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Reserve bails out Spurs stars

at Spurs 20 17 29 26 92
Mavs 17 31 11 30 89
Spurs lead series 3-1

SAN ANTONIO — George Hill sank another big shot from the corner, this time right in front of the Mavericks bench, and ran back upcourt flashing three fingers.

He probably meant 3-pointer.

Or maybe it was three down, one to go.

While Tim Duncan had a miserable 34th birthday and Manu Ginobili looked as rough at times as his bandaged-up broken nose, Hill had 29 points to help the Spurs push second-seeded Dallas to the brink of elimination with a 92-89 victory on Sunday night.

"From the day they drafted me, I knew I belonged," said Hill, found by the Spurs late in the first round two years ago.

Hill's playoff performance was, in the Duncan era of the Spurs, virtually unprecedented.

The guard, 23, became the first player other than Duncan, Ginobili or Tony Parker to lead the Spurs in scoring in a playoff game since the first round in 2007. That's a span of 41 games.

One of the Big Three has been the top scorer for San Antonio in all but two postseason games since the Spurs won their second championship in 2003.

Michael Finley was the first in 2007. Hill became the other after Duncan, Parker and Ginobili combined for 31 points in a physical Game 4 that left tempers flaring.

"If you tell me before the game we hold the Big Three to those numbers, we figure we win the game," Mavs forward Dirk Nowitzki said.

After the game, Nowitzki climbed up a dais in the media room, took the microphone off the stand and slouched back in his chair with a heavy sigh.

He scanned a copy of the box score: Duncan getting four points on 1-of-9 shooting. Ginobili getting a modest 17. Parker scoring 10.

"It's tough. I'm not going to sit here and lie," said Nowitzki, who had 17 points, his worst outing in the series. "In Game 2 we should have had it at home and we feel we should have had one here. We didn't and it's frustrating, but we have to keep fighting until it's over."

DALLAS (89): Marion 7-13 0-0 14, Nowitzki 4-10 9-9 17, Dampier 0-2 0-0 0, Kidd 3-10 2-2 10, Butler 7-18 2-2 17, Barea 3-7 1-2 8, Terry 5-11 0-2 13, Haywood 3-6 4-6 10, Najera 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 32-77 18-23 89.

SAN ANTONIO (92): Jefferson 6-9 3-5 15, Duncan 1-9 2-4 4, McDyess 5-9 0-0 10, Hill 11-16 2-2 29, Ginobili 4-16 8-9 17, Bonner 0-2 0-0 0, Parker 4-9 2-4 10, Bogans 0-1 0-0 0, Blair 3-4 1-4 7. Totals 34-75 18-28 92.

3-Point GoalsDallas 7-19 (Terry 3-5, Kidd 2-7, Barea 1-2, Butler 1-3, Nowitzki 0-1, Marion 0-1), San Antonio 6-17 (Hill 5-6, Ginobili 1-7, Jefferson 0-1, Bogans 0-1, Bonner 0-2). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsDallas 54 (Nowitzki 11), San Antonio 47 (Duncan 11). AssistsDallas 17 (Kidd 5), San Antonio 19 (Ginobili 7). Total FoulsDallas 22, San Antonio 20. TechnicalsNowitzki. Flagrant Fouls—Najera, Blair, Jefferson. Ejected—Najera. A18,581 (18,797).

WADE KEEPS HEAT ALIVE: Dwyane Wade watched the 3-pointer drop through the net, then turned upcourt and extended the fingers on his right hand.

And he screamed.

"In kid-friendly terms," Wade said later, "I was telling him he was hot."

That hand — that player — had never been hotter in a postseason game, either. And that's why Miami's season isn't over.

Playing what might have been his final game in Miami, Wade had 46 points, 30 in the second half — both franchise records — and the Heat beat the Celtics 101-92 in Game 4 of their first-round series. He made 16 of 24 shots, including 5 of 7 3-pointers, and outscored the Celtics 19-15 in the fourth quarter.

"Phenomenal," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said.

"Greatness," offered Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.

Heat forward Quentin Richardson went further.

"Sometimes, you know, he puts on the cape, man," Richardson said. "There's not a lot of things you can do when he's playing that way."

