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SPURS PUT LAKERS OUT OF THEIR MISERY

Times wires

LOS ANGELES - For four straight games, the Spurs showed off all the teamwork and tenacity that the Lakers lacked all season.

And when the Lakers' tumultuous season finally collapsed Sunday, the Spurs rolled right past them to the second round.

Tony Parker had 23 points, and San Antonio completed its first-round sweep of the injury-plagued Lakers with a 103-82 victory in Game 4.

Tim Duncan had 11 points and six rebounds for the second-seeded Spurs, who next face the Denver-Golden State winner.

"Obviously, it wasn't a fair fight," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said.

San Antonio never trailed in the clincher, leaving the seventh-seeded Lakers to provide their usual drama.

In his final game before unrestricted free agency, Dwight Howard scored seven before getting ejected early in the third quarter for arguing. Pau Gasol scored 16 for the Lakers, swept from the postseason for the second time in three years.

Howard said the season was "like a nightmare. It's like a bad dream, and we just couldn't wake up from it. That's what it felt like."

The Lakers gave away thousands of white towels to their fans, and they acquired an unfortunate symbolism: The team just couldn't keep up without injured starters Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Metta World Peace.

"I'm proud of them, because they fought," coach Mike D'Antoni said. "It was kind of a year that was all upside-down, but I appreciate the effort to get us into the playoffs. We just didn't have it."

Heat caps sweep

MILWAUKEE - LeBron James can cross another item off his to-do list.

James had 30 points, Ray Allen had another big game against his old team and the Heat got its first playoff sweep in the Big Three era, reaching the East semifinals with an 88-77 win over the Bucks.

"It was our next big step as far as our growth," James said. "It's so hard to win on the road in the playoffs, in someone's building - especially when someone is playing for their last life."

Now Miami has much-needed time off. Dwyane Wade missed only his second career playoff game with an aching right knee.

"It's big," Wade said of the time off. "Obviously, we're one of the oldest teams in the league, maybe the oldest team in terms of rotation players."

The defending champions won each game by double digits. Allen scored 16 and former Florida star Udonis Haslem added 13 points and five rebounds.

"They had the whole package," Bucks coach Jim Boylan said. "When you can afford to sit guy like Dwyane Wade and perform at the level they performed at, that's a championship-caliber team."

Celtics stay afloat

BOSTON - Jason Terry's nose still hurt. He wasn't about to let his pride suffer as well.

Two days after being smacked by J.R. Smith's elbow, the guard the Celtics count on for his shooting scored their last nine points and kept their season going.

Boston beat the Knicks 97-90 in overtime to avoid a first-round sweep and force Game 5 Wednesday in New York. Avoiding elimination provided all the motivation Terry needed.

"It wasn't really the elbow," he said. "It was more (like) this is it. I mean, the season's over."

New York, without the suspended Smith, trailed by 20 early in the third quarter but rallied to force overtime tied at 84. It was 88-all before the Celtics regained control and took the lead for good on a 3-pointer by Terry, who also hit a 15-footer with 50 seconds left.

Late Saturday

HOUSTON - Kevin Durant said he felt strange playing without injured All-Star Russell Westbrook for the first time in Saturday's Game 3 against Houston, but scored 41 to help the Thunder take a 3-0 series lead over the Rockets. A victory tonight for Oklahoma City, the West's top seed, would complete a sweep.

Watching like a Hawk: Atlanta center Johan Petro missed practice to be with his wife for the birth of their child. Petro returned home to Miami as his wife was scheduled to deliver Sunday. The Hawks said they hope the 7-footer will return to Atlanta for tonight's Game 4 against Indiana.

Spurs 103, Lakers 82

SAN ANTONIO (103): Leonard 5-10 2-2 13, Duncan 4-9 3-3 11, Baynes 3-6 0-0 6, Parker 9-16 5-5 23, Green 4-11 0-0 9, Bonner 1-4 2-2 5, Ginobili 2-6 4-6 8, Neal 3-7 3-3 11, Blair 6-9 1-2 13, Joseph 2-3 0-0 4, McGrady 0-1 0-0 0, De Colo 0-2 0-0 0, Mills 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 39-84 20-23 103.

