SCOREBOARD
Thursday, April 26
Phoenix at L.A. Lakers (10:30 p.m. EDT). The Lakers are down 2-0 in their Western Conference series against the Suns.

STARS
Wednesday
-Tim Duncan, Spurs, had 22 points, seven rebounds, five blocks and five assists as San Antonio evened its first-round series with Denver following a 97-88 victory.
-Drew Gooden, Cavaliers, had 24 points and 14 rebounds as Cleveland took a 2-0 series lead over Washington with a 109-102 victory.
-Josh Howard, Mavericks, had 22 points, 11 rebounds and five steals as Dallas tied its opening-round series after beating Golden State 112-99.

BALANCE
San Antonio's reserves outscored Denver's 30-7 in a 97-88 victory Wednesday night that evened the Western Conference quarterfinal at one game apiece.

FIRED
Rick Carlisle was fired Wednesday after four tumultuous years as Indiana coach, following a 35-47 season in which the team failed to make the playoffs for the first time in a decade. Team president Larry Bird said Carlisle, who ended with a 181-147 record, has an option to return to the team in another capacity.

GOOD STARTS
The Cavaliers are 4-0 in series in which they win Game 1. Cleveland took a 2-0 lead in its Eastern Conference quarterfinals with Washington after a 109-102 victory Wednesday night.

SLOPPY
Golden State committed 24 turnovers leading to 33 points in its 112-99 loss to Dallas on Wednesday night that evened the Western Conference series 1-1. The Warriors only had nine assists on 36 field goals.

SLUMPING
With two losses to Chicago in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, Miami has lost six of eight games overall. ... The Lakers have lost 10 of their last 14 games including the first two of their series with Phoenix.

VOTE OF CONFIDENCE
Atlanta president Bernie Mullin said Mike Woodson will return for his fourth season as coach despite the team missing the playoffs for the eighth straight year. Woodson is 69-177 through three seasons, 30-52 this season.

SHOOTING
Dallas was just 1-for-16 from 3-point range, but went 37-for-43 from the line (86 percent) in ending a six-game losing streak to Golden State with a 112-99 victory Wednesday night that tied the Western Conference series 1-1. The Mavericks also ended a five-game playoff losing streak.

SPEAKING
``I think in the long run I've had a track record and showed what we can do with this club. We're just asking people to have faith in us that we will do that.'' - Minnesota owner Glen Taylor after missing the playoffs for the third straight season.

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