SCOREBOARD
Saturday, April 26
Houston at Utah (10:30 p.m. EDT). The Rockets will try to beat the Jazz in consecutive games at EnergySolutions Arena, where Utah was 37-4 this season.

STARS
Friday
-Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks, had 32 points, 19 rebounds, and six assists to lead Dallas to a 97-87 victory over the New Orleans Hornets in Game 3 of their first-round series.
-Tony Parker, Spurs, scored a career-high 41 points in a 115-99 win over the Phoenix Suns in Game 3 of their first-round series.

ON THE BRINK
Tony Parker had a career-high 41 points and 12 assists as San Antonio routed Phoenix 115-99 on Friday night to take a 3-0 lead in their first-round series. The defending NBA champion Spurs never trailed in winning their ninth consecutive playoff game and 13th of 14, dating to last season. They can complete the sweep on Sunday in Phoenix. No NBA team has come back from 0-3 to win a series.

NOT A FLUKE
Andre Miller scored 21 points and the Philadelphia Sixers dominated the Detroit Pistons 95-75 on Friday night to take a 2-1 lead in their first-round series. Samuel Dalembert had 22 points and 16 rebounds, and the Sixers led by as many as 24 points in their first home playoff game since 2005. The Sixers proved their Game 1 victory was no fluke, doing everything Detroit normally did on the way to five straight trips to the Eastern Conference finals: Hit clutch shots, never lost composure and kept the pressure on all game to never let the Pistons go on a serious runs. Game 4 is Sunday in Philadelphia.

CHILD'S PLAY
Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks finally made the New Orleans Hornets look like playoff novices in a 97-87 Game 3 victory Friday night that puts Dallas right back in the series. Nowitzki had 32 points, 19 rebounds and six assists to pull the Mavericks within 2-1. Game 4 is Sunday night in Dallas, where the Hornets haven't won since January 1998.

FINED
Philadelphia coach Maurice Cheeks was fined $25,000 by the NBA on Friday for his actions after Game 2 of the 76ers' playoff series against Detroit. Cheeks was cited for verbal abuse of the officials and for not leaving the court and going directly to the locker room at the end of Philadelphia's 105-88 loss.

SPEAKING
``They're not supposed to be where they're at. They're up 2-1 against a team nobody thought they could beat. I could understand why they're happy.'' - Pistons guard Chauncey Billups after Philadelphia defeated Detroit 95-75 on Friday night to take a 2-1 lead in their first-round series.

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