Carter, Nelson lead Magic to series sweep of Bobcats
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Vince Carter scored 21 points, Jameer Nelson added 18 and the Orlando Magic showcased their depth and pressure shot-making in a 99-90 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday night to complete a sweep of their first-round series.
Dwight Howard was held to six points in his fourth straight game in foul trouble, but the Magic never flinched to accomplish their first four-game sweep in franchise history. Orlando will face the Atlanta-Milwaukee winner in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Tyrus Thomas scored a career playoff-high 21 points for the Bobcats, whose focus will now almost immediately turn to nomadic coach Larry Brown’s future with the team.
Rashard Lewis scored 17 points, Matt Barnes added 14 and Orlando held Stephen Jackson to 2-of-11 shooting to make sure Charlotte would be the only team not to win a first-round game.
Bucks 111, Hawks 104
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Carlos Delfino scored 22 points with six 3-pointers and Milwaukee pulled off its second straight playoff surprise, beating Atlanta to draw even in the first-round series.
Brandon Jennings scored 23 points and John Salmons added 22 for the Bucks, who survived a fourth-quarter surge led by Atlanta stars Joe Johnson and Josh Smith. Now the Hawks head home for Game 5, desperately needing a win to stave off a surprising challenge by a team missing its best player, injured center Andrew Bogut.
Johnson scored 29 points, reserve Jamal Crawford had 21, and Smith had 20 points and nine rebounds.
The Bucks finally started getting to the free throw line and the made the most of it, hitting 28 of 32.
Suns 107, Trail Blazers 88
PHOENIX (AP) — Reserves Channing Frye and Jared Dudley broke out of their series-long shooting slumps with 20 and 19 points, respectively, and Phoenix overcame an early 14-point deficit to rout Portland and take a 3-2 lead in its first-round playoff series.
Phoenix can advance to the second round by beating the Blazers in Portland on Thursday night.
Amare Stoudemire scored 19, and Steve Nash had 14 points and 10 assists for Phoenix.
Andre Miller scored 21, while LaMarcus Aldridge and Jerryd Bayless had 17 apiece for the Trail Blazers.