Thursday, April 28, 2005

NBA Wrap

Tim Duncan nailed 24 points and snared nine rebounds and Tony Parker added 19 points as the San Antonio Spurs rolled to a 104-76 win over the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday, leveling their Western conference quarterfinal a game each.

The best-of-seven series now shifts from San Antonio to Denver for Game Three on Saturday.

With Duncan labeling game two a must win, the Spurs rebounded from their first game loss in style, making nine of their first 10 shots and leading by 31 at the half.

After a sub par performance in the opener, shooting just 7-of-22, Duncan was back in his MVP form -- missing just four shots from the field.

"Everyone came out focused and knew the game play," said Duncan, a twice NBA MVP. "When we do that...we're tough to beat."

The Nuggets lacked the energy and intensity they displayed in the opener and appeared content to return home to Denver with the split, shooting just 36 percent from the floor.

In contrast, the Spurs played with a sense of purpose, Parker scoring 12 points in the first quarter matching his total contribution from Game One.

Argentine Manu Ginobili contributed 17 points to the Spurs cause off the bench and Brent Barry chipped in with 16.

The Nuggets had only three players in double figures, DerMarr Johnson leading the way with a modest 12 points while Andre Miller had 11 and Carmelo Anthony 10.

In Phoenix, Amare Stoudemire, Shawn Marion and Steve Nash all had double-doubles as the Suns fought off the determined Memphis Grizzlies to claim a 108-103 win and a 2-0 lead in their Western conference quarterfinal.

The best-of-seven series now moves to Memphis for Game Three on Friday.

Stoudemire had a game high 34 points and 10 rebounds, while Marion scored 22 and 13 and Nash hit for 12 while dishing out 15 assists for the top ranked Suns, who got all they could handle from the eighth seeded Grizzlies.

Joe Johnson added 20 points and Quentin Richardson chipped in with 15 points.

Spain's Pau Gasol led the Grizzlies with 28 points and 16 rebounds and Jason Williams hit for 21, but will still return to Memphis searching for the franchise's first ever playoff win.

In Chicago, Kirk Hinrich poured in a career high 34 points, including 21 in the fourth quarter, and Antonio Davis added 18 to power the Bulls to a 113-103 win over the Washington Wizards and a 2-0 lead in their Eastern conference quarterfinal.

The best-of-seven series now shifts to the U.S. capital for game three on Saturday.

Hinrich, who has often played in the shadow of Bulls rookie of the year candidate Ben Gordon, had the spotlight in game two, making 12-of-15 shots -- including 5-for-5 three-pointers.

Gordon had 14 points while Argentine Andres Nocioni contributed 10 points and seven rebounds to the Chicago cause.

The Bulls took control of the contest in the third quarter going on a 10-2 run to surge ahead 71-60, taking the 11 point lead into the final frame.

Gilbert Arenas had a game high 39 for the Wizards, while Larry Hughes had a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

The Wizards return home to the MCI Center with plenty of work to do, having not won a playoff series since 1982.


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