s game in Phoenix.

    Should the Clippers face the Lakers, it would be the first postseason meeting ever between Los Angeles teams in the NBA, NFL or major league baseball.

    Chris Kaman and Sam Cassell scored 10 points apiece and Shaun Livingston had eight points and 14 assists for the Clippers. Maggette, Brand, Kaman and Livingston are making their postseason debuts this spring.

    Carmelo Anthony scored 23 points, Greg Buckner added 20 and Andre Miller had 15 points, six rebounds and eight assists for the Nuggets.

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