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Lakers, Jazz advance, Hawk stay alive

Published:Sunday | May 2, 2010 | 12:00 AM


Pau Gasol tipped in with half a second left to give the Los Angeles Lakers a 95-94 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday, clinching their NBA first-round playoff series 4-2.

Gasol crashed to the rim at the right block and tipped in Kobe Bryant's errant jump shot to put the defending NBA champions ahead after they squandered a seven-point lead in the fourth quarter.

Oklahoma City had one more chance, but Russell Westbrook missed a desperation 3-point attempt at the final buzzer.

Los Angeles will face Utah in the second round.

Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 26 points on a dreadful 5-for-23 shooting night. Westbrook had 21 points and nine assists.

For Lakers, Bryant scored 32 points and Gasol had nine points and 18 rebounds, scoring his only basket of the second half at the end.

After missing 17 of his first 20 shots, Durant broke through with a 3-pointer from the right wing that ignited a 10-0 comeback by the Thunder. Westbrook followed with a jumper, and his three-point play off a putback of his own miss put Oklahoma City ahead 92-91 with 3:04 to play.

Jazz 112 Nuggets 104

In Salt Lake City, Utah also clinched their series in six games, beating Denver.

Carlos Boozer had 22 points and 20 rebounds and rookie Wesley Matthews scored 23 and made a key block as Utah pulled away late in the fourth quarter.

Deron Williams added 14 points and 10 assists for the Jazz, who went on an 11-0 run after Carmelo Anthony had tied the game at 95-all midway through the final period.

Matthews went 13 for 15 from the free throw line as Utah persevered in a foul-filled game, making 34 of 51 free throws after drawing 39 fouls by the Nuggets.

Chauncey Billups led Denver with 30 points and Anthony finished with 20 points on 6 for 22 shooting.

Hawks 83 Bucks 69

In Milwaukee, Atlanta held Milwaukee in check to force a deciding Game 7.

Jamal Crawford broke out of a slump with 24 points and Joe Johnson added 22 points for Atlanta, who will host the decider today.

Carlos Delfino scored 20 for the Bucks, who came into the game hoping to finish off their heavily favoured opponents but instead went completely flat after half-time. The Hawks outscored the Bucks 29-11 in the third quarter to take a 15-point lead.

Milwaukee made a furious comeback attempt in the last 6 minutes, cutting the lead to 7 with just over 5 minutes left, but Josh Smith's block on John Salmons with just over 2 minutes remaining helped stop the rally and the Hawks pulled away.

Al Horford had 15 points and 15 rebounds for Atlanta.