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Published: Saturday, 5/1/2010

Lakers squeak past Thunder; Jazz beat Nuggets

ASSOCIATED PRESS

OKLAHOMA CITY — Pau Gasol tipped in a missed jumper by Kobe Bryant with a half-second left and the Los Angeles Lakers survived a late comeback effort by Oklahoma City and eliminated the Thunder 95-94 in Game 6 of the first-round playoff series on Friday night.

Gasol crashed to the rim at the right block and tipped in Bryant's shot to put the defending NBA champions ahead after they squandered a seven-point lead in the fourth quarter.

Gasol pumped both fists after the basket, and the Lakers moved on when Russell Westbrook missed a desperation 3-pointer at the final buzzer.

Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 26 points on a dreadful 5-for-23 shooting night. Westbrook had 21 points and nine assists.

Bryant scored 32 points, and Gasol had nine points and 18 rebounds, scoring his only basket of the second half at the end.

SALT LAKE CITY — Carlos Boozer had 22 points and 20 rebounds, rookie Wesley Matthews scored 23 and made a key block, and Utah pulled away late in the fourth quarter and beat the Denver Nuggets 112-104 on Friday night, winning the playoff series in six games.

Deron Williams added 14 points and 10 assists for the Jazz, who went on an 11-0 run after Carmelo Anthony had tied the game at 95 midway through the final period.

Matthews went 13 for 15 from the free throw line as Utah persevered in the foul-filled game, making 34 of 51 free throws after drawing 39 fouls by the Nuggets.

Chauncey Billups led Denver with 30 points and Anthony finished with 20 points on 6 for 22 shooting.

The Jazz will face the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round, and Jazz fans were already chanting “Beat L-A!” in the final minute.



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