L.A. LAKERS (82): Clark 3-6 0-0 6, Gasol 8-12 0-1 16, Howard 2-2 3-9 7, Goudelock 7-17 0-0 14, Morris 3-12 2-2 8, Duhon 4-10 0-0 11, Jamison 5-9 0-0 12, Hill 4-7 0-0 8, Sacre 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 36-76 5-12 82.

San Antonio 26 26 26 25 - 103

L.A. Lakers 20 14 24 24 - 82

3-Point Goals-San Antonio 5-16 (Neal 2-4, Bonner 1-1, Leonard 1-2, Green 1-3, Parker 0-1, De Colo 0-2, Ginobili 0-3), L.A. Lakers 5-17 (Duhon 3-7, Jamison 2-4, Clark 0-1, Morris 0-2, Goudelock 0-3). Rebounds-San Antonio 44 (Leonard 7), L.A. Lakers 51 (Gasol, Howard 8). Assists-San Antonio 24 (Joseph, Ginobili 6), L.A. Lakers 22 (Duhon 7). Fouls-San Antonio 14, L.A. Lakers 15. Technicals-Howard 2, Morris. Ejected- Howard. A-18,997 (18,997).

Heat 88, Bucks 77

MIAMI (88): James 13-20 4-7 30, Haslem 6-9 1-2 13, Bosh 4-7 2-2 10, Miller 2-7 0-0 5, Chalmers 1-6 0-0 3, Allen 5-10 2-2 16, Battier 1-5 0-0 3, Andersen 0-1 2-4 2, Cole 1-3 2-2 4, Lewis 1-5 0-0 2, Anthony 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 34-73 13-19 88.

MILWAUKEE (77): Mbah a Moute 2-7 5-6 9, Ilyasova 3-13 1-1 8, Sanders 3-9 1-1 7, Ellis 10-20 0-2 21, Jennings 1-7 0-0 3, Redick 5-11 0-0 10, Dunleavy 5-9 4-5 17, Udoh 1-4 0-0 2, Henson 0-1 0-0 0, Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Ayon 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 30-81 11-15 77.

Miami 24 21 22 21 - 88

Milwaukee 17 24 21 15 - 77

3-Point Goals-Miami 7-26 (Allen 4-7, Chalmers 1-3, Battier 1-4, Miller 1-5, Cole 0-1, Bosh 0-1, James 0-2, Lewis 0-3), Milwaukee 6-22 (Dunleavy 3-6, Ilyasova 1-4, Ellis 1-4, Jennings 1-4, Mbah a Moute 0-1, Redick 0-3). Rebounds-Miami 53 (Chalmers, James 8), Milwaukee 47 (Sanders 11). Assists-Miami 24 (James 7), Milwaukee 19 (Ellis 8). Fouls-Miami 21, Milwaukee 14. A-18,717 (18,717).

Celtics 97, Knicks 90, OT

NEW YORK (90): Shumpert 5-13 0-0 12, Anthony 10-35 16-20 36, Chandler 2-3 1-2 5, Felton 10-21 3-4 27, Prigioni 1-6 1-2 3, Kidd 0-3 0-0 0, Martin 2-4 0-0 4, Novak 1-3 0-0 3, Richardson 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 31-90 21-28 90.

BOSTON (97): Green 9-22 7-8 26, Bass 2-3 0-0 4, Garnett 5-7 3-3 13, Pierce 9-20 7-8 29, Bradley 1-7 0-0 3, Terry 7-10 3-3 18, Crawford 1-5 0-0 3, Williams 0-2 1-2 1, Wilcox 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 34-76 21-24 97.

New York 17 18 30 19 6 - 90

Boston 22 32 14 16 13 - 97

3-Point Goals-New York 7-30 (Felton 4-9, Shumpert 2-6, Novak 1-2, Richardson 0-1, Kidd 0-2, Prigioni 0-3, Anthony 0-7), Boston 8-22 (Pierce 4-8, Crawford 1-3, Bradley 1-3, Terry 1-4, Green 1-4). Fouled Out-Bass. Rebounds-New York 65 (Shumpert 12), Boston 46 (Garnett 17). Assists-New York 10 (Felton 3), Boston 22 (Garnett, Pierce 6). Fouls-New York 27, Boston 26. Technicals-New York Coach Woodson, New York defensive three second, Boston defensive three second. A-18,624 (18,624).

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