Carter, Nets pull even with Pacers

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INDIANAPOLIS – Just like that, the New Jersey Nets regained home-court advantage from the Indiana Pacers.

Vince Carter scored 28 points, Richard Jefferson had 22 and the New Jersey Nets beat the Indiana Pacers 97-88 on Saturday to tie the Eastern Conference first-round series at two games apiece. Game 5 is Tuesday night in New Jersey.

Nenad Krstic added 21 points for the Nets and Jason Kidd had 10 points, eight assists and six rebounds.

Indiana’s Jermaine O’Neal scored 22 points before fouling out with 1:21 left. Pacers forward Peja Stojakovic sat out with an injured right knee.

New Jersey led 76-57 at the end of the third quarter, but the Nets helped the Pacers get back into the game. Two quick technical fouls were called on Jefferson and New Jersey coach Lawrence Frank with 12:15 left in the fourth quarter and the Nets’ Jason Collins was called for a flagrant foul on O’Neal with 10:01 left in the fourth. The Pacers took advantage and went on a 13-3 run that cut the deficit to 79-70 and forced a New Jersey timeout with nine minutes left. A 3-point play by Stephen Jackson and a 3-pointer by Anthony Johnson cut New Jersey’s lead to 91-86 with 2:10 left, but the Pacers got no closer. Indiana shot 10-for-21 from 3-point range to stay in the game, but had 23 turnovers.

O’Neal picked up two fouls in the first 3 minutes, and New Jersey took advantage by running out to a 19-8 lead. The Pacers were held to 33 percent shooting and had six turnovers in the first quarter. New Jersey scored nine points off those turnovers to take a 24-15 lead at the end of the period.

Mavericks 94, Grizzlies 89

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Dirk Nowitzki scored 36 points, including a 3-pointer to send the game into overtime and six points in the extra period, to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a 94-89 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies for a 3-0 lead in the first-round series.

The Grizzlies, still without a postseason victory, slowed the Dallas offense that had overpowered them in first two games and held off the Mavericks until late in regulation. However, Nowitzki and the Mavs were simply too much.

Dallas outscored Memphis 18-13 in overtime, led by Nowitzki and Jason Terry who had five points in the extra period to finish with 22. Game 4 is Monday in Memphis. Pau Gasol, the Grizzlies’ scoring leader who has struggled against the Mavericks, scored 16 points – two in overtime. Chucky Atkins had 20 points to lead Memphis, but missed the Grizzlies’ final shot in regulation on an attempted layup.

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Bucks 124, Pistons 104

MILWAUKEE – Michael Redd scored 40 points and T.J. Ford had a career-high 15 assists to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to their first home playoff victory over the Detroit Pistons in 30 years, 124-104.

Milwaukee set a season high for points by an opponent against the Pistons, who still lead the Eastern Conference series 2-1. Game 4 is on Monday night in Milwaukee.

The young Bucks needed a win in a postseason game after having just three victories over the last five years and being blown out in the first two games in Detroit.

Mo Williams added 20 points, Jamaal Magloire had 12 and Bobby Simmons and Toni Kukoc 10 each for the Bucks.

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