SCOREBOARD
Wednesday, May 21
San Antonio at L.A. Lakers (9 p.m. EDT). The Lakers and Spurs both closed out their second-round series with road wins.

STAR
Tuesday
-Kevin Garnett, Celtics, had 26 points, nine rebounds and four assists, leading Boston to an 88-79 victory over Detroit in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.

STILL HURTING
Point guard Chauncey Billups, who missed most of the last three games of Detroit's Eastern Conference semifinal against Orlando because of a strained right hamstring, had nine points and two assists in Tuesday night's 88-79 loss to Boston in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.

TURNOVERS
Detroit, which set an NBA record with just three turnovers in its series-clinching win last week against Orlando, had three in the first quarter and 13 overall during its 88-79 loss to Boston in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals Tuesday night.

LUCKY
Chicago won the NBA's draft lottery Tuesday night, getting the right to choose between star freshmen Michael Beasley and Derrick Rose. The Bulls vaulted from the No. 9 spot, where they had just a 1.7 percent chance of landing the top choice. Miami, which had a 25 percent chance of landing the top pick thanks to their NBA-worst 15-67 record, fell to second. Minnesota will go third. Seattle fell from second to fourth. Memphis will pick fifth, followed by New York, the Clippers, Milwaukee, Charlotte and New Jersey.

HOME COURT
The Lakers are 6-0 in the postseason and winners of 12 straight overall at Staples Center, including a 106-85 victory over the Spurs in their next-to-last game of the regular season. Los Angeles, a league-best 8-2 through the playoffs' first two rounds, will host San Antonio in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals Wednesday night.

RATINGS
The NBA playoffs are drawing higher television ratings than last season. The 36 games on TNT through the first two rounds averaged a 2.4 rating, up 14 percent from last year. Ratings are up 27 percent on ESPN, averaging 2.8 over 16 games. Nine games on ABC averaged 3.7, a 28 percent increase.

SPEAKING
``I believe in him. I play him. I'm going to keep playing him. I told him before the game, 'Stop worrying about them. Make them worry about you, too. You're a hell of a basketball player.''' - Boston coach Doc Rivers on point guard Rajon Rondo, who had seven assists and five steals while outplaying 2004 NBA finals MVP Chauncey Billups in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals Tuesday night. The Celtics beat Detroit 88-79.

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