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NBA ROUNDUP : Anderson Keeps Magic Alive, O'Neal Kills Second Backboard

April 24, 1993|From Associated Press

On a night accentuated by Shaquille O'Neal's second backboard takedown this season, the Orlando Magic kept its playoff hopes alive Friday with a 119-116 victory over the New Jersey Nets at East Rutherford, N.J.

Nick Anderson capped a franchise-record 50-point performance with a jumper in the lane with 37 seconds left, pushing the Magic back into the race for the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot.

The berth is up for grabs between Orlando (40-41), Indiana (40-41) and Detroit (39-42). If all three teams finished tied, Detroit, which can only get in if both Orlando and Indiana lose their final games, will get the spot.

For Orlando to get into the postseason, the Magic must win their final game today at Atlanta, and the Pacers, who lost at Detroit Friday night, must lose at home to Miami. Detroit plays New Jersey in its regular-season finale Sunday.

The Pacers can clinch the last spot by winning today.

The Nets, meanwhile, are tied for the fifth-best record in the Eastern Conference with Atlanta and Charlotte, who both won Friday night. New Jersey has the tiebreaker edge in case of a three-way tie.

When O'Neal pulled down the backboard on a dunk nine minutes into the first quarter, the glass stayed intact but the 24-second clock atop the basket grazed him. The game was delayed for 46 minutes. The 24-second clocks were placed in the corners of the court because a clock could not be mounted on the new backboard.

Detroit 109, Indiana 104--Isiah Thomas scored nine of his 20 points in the fourth quarter at Auburn, Mich., and Bill Laimbeer had a season-high 24 points as the Pistons staved off elimination.

The Pistons haven't missed the playoffs since 1983, when Thomas was a second-year player and Scotty Robertson was their coach.

Atlanta 122, Milwaukee 106--Rookie Adam Keefe scored a season-high 30 points as Atlanta's reserves outscored the Bucks' starters, 71-51, while winning at Atlanta.

It was the third consecutive victory for the playoff-bound Hawks and the seventh loss in a row for the Bucks.

Miami 121, Washington 120--Grant Long capped a 31-point performance by making a 20-foot game-winning jump shot with 3.8 seconds to play in overtime at Miami.

Larry Stewart scored a career-high 32 points for Washington, and Buck Johnson had 20. Harold Miner scored 21 for Miami.

Boston 107, Cleveland 99--The Celtics outshot the NBA's best shooting team and capitalized on injuries to Brad Daugherty and Larry Nance to dominate inside at Boston.

Boston, 5-1 in its last six games, made 57% of its shots to 51% for the Cavaliers, who had a 10-game winning ended.

Kevin McHale, playing probably his last regular-season game in Boston, received a one-minute standing ovation when he left with 54 seconds to play and waved to the crowd.

McHale, expected to retire after the season, scored 17 points and had 11 rebounds after missing the previous three games because of a back injury and scoring fewer than 10 points in eight of the previous nine.

Utah 105, Golden State 91--Jeff Malone scored 19 points and Karl Malone added 18 as the Jazz used a 16-4 fourth-quarter run to defeat the Warriors at Salt Lake City.

The Warriors had pulled within 74-72 before Utah's run.

Portland 112, Sacramento 108--Rod Strickland scored 24 points as the Trail Blazers registered their 11th consecutive victory over the Kings at Portland.

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