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NBA FINALS

April 1, 2012
INDIANA SPORTS PAGE



Final Score: LA Lakers 88, New Orleans 85

Despite one of the worst shooting performances of his career, Kobe Bryant hit the shot that mattered most with the game on the line. Bryant rose up from the left wing and nailed a go- ahead three-pointer with 20.2 seconds remaining, lifting the Los Angeles Lakers past the New Orleans Hornets, 88-85, on Saturday. Jason Smith had a chance to tie the game at the buzzer, but his three-point attempt was blocked by Pau Gasol. Bryant, who missed his first 15 shots from the floor, didn't record his first point until there was 7:30 left in the fourth quarter. He finished with 11 points on 3-of-21 shooting from the floor. Bryant never missed more than 11 straight shots to start a contest until Saturday. Bryant's previous high of most consecutive misfires was 13 against San Antonio on December 28, 2010. Gasol netted 21 points to go with 11 rebounds and Andrew Bynum added 19 points and 10 boards for Los Angeles, which has won four of its last six games. Ramon Sessions had 10 points and 10 assists. Jarrett Jack scored 18 points to go with 10 assists while Smith added 17 points and 10 rebounds for New Orleans, which has lost four of its past five contests.

Final Score: Detroit 110, Charlotte 107 (OT)

Will Bynum buried a three-pointer from the left wing with 15.7 seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime and the Pistons held off the Bobcats 110-107 on Saturday. Jonas Jerebko gave the Pistons a 105-103 lead with 50.5 seconds left in the extra session and the home team led 108-104 before Reggie Williams connected on a trey to cut the margin to one with 6.4 ticks on the clock. Tayshaun Prince hit two at the free throw line to make it a three-point game and Byron Mullens and Williams both came up empty on potential game-tying threes as the Pistons secured the victory. Prince poured in 24 points and Jerebko finished with 18 to help the Pistons earn their third victory in their last four games. Bynum added 17 points in the win. Mullens led the way for Charlotte, scoring 20 points, but the Bobcats dropped their seventh straight.

Final Score: Philadelphia 95, Atlanta 90

Elton Brand scored 13 of his season-high 25 points in the fourth quarter, and the Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Atlanta Hawks, 95-90, on Saturday. Brand also pulled down 10 rebounds, dished out five assists and blocked three shots for Philadelphia, which swept the season series against Atlanta for the first time since the 2000-01 season. Andre Iguodala added 18 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Josh Smith led all scorers with 34 points for Atlanta, which has lost three of its last four games.

Final Score: New York 91, Cleveland 75

Banged up and bruised, the New York Knicks continued their playoff push with a strong defensive effort at Madison Square Garden on Saturday. Hours after learning that standout point guard Jeremy Lin would be sidelined for the rest of the regular season, the Knicks took a 91-75 decision over the Cleveland Cavaliers. J.R. Smith led the way with 20 points, nine rebounds and five steals, Carmelo Anthony scored 19 points, and Tyson Chandler finished with 14 points and 12 boards in the win for New York, the fourth in its last five. The Cavs were paced by 13 points and seven assists from Antawn Jamison. Cleveland, missing star rookie guard Kyrie Irving with a shoulder issue, dropped its seventh straight.

Final Score: Memphis 99, Milwaukee 95

O.J. Mayo scored 24 points off the bench and three Grizzlies recorded point-rebound double-doubles as Memphis knocked off Milwaukee, 99-95, on Saturday. Rudy Gay scored 17 points and grabbed 10 boards, Marc Gasol had 13 and 15 and Marreese Speights posted 10 and 10 for the Grizzlies, who have won three of four. Ersan Ilyasova tallied 20 points and 16 rebounds and Brandon Jennings netted 24 points for the Bucks, who have lost three of five. Memphis moved to within a half-game of idle Dallas for the fifth playoff spot in the Western Conference, while Milwaukee dropped 2 1/2 games behind New York for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference.

Final Score: San Antonio 112, Indiana 103

Tim Duncan posted a double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds to lift the Spurs to a 112-103 victory over the Indiana Pacers at AT&T Center on Saturday. Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili tallied 18 points apiece and Gary Neal chipped in 11 to help the Spurs earn their seventh straight victory. Danny Granger and Paul George each poured in 18 points for the Pacers, while Roy Hibbert and David West netted 15 points apiece. Indiana has dropped two of its last three contests.

Final Score: New Jersey 111, Sacramento 99

Anthony Morrow connected on six three- pointers en route to 24 points and the Nets took down the Kings 111-99 at Power Balance Pavilion on Saturday. Deron Williams poured in 19 points and handed out 15 assists, Gerald Wallace netted 18 points and Kris Humphries recorded a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Nets, who secured their season-high third straight victory. Tyreke Evans led the Kings with 23 points after missing Friday's victory due to back spasms. Jason Thompson scored 10 points and grabbed 10 boards, while DeMarcus Cousins finished with 14 points and nine rebounds. Sacramento has dropped five of its last six contests.

Final Score: LA Clippers 105, Utah 96

Blake Griffin scored 24 points, grabbed eight rebounds and handed out six assists as the Los Angeles Clippers took down the Utah Jazz, 105-96, on Saturday. Chris Paul tallied 26 points and Randy Foye supplied 17 for the Clippers, who swept a five-game homestand. They won five straight games for the first time since November 2006, and have won seven straight at home overall. The win improved their record to 11-9 in March, as they became the first NBA team in 45 years to play 20 games in one calendar month. Al Jefferson paced the Jazz with 26 points and Paul Millsap notched 18 in defeat, their third in a row. Utah lost the season series against Los Angeles for the first time since the 2005-06 season.


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