The Celtics lead the best-of-seven 3-1 and can close it out in Boston on Tuesday. But Miami has hope.

"They did what they were supposed to do, which is defend the home court," Celtics forward Kevin Garnett said. "And now we're thinking the same thing going back home."

at Heat 31 18 22 30 101
Celtics 18 25 34 15 92
Celtics lead series 3-1

BOSTON (92): Pierce 6-14 2-3 16, Garnett 9-13 0-2 18, Perkins 0-1 0-2 0, Rondo 9-17 3-4 23, R.Allen 5-10 2-5 15, Davis 0-0 2-2 2, T.Allen 2-3 2-3 6, Wallace 1-5 3-4 5, Finley 2-5 2-2 7, Robinson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 34-69 16-27 92.

MIAMI (101): Richardson 7-14 2-3 20, Beasley 6-13 3-4 15, O'Neal 1-3 0-2 2, Arroyo 3-7 0-0 6, Wade 16-24 9-14 46, Anthony 0-0 1-2 1, Chalmers 3-7 0-0 7, Haslem 0-3 0-0 0, Wright 2-5 0-0 4. Totals 38-76 15-25 101.

3-Point GoalsBoston 8-21 (R.Allen 3-6, Rondo 2-3, Pierce 2-8, Finley 1-3, Wallace 0-1), Miami 10-18 (Wade 5-7, Richardson 4-6, Chalmers 1-3, Wright 0-1, Arroyo 0-1). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsBoston 42 (Garnett 12), Miami 52 (Haslem 11). AssistsBoston 19 (Rondo 9), Miami 16 (Wade, Chalmers 5). Total FoulsBoston 22, Miami 22. TechnicalsRondo, Arroyo, Miami defensive three second. A19,520 (19,600).

CAVS ON VERGE: LeBron James insisted there was nothing unusual about the shot, and he was perfectly comfortable taking it.

Never mind that he unleashed it from nearly halfcourt.

James' jumper, from a spot that requires a heave for many players, was just part of the show on a day when he delivered his fifth career postseason triple double with 37 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. That led the visiting Cavaliers to a 121-98 victory over the Bulls and a 3-1 lead in their first-round series.

"I've done some great things in the past, I'll do some great things in the future," he said. "But we're in the present now, and I'm feeling pretty good."

The Cavaliers, who broke the game open with a 37-point third quarter, can close the series out at home Tuesday.

Cavaliers 24 38 37 22 121
at Bulls 21 31 24 22 98
Cavaliers lead series 3-1

CLEVELAND (121): James 11-17 9-10 37, Jamison 9-16 5-7 24, O'Neal 3-7 0-0 6, M.Williams 6-10 4-6 19, Parker 4-7 2-3 12, Varejao 1-4 1-4 3, West 3-8 0-0 6, Moon 1-3 0-0 2, Hickson 3-4 4-4 10, D.Gibson 1-2 0-0 2, Ilgauskas 0-0 0-0 0, J.Williams 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 42-79 25-34 121.

CHICAGO (98): Deng 7-17 2-2 16, T.Gibson 1-4 2-4 4, Noah 7-12 7-8 21, Rose 9-20 3-4 21, Hinrich 3-13 2-2 10, Miller 2-8 3-3 7, Murray 3-7 4-4 11, Warrick 0-4 3-4 3, Johnson 0-1 0-0 0, Pargo 1-4 0-0 3, Richard 0-0 0-0 0, Brown 1-1 0-1 2. Totals 34-91 26-32 98.

3-Point GoalsCleveland 12-25 (James 6-9, M.Williams 3-6, Parker 2-3, Jamison 1-3, Moon 0-1, J.Williams 0-1, West 0-2), Chicago 4-12 (Hinrich 2-3, Murray 1-1, Pargo 1-2, Warrick 0-1, Johnson 0-1, Miller 0-1, Deng 0-3). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsCleveland 50 (James 12), Chicago 59 (Noah 20). AssistsCleveland 21 (James 11), Chicago 14 (Rose 5). Total FoulsCleveland 26, Chicago 24. TechnicalsVarejao, Chicago defensive three second 2. A23,058 (20,917).

Reserve bails out Spurs stars 04/26/10 [Last modified: Monday, April 26, 2010 1:22am]

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