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Mavericks Draw Even; Boston Routs Indiana

Associated Press
Sunday, May 1, 2005; Page E08

Jason Terry might never pass enough to earn favorable comparisons to Dallas's previous point guard. That's okay with the Mavericks, as long as Terry keeps scoring the way he did in Game 4.

With Dirk Nowitzki in another slump and Houston's Tracy McGrady suddenly struggling after scoring virtually at will, Terry took over in the fourth quarter to rescue the Mavericks from the bleakest of deficits.


Houston's Jon Barry, right, fouls the Mavericks' Marquis Daniels. Game 5 is Monday night in Dallas. (Tim Johnson -- Reuters)

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The unheralded point guard scored a season-high 32 points, including a three-pointer with 26.9 seconds left, and Michael Finley added 18, rallying the Mavericks from another late deficit in a 97-93 victory last night in Houston.

"I wouldn't consider 'Jet' a classic point guard," said Mavericks Coach Avery Johnson, who was exactly that during his 16-year NBA career. "But he gets the job done."

The victory evened the best-of-seven, first-round series at two games apiece. Game 5 is tomorrow night in Dallas.

The Mavericks might want to petition the NBA to hold the game elsewhere, because home-court advantage has been a disadvantage in this series. The road team has won all the games in this matchup.

"Hopefully, home will be a safe haven at some point in this series," Mavericks guard Jerry Stackhouse said. "I think the pressure has been on us and now that the series is even, the pressure should be about the same."

CELTICS 110, PACERS 79: The Celtics saw the white towels waving in the crowd at Indianapolis. But facing the possibility of a two-game deficit in their best-of-seven series with Indiana and playing on the road without suspended forward Antoine Walker, Boston didn't surrender.

Paul Pierce had 30 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists, and the Celtics came out running, shooting, defending and found the perfect combination to even the series with a rout in Game 4.

The series, tied at two games, now shifts back to Boston for Game 5 on Tuesday night.

The Pacers were led by Stephen Jackson's 24 points.

SPURS 86, NUGGETS 78: San Antonio spent most of the regular season trying to take some of the pressure off Tim Duncan.

It's working to its benefit in the playoffs.

Manu Ginobili provided a spark off the bench for the second straight game, and Robert Horry hit two big three-pointers in the fourth quarter to lift the Spurs to a 2-1 series lead in Denver.

San Antonio has tried to turn each game into a half-court grind and take Denver out of its running game. Except for Game 1, which Denver won in San Antonio, the Spurs have been successful.

The Spurs held the Nuggets to two points in transition in Game 2 and stuck to their grind-it-out style in Game 3 to take back home-court advantage.

Ginobili had 32 points, and Horry finished with 13.


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