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Mavs put clamps on champs

Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki has 32 points and nine rebounds against the Lakers as Dallas takes a 3-0 series lead.

Associated Press

Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki has 32 points and nine rebounds against the Lakers as Dallas takes a 3-0 series lead.

DALLAS — Dirk Nowitzki had 32 points, Jason Terry scored 23 and Peja Stojakovic scored 11 of his 15 in the fourth quarter, rallying the Mavericks to a 98-92 victory over the Lakers on Friday night that put the two-time defending champions on the brink of elimination.

Dallas trailed by seven with 5:05 left and was getting shredded inside by a new-look Los Angeles lineup featuring three big men. Then Nowitzki and Stojakovic hit 3-pointers, jump-starting an 18-6 rally that turned around the game and possibly sealed the Western Conference series.

"We stuck with it, finally got some big stops … keep fighting, keep attacking," Nowitzki said of his team's comeback.

The Mavericks lead 3-0, and no team in NBA history has ever lost after taking such a lead.

Dallas will go for the sweep at home on Sunday.

Lamar Odom filled in for the suspended Ron Artest as the starting small forward for the Lakers. Odom scored 18 but star Kobe Bryant was held to 17 points.

Bulls earn back homecourt edge

ATLANTA — Finally, the real Bulls showed up in the playoffs.

Naturally, Derrick Rose led the way.

Looking every bit like the MVP, Rose sliced up Atlanta for a career-high 44 points as Chicago seized control of its Eastern Conference semifinal series with a 99-82 victory in Game 3.

The Bulls lead the series 2-1.

Rose dominated from the opening tip, slashing into the lane for a basket that prompted Atlanta to call a timeout before game was a minute old. He finished off the Hawks midway through the fourth with back-to-back 3-pointers, hopping down the court, serenaded by chants of "MVP! MVP!" from a hefty contingent of Bulls fans.

Rose made 16 of 27 shots, including four 3s. He had seven assists, five rebounds, a steal — and he even blocked a shot.

"Just attacking the whole game," Rose said. "That was my whole thought process."

Rose also finally seemed to shake off a nagging sprained ankle.

"Yeah, I just wanted to get my groove back," he said.

Bulls 99, Hawks 82

CHICAGO (99): Deng 3-10 0-1 7, Boozer 3-6 0-0 6, Noah 1-8 0-0 2, Rose 16-27 8-9 44, Bogans 2-6 0-0 6, Brewer 1-2 0-0 2, Gibson 5-9 3-4 13, Asik 0-0 0-0 0, Korver 4-6 0-0 11, Watson 2-5 4-4 8, Butler 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 37-79 15-18 99.

ATLANTA (82): Williams 4-7 2-3 10, Smith 7-14 3-8 17, Horford 5-12 0-0 10, Teague 8-13 5-5 21, Johnson 4-12 1-2 10, Crawford 3-7 1-1 7, Pachulia 0-0 1-2 1, Collins 0-0 0-0 0, Wilkins 2-2 0-0 4, Powell 0-1 0-0 0, Armstrong 0-2 1-2 1, Sy 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 33-70 15-25 82.

Chicago 29 27 24 19— 99

Atlanta 23 20 20 19— 82

3-Point GoalsChicago 10-20 (Rose 4-7, Korver 3-4, Bogans 2-4, Deng 1-4, Watson 0-1), Atlanta 1-6 (Johnson 1-2, Teague 0-2, Crawford 0-2). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsChicago 49 (Noah 15), Atlanta 43 (Smith 13). AssistsChicago 18 (Rose 7), Atlanta 18 (Smith 4). Total FoulsChicago 20, Atlanta 15. TechnicalsChicago defensive three second 2, Crawford. A19,521 (18,729).

CELTICS: Paul Pierce has figured out how to help the team during the final minutes of tonight's game against Miami.

He's going to stick around.

Pierce was ejected late in the series opener, and in Game 2 he strained his left Achilles' tendon in the first half and was still hobbling down the stretch.

"Paul Pierce being in the game in the fourth quarter, healthy, is always going to help the Celtics," he said Friday.

The Celtics expect to be healthier than they have been in a while, thanks in part to the three days off. That will help Ray Allen (bruised chest) and Rajon Rondo (stiff back).

Pierce also said his Achilles' is fine, and coach Doc Rivers said he expects to have Shaquille O'Neal coming off the bench for the first time in the postseason.

THUNDER: Starting forward Serge Ibaka returned to practice and coach Scott Brooks said he will play today. Ibaka missed practice Thursday while nursing injuries to his right knee and left ankle suffered Tuesday.

Mavs put clamps on champs 05/06/11 [Last modified: Saturday, May 7, 2011 1:08am]
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