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Bulls beat Celtics in double overtime

BEN Gordon scored 22 points, hitting the tying 3-pointer in the first overtime, as the Chicago Bulls beat the Boston Celtics 121-118 in double overtime yesterday to tie their first-round series at two games apiece.

Derrick Rose added 23 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. John Salmons scored 20 points after a slow start, hitting four free throws in the final 26 seconds of the game and blocking Paul Pierce's attempt at a tying 3-pointer.

Boston's Ray Allen buried a 3-pointer with 9.8 seconds left in regulation to tie it at 96-all, and Rose missed a fadeaway in the closing seconds of regulation. Gordon came through with 4.5 seconds left in the first overtime, hitting a 3-pointer over Pierce to tie it at 110-all, and the Bulls never trailed in the second overtime.

Pierce led Boston with 29 points, although he was just 9-for-24. Ray Allen added 28, and Rajon Rondo finished with 25 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists.

Cavaliers 99, Pistons 78

At Auburn Hills, Michigan, LeBron James had 36 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists to lead Cleveland to a first-round sweep of Detroit.

The top-seeded Cavs might be off for more than a week, waiting for Atlanta or Miami to advance.

Detroit, meanwhile, will have its longest offseason since 2001 and about US$20 million in salary-cap space to rebuild a once-proud team.

Mo Williams scored a career playoff-high 24 for the Cavs. Detroit's Antonio McDyess had 26 points, tying a career playoff high.

Magic 84, 76ers 81

At Philadelphia, Hedo Turkoglu nailed a 3-pointer over Thaddeus Young with 1.1 seconds left to lift Orlando over Philadelphia, leveling their Eastern Conference first-round series at two games apiece.

Dwight Howard had 18 points and 18 rebounds, and every Magic starter scored in double figures. Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis each added 17.

Andre Miller led the Sixers with 17 and Young had 15.

Game 5 of the best-of-seven series is Tuesday night in Orlando. The teams have alternated wins so far.

Rockets 89, Trail Blazers 88

At Houston, Yao Ming had 21 points and 12 rebounds as the Rockets took a 3-1 series lead.

Luis Scola scored 17 points and Shane Battier added 14 points and six assists for the Rockets, who snapped a six-game losing streak in the fourth game of a playoff series. The club is 0-6 record in first-round series since 1998. Game 5 is Tuesday night in Portland.

Brandon Roy scored 31 points and went 13-for-13 from the free-throw line for the Blazers.


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