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Pacers Stymie Celtics

From Associated Press

The Indiana Pacers had the first overtime shutout in NBA playoff history, keeping the Boston Celtics from advancing to the second round.

The Pacers scored all five points in overtime and rallied to beat the Celtics, 93-88, Tuesday night at Indianapolis in Game 5 of their first-round series.

The Celtics lead the series, 3-2. Game 6 is Thursday at Boston. Six teams have come back from 3-1 deficits, only two since 1981.

Ron Artest finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds for the Pacers, making the go-ahead free throw in overtime after blocking Paul Pierce’s shot at the end of regulation, and Jermaine O’Neal had 19 points and 22 rebounds.

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Antoine Walker led the Celtics with 21 points, Tony Delk had 19 and Pierce 16.

Whether fatigued or nervous, neither team got going offensively in overtime. Artest made three free throws to give the Pacers the cushion they needed.

Each team missed jumpers in the final minute of regulation, which ended with Artest swatting Pierce’s shot out of bounds from behind.

Artest scored 10 points in the fourth quarter and the Pacers shot 73% (11 of 15) to force overtime.

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The Pacers had squandered 16-point third-quarter leads in Games 1 and 4, which turned into Boston victories. They had another awful third quarter in Game 5, missing 13 of 17 shots.

New Jersey 89, Milwaukee 82 -- Richard Jefferson had 17 points and a career-best 16 rebounds and the Nets made 11 of 12 free throws in the last 2:35 to win at East Rutherford, N.J.

The Nets took a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven first-round series. Game 6 is Thursday at Milwaukee.

Jason Kidd had 19 points, six rebounds and five assists, and Kerry Kittles had 15 points for the defending Eastern Conference champions.

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Toni Kukoc had 18 points and Sam Cassell and Gary Payton scored 16 apiece for Milwaukee.

San Antonio 94, Phoenix 82 -- The Spurs opened a double-digit lead in the first quarter, extended it to 24 by halftime and held on at San Antonio to take a 3-2 lead in the series.

The Suns, who erased big leads in their two victories, made the second half worth watching.

They opened the third quarter with a 19-5 run that trimmed San Antonio’s lead to 59-49, but the Spurs restored their lead to 19 points by the end of the quarter.

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Phoenix charged again in the fourth quarter, pulling to within 85-79 with 1:49 to play on a drive by Stephon Marbury. But the Spurs made their free throws down the stretch to secure the victory.

Malik Rose led the Spurs with 27 points and 13 rebounds. Tim Duncan had 23 points and 17 rebounds.

Shawn Marion led the Suns with 22 points.


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