NBA Playofff Roundup
The NBA playoff roundup …
ATLANTA ó Joe Johnson scored 23 points and came up with a huge offensive rebound to lead Atlanta Hawks in the series-clinching Game 6 with a 84-81 win over Orlando.
The Hawks advanced to the second round for the third straight year, this time against top-seeded Chicago.
Orlando, which routed Atlanta a year ago in the most lopsided four-game sweep in NBA history, had its earliest playoff ouster since 2007.
With Atlanta clinging to a one-point lead and the clock running down, Marvin Williams missed a clinching 3-pointer. But Johnson swatted the rebound to Jamal Crawford, who was fouled and made both free throws with 8.2 seconds left. He finished with 19 points.
The Magic had two chances to force overtime. J.J. Redick missed an open 3, then Jason Richardson had a desperation shot from the corner blocked by Josh Smith.
Dwight Howard led the Magic with 25 points and 15 rebounds.
Crawford hit consecutive 3s that gave Atlanta its biggest lead, 71-59, with just over 9 minutes left. The Magic answered with an 8-0 spurt.
Lakers 98, Hornets 80
NEW ORLEANS ó Kobe Bryant scored 22 of his 24 points in the first three quarters, then let his teammates take over in a dominant 98-80 victory over New Orleans on Thursday night that wrapped up the first-round series for Los Angeles in six games.
Andrew Bynum added 18 points and 12 rebounds, while Pau Gasol chipped in 16 points for the two-time defending champions, who led by as many as 21 in the fourth quarter.
Chris Paul, who helped the Hornets split the first four games with two sensational performances, had seven points before hitting a 3-pointer with 4:02 to go and finished with 10 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds.
Lamar Odom had 14 points for the Lakers, who outrebounded New Orleans 43-30, including 14 offensive rebounds. Bynum had eight offensive rebounds, helping the Lakers finish with a 21-4 advantage in second-chance points.
The Lakers face the winner of the Dallas-Portland series. Game 1 will be Monday at Staples Center.
Carl Landry had 19 points for the Hornets, who have not won a playoff series since the first round in 2008.
Associated Press RALEIGH ó North Carolina State forward C.J. Leslie said Wednesday heís comfortable with playing for new coach Mark... read more