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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Hawks stop Celtics for 4th straight win

ATLANTA (AP) The Atlanta Hawks are looking more like a postseason contender again after a renewed commitment to defense delivered a second straight win over a playoff-bound team.

News photo
Fingertip control: Minnesota's Darko Milicic puts up a shot in front of Miami's LeBron James in the first half on Friday night. The Heat beat the Timberwolves 111-92. AP PHOTO

Al Horford capped his 35th double-double with a key tip-in with 7.9 seconds remaining, Jamal Crawford scored 20 points and the Hawks surged in the fourth quarter to beat the travel-weary Boston Celtics 88-83 on Friday night.

Atlanta's first win in three tries against Boston this season followed an 85-82 win over Orlando on Wednesday night, giving the Hawks four straight wins after losing 14 of 21.

"I've been waiting for this kind of quality effort," said Atlanta coach Larry Drew, who stopped short of saying his team had completely recovered from its funk. "Certainly I see signs, but I'm not going to go out on a limb and say they're there."

The Celtics fell to third in the Eastern Conference, one-half game behind Miami and three games behind Chicago.

"We would like to get one or two," said Boston coach Doc Rivers.

Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 25 points. Rajon Rondo had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Kevin Garnett had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Boston arrived in Atlanta at 4 a.m. on Friday following Thursday night's 107-97 win at San Antonio. Celtics players appeared to tire late in the game after taking a 60-48 lead in the third quarter.

Boston's Jermaine O'Neal played for the second straight night after recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee — his first action since January. He had only one point and one rebound in 15 minutes.

Joe Johnson scored 19 points for the Hawks despite making only 4 of 20 shots from the field. Horford had 16 points and 15 rebounds.

Lakers 96, Jazz 85

In Salt Lake City, Kobe Bryant scored 21 points, Lamar Odom added 16 and Los Angeles erased a 17-point first-half deficit to beat Utah and eliminate the Jazz from the playoff race.

Rockets 119, Spurs 114 (OT)

In Houston, Kevin Martin scored 33 points, including nine in overtime, and the Rockets extended San Antonio's losing streak to six games.

The Spurs hadn't dropped six in a row since April 10-20, 1997.

San Antonio, down 11 points late in the third quarter, forced overtime on a free throw by Tim Duncan with 18 seconds left in regulation that tied it 108-108.

Tony Parker led the Spurs with 31 points. Duncan had 23 points and 13 rebounds, and Manu Ginobili added 23 points.

Grizzlies 93, Hornets 81

In New Orleans, Zach Randolph scored 28 points, Tony Allen added 17 and Memphis held the hosts to a season-low 12 points in the first quarter.

The Grizzlies outrebounded New Orleans 40-28 and answered every run with easy baskets, pulling into a tie with the Hornets for seventh in the Western Conference.

Suns 111, Clippers 98

In Phoenix, Grant Hill scored 19 points, Aaron Brooks and Zabian Dowdell showed flashes of the ailing Nash, and the Suns ended a four-game losing streak with a victory over Los Angeles.

Nash, the Suns' scoring leader and the league leader in assists, was a late scratch because of flulike symptoms. This was the fifth game he missed this season, but the first time Phoenix won without him.

Brooks finished with 17 points and six assists. Dowdell, a rookie, had a season-high 14 points and five assists.

Nuggets 99, Kings 90

In Sacramento, Raymond Felton scored 14 of his 17 points in the final quarter, and Denver won its fifth straight game.

Bulls 101, Pistons 96

In Auburn Hills, Mich., Derrick Rose scored 13 of his 27 points in the first quarter and had a key assist in the final minute to lead Chicago to a win over pesky Detroit.

Magic 89, Bobcats 77

In Orlando, Dwight Howard had 26 points and 14 rebounds to power the Magic to victory over Charlotte.

Heat 111, Timberwolves 92

In Minneapolis, Miami's Dwyane Wade scored 32 points and LeBron James added 27 points, 10 assists and boards.

Pacers 89, Bucks 88

In Indianapolis, Danny Granger scored 17 points while Roy Hibbert had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Pacers, who moved two games clear of Charlotte and four ahead of Milwaukee with five to play.

76ers 115, Nets 90

In Philadelphia, Thaddeus Young scored 22 points and Elton Brand had 21 as the Sixers returned to the postseason after missing out last year.

Wizards 115, Cavaliers 107

In Washington, Andray Blatche tied a career high with 36 points and had a career-best 19 rebounds as the undermanned hosts defeated lowly Cleveland.

Blazers 98, Thunder 91

In Portland, LaMarcus Aldridge scored 32 points and the Trail Blazers snapped Oklahoma City's five-game winning streak with a victory.

Rodman makes Hall

AUBURN HILLS , Mich. (AP) Dennis Rodman has been voted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

A high-energy forward in the 1980s and '90s, Rodman says he was informed Thursday to be in Houston for Monday's announcement before the championship game of the NCAA tournament.

The five-time NBA champion and two-time defensive player of the year was honored Friday night by the Detroit Pistons, who retired his No. 10 jersey during halftime of their game against the Chicago Bulls.

Rodman was among 12 finalists for the Hall of Fame this year along with Jamaal Wilkes, Maurice Cheeks, Chris Mullin and Ralph Sampson.

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Visit The Japan Times' website for a recap of Saturday's bj-league games.

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