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Pacers, Knicks close out series

BOSTON — Twelve years without advancing in the playoffs. Two failed attempts to close out the Celtics. Nineteen consecutive missed 3-pointers.

Carmelo Anthony brought all the slumps to a stop.

Anthony made a pullup jumper, then sank his first 3-pointer in 20 tries to help the Knicks turn back Boston's comeback attempt on Friday night, beating the Celtics 88-80 in Game 6 to win a playoff series for the first time since 2000.

"You should never play with any doubt out there on the basketball court," Anthony said. "I can't step onto the court thinking of failure."

Anthony had 21 points and the Knicks held on after blowing most of a 26-point lead to advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Indiana Pacers.

Game 1 is Sunday in New York.

Iman Shumpert scored 15 of his 17 in the second half, when Boston scored 20 straight and cut a 75-49 deficit to four. Anthony's 13-footer gave New York an 81-75 lead and he followed with a 3, his first since Game 3. J.R. Smith's three-point play restored a double-digit lead.

"There's definitely a moment in that run that I was thinking, 'What are we doing, fellas?'" said Knicks center Tyson Chandler, who had nine points and 12 rebounds.

Jeff Green scored 21 for the Celtics, who had rallied from a 3-0 deficit in the series. Kevin Garnett had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics, who now face another offseason of talk whether to break up the aging core that won the franchise's record 17th NBA title in 2008 and returned to the Finals two years later.

Pacers close out Hawks

ATLANTA — George Hill and David West each scored 21 and the Pacers withstood a comeback in the fourth quarter, beating the Hawks 81-73 to win their series 4-2.

The Pacers led 65-50 lead going to the fourth, then the Hawks sliced it to 76-73 on former Gator Al Horford's dunk with 2:13 left, but the comeback fizzled there.

From early in the second quarter to nearly midway through the third, the Hawks never put the ball in the basket. In a span of 15:43, Atlanta shot 1-of-21, the only basket awarded to Devin Harris on a goaltending call.

"It's nice to be able to get it done here," Pacers center Roy Hibbert said. "We showed a lot of resolve when the other team made their run."

Thunder, Griz advance: In a pair of Game 6s, Oklahoma City beat host Houston 103-94, and Memphis beat the visiting Clippers 118-105 to wrap up their respective series in the West.

Sick Bull: Bulls forward Luol Deng said on Twitter that the illness that kept him out Thursday was more than the flu. He missed the Game 6 loss to the Nets with what coach Tom Thibodeau said were flulike symptoms. "It really upsets me that everyone thinks I would miss a game" because of the flu," Deng tweeted.

Around the league: Flip Saunders was named Minnesota's president of basketball operations, eight years after the Timberwolves fired him as coach. Also, owner Glen Taylor pulled the team off the market. … Mavericks assistant Jim O'Brien, 61, is retiring after a 30-year career that included stints as a head coach in Boston, Philadelphia and Indiana. Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said O'Brien is being replaced by Kaleb Canales.

Late Thursday: Warriors advance past Nuggets

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Warriors reached the second round of the playoffs for only the second time in 22 years, eliminating the Nuggets with a 92-88 victory in Game 6. Stephen Curry had 22 points and eight assists and Andrew Bogut had season bests and career playoff highs of 14 points and 21 rebounds for Golden State. "Just a huge win in front of our fans. I've only been here a year, but I know the nightmares they've been through in the last 20 years," Bogut said. The Warriors led by 18 early in the fourth quarter. Andre Iguodala scored 24 for Denver, the No. 3 seed in the West that lost in the first round for the ninth time in the past 10 seasons.

Knicks 88, Celtics 80

NEW YORK (88): Anthony 7-23 6-6 21, Shumpert 6-9 2-2 17, Chandler 4-8 1-2 9, Prigioni 5-9 0-0 14, Felton 5-14 1-2 11, Smith 5-13 2-2 13, Martin 1-2 1-2 3, Kidd 0-1 0-0 0, Camby 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 33-79 13-16 88.

BOSTON (80): Green 4-12 11-14 21, Bass 1-6 4-6 6, Garnett 7-10 1-2 15, Bradley 4-6 2-2 10, Pierce 4-18 5-5 14, Terry 4-6 3-4 14, Williams 0-2 0-0 0, Lee 0-1 0-0 0, Crawford 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 24-63 26-33 80.

New York 24 15 28 21— 88

Boston 10 17 20 33— 80

3-Point GoalsNew York 9-21 (Prigioni 4-6, Shumpert 3-3, Smith 1-3, Anthony 1-6, Kidd 0-1, Felton 0-2), Boston 6-22 (Terry 3-5, Green 2-5, Pierce 1-9, Lee 0-1, Crawford 0-2). Fouled OutGreen. ReboundsNew York 47 (Chandler 12), Boston 48 (Garnett 10). AssistsNew York 18 (Felton 7), Boston 13 (Pierce 5). Total FoulsNew York 23, Boston 20. TechnicalsFelton, New York defensive three second. A18,624 (18,624).

Pacers 81, Hawks 73

INDIANA (81): George 2-10 0-0 4, West 9-21 3-4 21, Hibbert 8-14 1-2 17, Hill 7-14 5-7 21, Stephenson 3-5 1-2 8, T.Hansbrough 1-1 4-6 6, Augustin 1-6 0-0 2, Pendergraph 1-2 0-0 2, Mahinmi 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 32-76 14-21 81.

ATLANTA (73): Smith 5-16 4-4 14, Horford 6-12 3-4 15, Petro 2-6 0-0 4, Teague 3-12 3-4 10, Harris 5-14 2-2 14, I.Johnson 2-5 0-0 4, Korver 3-11 6-6 12, Tolliver 0-2 0-0 0, Jones 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-78 18-20 73.

Indiana 21 16 28 16— 81

Atlanta 20 9 21 23— 73

3-Point GoalsIndiana 3-15 (Hill 2-5, Stephenson 1-1, Augustin 0-4, George 0-5), Atlanta 3-19 (Harris 2-7, Teague 1-1, Tolliver 0-1, Smith 0-3, Korver 0-7). Fouled OutHarris. ReboundsIndiana 61 (Hibbert, Stephenson 11), Atlanta 44 (Smith 9). AssistsIndiana 17 (George 7), Atlanta 12 (Smith, Horford, Harris 3). Total FoulsIndiana 20, Atlanta 19. TechnicalsPendergraph, I.Johnson. A18,238 (18,729).

Pacers, Knicks close out series 05/03/13 [Last modified: Saturday, May 4, 2013 1:35am]
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