Duncan scores 26, Spurs push Lakers to the brink
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tim Duncan had 26 points and nine rebounds, and the San Antonio Spurs pushed the Los Angeles Lakers to the brink of first-round playoff elimination with a 120-89 victory in Game 3 on Friday night, the worst home playoff loss in franchise history.
Tony Parker had 20 points and seven assists as the Spurs methodically seized control of the series by dominating their third straight meeting with the short-handed Lakers, who played without their top four guards due to injury.
Dwight Howard had 25 points and 11 rebounds, and Pau Gasol added his first career playoff triple-double with 11 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists, but the Spurs were far too much for a team without Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash. Andrew Goudelock scored a career-high 20 points in his first playoff start.
The Spurs can close it out in Game 4 on Sunday night.
The Lakers exceeded their 29-point home loss to Portland on May 22, 2000, the previous worst home defeat for the 16-time NBA champion franchise.
With Bryant and Nash joined by Jodie Meeks and Steve Blake on the injured list, the Lakers started Goudelock and Darius Morris, using a starting five that had never started together for the second time in three games. Morris added 24 points, getting 12 in the fourth quarter of the historic blowout.
KNICKS 90, CELTICS 76
BOSTON (AP) — Carmelo Anthony scored 26 points and New York moved to the brink of its first playoff series victory in 13 years, routing Boston in Game 3.
Quickly taking the crowd out of it in the first NBA game here since the Boston Marathon bombings, the Knicks built a 16-point halftime lead and now are on the verge of taking out the Celtics.
Raymond Felton added 15 points and 10 assists for the Knicks, who haven't advanced in the playoffs since reaching the 2000 Eastern Conference finals. They will go for the sweep here Sunday afternoon.
They'll have to hope they have J.R. Smith, who inexplicably threw an elbow right into Jason Terry's face with 7:06 left and was thrown out of the game with a flagrant foul 2, an automatic ejection. The league office will review the play and can fine or suspend Smith.
Jeff Green scored 21 points for the Celtics, who will try to become the first NBA team to win a series after trailing 3-0.
WARRIORS 110, NUGGETS 108
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Stephen Curry played through a sprained left ankle to score 29 points and Golden State beat Denver Nuggets to take a 2-1 series lead.
Curry also had 11 assists, Jarrett Jack added 23 points and seven assists, and Harrison Barnes and Carl Landry each scored 19 points to help the Warriors rally from 13 points down in the third quarter. Golden State still had to sweat out Andre Iguodala's missed 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded, setting off a gold-confetti celebration throughout the announced sellout crowd of 19,596.
Ty Lawson had a career playoff-high 35 points to go with 10 assists, and reserve Corey Brewer scored 16 points as Denver dropped its second straight game — and its grip on the best-of-seven series.
Game 4 is Sunday night in Oakland.