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NBA PLAYOFFS Milwaukee holds off New Jersey to even series in 119-114 win



Published: Wed, April 30, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



The Bucks won when the Nets missed nine free throws down the stretch.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Bucks squandered a 14-point lead in the final 61/2 minutes of regulation, and they probably would have lost the game if the New Jersey Nets had made a few free throws.

Toni Kukoc hit two big 3-pointers in overtime and Michael Redd added a third as Milwaukee defeated New Jersey 119-114 Saturday to even their first-round series at two games apiece.

Milwaukee managed just one free throw over the final six minutes of regulation. But the Nets, despite scoring 14 unanswered points to tie the game 99-99, missed nine free throws in the final 3:49.

Kukoc came off the bench to lead Milwaukee with 23 points, while Gary Payton had 20 points and 14 assists, tying his career-high for a playoff game.

The Bucks seemed to be cruising midway through the fourth period when Sam Cassell hit a 3-pointer to put them up 99-85. But their offense shut down.

Martin, Jefferson lead Nets

Kenyon Martin began the Nets' run by converting a three-point play. Martin and Richard Jefferson did most of the damage the rest of the way, accounting for 12 points in the 14-0 run.

Kukoc finally ended Milwaukee's scoreless streak when he made one of two free throws with 1:23 remaining for a 100-99 lead.

Jefferson tied it up by hitting one of two from the line, while Kukoc and Jason Kidd missed shots in the final seconds that could have won the game.

Martin finished with 30 points to lead the Nets, while Jefferson had 28. Kidd had 15 points and 10 assists.

The intensity continued Saturday with 15 fouls in the first period and two technicals on Milwaukee's Payton and Tim Thomas for arguing calls.

The referees then tacked on another four technicals in the third period after Kerry Kittles hit Cassell with an elbow.

Words were exchanged, players had to be separated, and Cassell, Kittles, New Jersey's Aaron Williams and Milwaukee's Ervin Johnson each picked up a technical.

Hornets 99, 76ers 85

NEW ORLEANS -- New Orleans didn't need Jamal Mashburn to claw back into their first-round playoff series. A hobbled Baron Davis turned out to be more than enough.

Davis, wearing a thick blue sleeve over his strained and bruised left knee, scored 28 points on everything from 3-pointers to slicing drives to floaters.

The victory pulled the Hornets to 2-1 in the series.

Jamaal Magloire and P.J. Brown followed through on their promise to be more of a force inside. Magloire had 18 points and nine rebounds, while Brown had 17 points and 12 rebounds.

Jerome Moiso, seeing his first action of the series, scored 10 points, all in the fourth quarter as the Hornets pulled away.

Allen Iverson led the Sixers with 28 points, but he had only eight in the second half when he wasn't much of a factor.

Keith Van Horn, Kenny Thomas and Derrick Coleman each added 12 for Philadelphia.




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