Tuesday , May , 09 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

National Basketball Association Game Capsules

Miami, FL (Sports Network) – Vince Carter had another solid all-around game in
the playoffs with 27 points, eight rebounds and six assists, as the Nets
opened a huge early lead and held off the Miami Heat, 100-88, in the opener of
their Eastern Conference semifinal series. Jason Kidd added 22 points, nine
boards and seven assists for New Jersey, and Richard Jefferson scored 13 of
his 20 points in the first quarter before leaving with a sprained right
ankle. Jefferson suffered the injury early in the third quarter and didn’t
return. X-rays were negative, but Jefferson left the arena in a walking
boot, leaving his playing status up in the air for Game 2 on Wednesday in
Miami. Miami center Shaquille O’Neal picked up two offensive fouls in the
first five minutes of the game and played only 29 minutes, ending with 20
points and 10 rebounds. Dwyane Wade had 25 points for the second-seeded
Heat, who shot just 39.1 percent from the field, nearly 10 percent less
than New Jersey. Miami had 17 turnovers, leading to 24 New Jersey points.

Final Score: Phoenix 130, LA Clippers 123

Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) – Steve Nash showed off his MVP hardware before
the game and then scored 31 points and dished out 12 assists, as the Suns
overcame a sharp-shooting Los Angeles Clippers squad for a 130-123 win in the
opener of their Western Conference semifinal series. Nash, who was named the
league MVP on Sunday for a second straight year, received the award before
Game 1, and then led his team to a comeback victory on a big offensive night.
The Suns, who rallied from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Lakers in the first
round, surged in the fourth quarter against their second Los Angeles opponent
in the playoffs. Nash had 11 points in the final period and the Suns sealed
the victory by going 24-of-25 at the foul line to beat a team that shot 59.3
percent from the field. Shawn Marion added 20 points and 15 rebounds, and Raja
Bell tallied 22 points for Phoenix, which ended at 54.7 percent from the
floor. Elton Brand had an LA Clippers playoff record 40 points on 18-of-22
shooting, and pulled down nine rebounds, but his team blew an eight-point
third quarter lead. Brand had just two points in the last 8:33. The franchise
had won just one playoff series until this year when the Clippers finished
off the Denver Nuggets in five games in the opening round. Game 2 of the
best-of-seven series is Wednesday at US Airways Center.