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Mavericks eliminate San Antonio
Dirk Nowitzki leads the Dallas Mavericks into Western Conference semi-finals.
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2009 09:07 GMT

Tony Parker feels the Dallas defence [GALLO/GETTY]
The Dallas Mavericks won their first NBA playoff series since 2006 against the favoured San Antonio Spurs.

The sixth-seeded Mavericks, buoyed by Dirk Nowitzki's 31-point performance, cruised to a 106-93 Game Five victory in San Antonio to claim their best-of-seven Western Conference series by a 4-1 margin.

Nowitzki hit 11-of-17 shots for game scoring honours but the German forward received plenty of support as the Mavericks defended well against San Antonio's Tim Duncan and Tony Parker.

Duncan finished with 30 points and Parker added 26 points and 12 rebounds, but the remainder of the team had just 37 points.

Dallas backed up Nowitzki with five other players in double figures as the Mavs advanced to the second round.

They will play the winner of the Denver-New Orleans series in the conference semi-finals.

Playing well

"We're not finished yet," Dallas's Jason Terry said after completing a 19-point effort.

Birthday boy Josh Howard added 17 and centre Erick Dampier contributed 11 points and 12 rebounds.

"This is our best basketball of the year," Dampier said.

"That's a big key for us, to be playing well at the right time."

San Antonio, who were without Manu Ginobili, failed to make it past the first round for the first time since 2000.

"They're a better team than we are right now," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.

"We made runs, but every time we got back into the game, they made more big shots. That's why they won the series."

Elsewhere, the Boston Celtics overcame the stubborn Chicago Bulls 106-104 in overtime and the Orlando Magic cruised to a 91-78 win over the Philadelphia 76ers, giving both winning teams 3-2 advantages in their Eastern Conference match-ups.

Portland Trail Blazers kept alive their playoff hopes with an 88-77 victory over the Houston Rockets.

Paul Pierce celebrates his game winning basket [GALLO/GETTY]
Boston win

In Boston, Paul Pierce's jumper with 3.4 seconds to play in overtime earned a narrow victory for the Celtics.

Pierce, who had 26 points, made three successive jumpers in the final 77 seconds.

He had earlier sent the game into overtime with another jump shot with 10.5 seconds to play in regulation.

Rajon Rondo paced Boston with 28 points and 11 assists.

Glen Davis added 21 points and Kendrick Perkins provided 19 rebounds and 16 points.

Ben Gordon had 26 points for Chicago, who host Game Six on Thursday.

In Orlando, Dwight Howard delivered 24 points and a career-playoff best 24 rebounds to help the third-seeded Magic dominate the Sixers.

Rashard Lewis also had 24 points for Orlando, while Andre Iguodala paced Philadelphia with 26.

Game Six is scheduled for Philadelphia on Thursday.

Source:
Agencies
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