Mavericks bounce Lakers from playoffs
DALLAS (AP) – So long, Phil.
So long, chances for another Lakers three-peat.
Hello, Western Conference finals for Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks.
Jason Terry tied an NBA postseason record with nine 3-pointers and the Mavericks matched a league playoff mark with 20 3s on their way to a 122-86 victory over the Lakers on Sunday, giving them a sweep of their second-round series against the most successful coach in NBA history and the two-time defending champions.
Terry made five 3s in the second quarter, personally outscoring Los Angeles 20-16 in the period as Dallas went ahead by 24 at halftime. The Lakers’ frustration spilled over early in the fourth with vicious cheap shots by Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum that got them ejected 45 seconds apart.
By then, 65-year-old Phil Jackson knew it was over – the game, the series and his remarkable coaching career.
The Zen Master is retiring again, and he says it’s for good this time. The sour taste of his first sweep in 21 postseasons, and his second-widest margin of defeat, can’t override all the sweet days.
A Hall of Famer since 2007, he leaves with a record 11 titles, and only 10 series losses. Take away Red Auerbach, who won nine championships, and Jackson won more titles than any two coaches combined. He won six championships with Michael Jordan, three with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, and the last two with Bryant leading the way.
Hawks 100, Bulls 88
ATLANTA (AP) – Josh Smith had 23 points, 16 rebounds and eight assists, and Jeff Teague came up with another big game to lead Atlanta past Chicago, evening the Eastern Conference semifinals at two games apiece.
The Hawks snapped a nine-game home losing streak in the second round of the playoffs, their misery dating to a May 13, 1996, win against Orlando.
Smith, frequently criticized by Atlanta fans for his inconsistent play, stayed away from the outside jumpers, dominated on the inside and found the open man with crisp passes. Teague has been an even bigger surprise filling in for injured Kirk Hinrich, scoring 12 points and dishing out four assists.
Game 5 is Tuesday night in Chicago.