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NO. 2 INDIANA VS. NO. 7 NEW YORK

WHAT: Eastern Conference semifinal, best-of-seven.

WHEN: Series begins at 8 tonight, Indianapolis. TV: TNT.

RECORDS: Indiana 58-24, 3-1 in playoffs; New York 43-39, 3-2.

COACHES: Pacers - Larry Bird. Knicks - Jeff Van Gundy.

KEY PLAYERS: Pacers - G Reggie Miller (19.5 ppg), C Rik Smits (16.7 ppg, 6.9 rpg), F Chris Mullin (11.3 ppg). Knicks - G Allan Houston (18.4 ppg), F Larry Johnson (15.5 ppg), F Charles Oakley (9.0 ppg, 9.2 rpg).

SEASON SERIES: Pacers 2-1.

THE LINE: Indiana pits its balance and size against the hearty defense of New York. If Patrick Ewing doesn't return, the Knicks may have trouble with the Pacers' big men, particularly the 7-foot-4 Smits. The Pacers have plenty of playoff experience and won't be intimidated by the Knicks, who will be without Larry Johnson for Game 1. He is finishing a two-game suspension for fighting.

DARRELL FRY PREDICTION: Pacers in six.

NO. 1 UTAH VS. NO. 5 SAN ANTONIO

WHAT: Western Conference semifinal, best-of-seven.

WHEN: Series begins at 10:30 tonight, at Utah. TV: TNT.

RECORDS: Utah 62-20, 3-2 in playoffs; San Antonio 56-26, 3-1.

COACHES: Jazz - Jerry Sloan. Spurs - Gregg Popovich.

KEY PLAYERS: Jazz - F Karl Malone (27.0 ppg, 10.3 rpg), G John Stockton (12. 0 ppg, 8.5 apg), G Jeff Hornacek (14.2 ppg, 4.4 apg). Spurs - F Tim Duncan (21.1 ppg, 11.9 rpg, 2.5 bpg), C David Robinson (21.6 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 2.6 bpg), G Avery Johnson (10.2 ppg, 7.9 apg).

SEASON SERIES: Jazz 3-1.

THE LINE: Jazz may be a bit weary after wrestling with the Rockets for five games, but Malone and Co. still will be as ready as ever. Spurs' only win during the regular season came when Stockton was injured. Spurs have their three big men (Robinson, Duncan, Will Perdue), but they have to stop Malone, who has traditionally killed San Antonio.

DARRELL FRY PREDICTION: Jazz in seven.

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