Spurs, Miami Sweep
Los Angeles — For four straight games, the San Antonio Spurs showed off all the teamwork and tenacity that the Los Angeles Lakers lacked all season long.
And when the Lakers’ tumultuous season finally collapsed last night, the smooth Spurs rolled right past them to the second round.
Tony Parker scored 23 points, and San Antonio completed its first-round sweep of the injury-plagued Lakers with a 103-82 victory in Game 4.
Tim Duncan had 11 points and six rebounds for the second-seeded Spurs, who will face the winner of Denver’s series with Golden State in the second round. They’ll get plenty of rest after flattening the Lakers, who staggered through back-to-back blowout losses at home without three regular starters in their first opening-round exit since 2007.
“Obviously, it wasn’t a fair fight,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.
San Antonio never trailed in the clincher, leading by 25 points in one more businesslike effort against the seventh-seeded Lakers, who provided their usual drama.
In his final game before unrestricted free agency, Dwight Howard scored seven points before getting ejected early in the third quarter for arguing. Pau Gasol had 16 points for the Lakers, who were swept from the postseason for the second time in three years despite a late courtside appearance by Kobe Bryant on crutches.
Heat 88, Bucks 77
Milwaukee — LeBron James scored 30, Ray Allen had another big game against his old team and Miami advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals with a victory over Milwaukee.
And the Heat didn’t even need Wade to do it. The guard missed only the second postseason game of his career, and first since 2005, with three bone bruises on his right knee.
But the Heat still won handily, winning their fourth straight game by double digits.
Dwyane Wade will get plenty of time to rest now, too. The Heat will face the winner of the Brooklyn Nets-Chicago Bulls series — Chicago leads 3-1 — but the next round won’t begin until Saturday.
CELTICS 97, KNICKS 90, OT
BOSTON (AP) — Jason Terry scored Boston’s last nine points as the Celtics weathered a strong comeback by the Knicks and avoided being swept with a overtime win.
Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 29 points as they forced a fifth game in the series, but it was Terry who provided the finishing touches.
In Game 3, he had been elbowed by J.R. Smith, and the NBA suspended the Knicks guard for Sunday’s game.
New York had tied the game 84-84 after trailing by 20 points early in the third quarter. It was 88-all before the Celtics regained control and took the lead for good on a 3-pointer by Terry. Carmelo Anthony, who led the Knicks with 32 points, hit a short jumper, but Terry connected on a 15-footer with 50 seconds remaining for a 93-90 lead.
After Anthony missed a 3-pointer with 21 seconds to go, Terry was fouled and sank both free throws. He added a layup to close out the game.