Magic make Bobcats disappear from play-offs
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (AP):
Vince Carter scored 21 points and Jameer Nelson added 18 as the Orlando Magic showcased their depth and pressure shot-making in a 99-90 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday night to complete a sweep of their first-round series.
Dwight Howard were held to six points in his fourth straight game in foul trouble, but the Magic never flinched to accomplish their first four-game sweep in club history. Orlando will face the Atlanta-Milwaukee winner in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.
Tyrus Thomas scored a career play-off high 21 points for the Bobcats, whose focus will now almost immediately turn to nomadic coach Larry Brown's future with the team.
Rashard Lewis scored 17 points, Matt Barnes added 14 and Orlando held Stephen Jackson to 2-of-11 shooting to make sure Charlotte would be the only team not to win a first-round game.
Bucks 111, Hawks 104
At Milwaukee, Carlos Delfino scored 22 points with six 3-pointers and Milwaukee pulled off its second straight play-off surprise, beating Atlanta to level the first-round series.
Brandon Jennings scored 23 points and John Salmons added 22 for the Bucks, who survived a fourth-quarter surge led by Atlanta stars Joe Johnson and Josh Smith.
Now the Hawks head home for game five, desperately needing a win to stave off a surprising challenge by a team missing its best player, injured centre Andrew Bogut.
Johnson scored 29 points, reserve Jamal Crawford had 21, and Smith had 20 points and nine rebounds.
Suns 107, Trail Blazers 88
At Phoenix, Channing Frye and Jared Dudley broke out of their series-long shooting slumps with 20 and 19 points, respectively, as the Suns overcame an early 14-point deficit to beat Portland and take a 3-2 lead in its first-round play-off series.
Phoenix can advance to the second round by beating the Blazers in Portland tomorrow night.
Amare Stoudemire scored 19, and Steve Nash had 14 points and 10 assists for Phoenix.
Andre Miller scored 21, while LaMarcus Aldridge and Jerryd Bayless had 17 apiece for the Trail Blazers.
Meanwhile, Atlanta Hawks guard Jamal Crawford has been named the NBA sixth Man of the Year.
Crawford won the award with 580 of a possible 610 points. Jason Terry of the Dallas Mavericks finished second with 220 points and Anderson Varejao of the Cleveland Cavaliers was third with 126.
Crawford averaged 18 points a game in 31.1 minutes off the bench in his first season with Atlanta. He shot 44.9 percent from the field to help the Hawks win 53 games and earn the third seed in the Eastern Conference play-offs.
The Hawks are the fourth NBA team in nine years for the 30-year-old Crawford.