Tue, May 13, 2003 - Page 20 News List

Lakers evens things up with Spurs


Los Angeles Lakers' Shaquille O'Neal, left, goes up for a shot as San Antonio Spurs' Tim Duncan looks up through the basket during the first half of Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals in Los Angeles on Sunday.


Kobe Bryant made four free throws down the stretch along with a key steal, and Shaquille O'Neal had 29 points and 17 rebounds Sunday as the three-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers beat the San Antonio Spurs 99-95 to even their Western Conference semifinal series 2-2.

Game 5 in the best-of-seven series will be played Tuesday night in San Antonio, with Game 6 Thursday night at Staples Center.

Coach Phil Jackson, whose teams have won a record 25 straight playoff series and nine championships, missed the first postseason game of his 13-year career as an NBA head coach after undergoing an angioplasty Saturday to unblock an artery leading to his heart. Jackson, who had experienced tightness and pain in his chest for about a week, was released from the hospital about 2 1/2 hours before Sunday's game.

Assistant coach Jim Cleamons served as head coach. Jackson called from home and spoke with Cleamons before the game.

"From the sound of his voice, he sounded strong, like he was OK," Cleamons said. "I'm hopeful he'll travel with us to San Antonio tomorrow and be on the bench Tuesday night."

Bryant led the Lakers with 35 points and made 14 of 17 free throws. O'Neal was 17-for-23 from the foul line, along with five assists. Derek Fisher scored 17.

Tim Duncan led the Spurs with 36 points and nine rebounds. He made 16 of 20 free throws. Stephen Jackson added 15 points and a playoff career high 10 rebounds and Tony Parker scored 14.

76ers 95, Pistons 82

In Philadelphia, Allen Iverson had 36 points and 11 assists as Philadelphia evened its second-round series 2-2 by beating Detroit.

Iverson had his shot working, making jumpers on three straight possessions early in the fourth quarter to give Philadelphia a 70-56 lead. Iverson finished 13-for-27 from the field, and his 11 assists accounted for more than half of Philadelphia's total. He scored 15 in the final quarter.

Kenny Thomas and Derrick Coleman scored 14 each for Philadelphia, Aaron McKie added 12 and Eric Snow 11. Iverson also had five steals and five rebounds.Richard Hamilton finished with 30 points and Atkins had 11 for Detroit. Ben Wallace grabbed 15 rebounds.

Chauncey Billups returned to the lineup for Detroit after missing two games, but the point guard shot just 1-for-6 and did not make a single drive to the basket all night.

The series will not resume until Wednesday, giving Billups two days to rest his sore left ankle and Pistons coach Rick Carlisle the same amount of time to devise a strategy to neutralize Iverson.

Kings 99, Mavericks 83

In Sacramento, California, Doug Christie had 13 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists as Sacramento calmly executed its game plan and evened its second-round series 2-2 by beating Dallas.

There was no panic by the Kings, who played on consecutive nights in the playoffs for the first time in the team's history in Sacramento. The game tipped off just under 22 hours after the Mavericks' dramatic 141-137 double-overtime win in Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals.

Game 5 in the best-of-seven series is Tuesday in Dallas.

Five Sacramento starters scored in double figures and six players reached the mark in all including Hedo Turkoglu, who played for an injured Chris Webber, with 17.

Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki, who was averaging 27.6 points in the postseason, was held to 11, and was ejected with 2:20 remaining for kicking a pile of towels after being whistled for a technical.

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