Nuggets force Game 7 with 113-96 win over Lakers
By PAT GRAHAM
Posted May 11 2012 4:46AM
DENVER (AP) Kobe Bryant spent all day under the weather and the way his teammates let him down made him feel even worse.
The Los Angeles Lakers star scored 31 points despite a stomach ailment, but was upset with the performance of his supporting cast as the Denver Nuggets rolled to a 113-96 win Thursday night to force a Game 7 in their first-round playoff series.
Bryant was quick to respond when asked if his teammates matched his heart.
“No, of course they didn’t,” he said.
Bryant suited up despite an upset stomach that he said left his hotel room “looking like a scene from `The Exorcist.”‘ He was so sick that he didn’t attend the morning shootaround before the game and had to take intravenous fluids all day.
“We let each other down, for sure,” Bryant explained. “We didn’t step up and meet their energy and they know that.”
Then again, the Nuggets played with an energy that would’ve been hard to match as they sent the series back to Staples Center for an all-or-nothing showdown on Saturday night. Ty Lawson scored 32 points and reserve Corey Brewer added 18 to help the Nuggets tie up a series that many thought was over when they sank into a 3-1 hole.
“We can’t get too high off this,” rookie Kenneth Faried said. “We have to stay focused.”
76ers beat Bulls 79-78 and advance to 2nd round
By DAN GELSTONPosted May 10 2012 11:17PM
PHILADELPHIA AP Andre Iguodala and Evan Turner hopped on the scorer’s table and played to the crowd as the catchy 76ers theme song blared in the arena. Eight years of going home empty was over. The Sixers were ready for a long overdue postseason celebration.Iguodala made the go-ahead free throws with 2.2 seconds left and Philadelphia rallied for a 79-78 victory over the top-seeded Chicago Bulls in Game 6 on Thursday night, advancing to the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs for the first time since 2003.The 76ers will face Boston, which beat Atlanta in six games, in the conference semifinals.
Celtics beat Hawks 83-80 to advance in East
By JIMMY GOLEN
Posted May 10 2012 11:16PM
BOSTON (AP) Kevin Garnett had 28 points and 14 rebounds, hitting a jumper to give Boston the lead with 31 seconds left, and the Celtics beat the Atlanta Hawks 83-80 in Game 6 on Thursday night to win their first-round playoff series and advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals for the fifth straight year.
The Celtics will play the Philadelphia 76ers, who eliminated East No. 1 seed Chicago in six games with a 79-78 victory earlier Thursday.
Garnett topped his regular-season high of 25 points and had five blocks and three steals for Boston, which has won at least one playoff series every year since the new Big 3 was assembled. Paul Pierce had 18 points despite playing with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee, and Rajon Rondo had 14 points and eight assists.