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NBA: Suns Avoid Playoff Elimination


The Phoenix Suns avoided elimination from the National Basketball Association playoffs with a 114-97 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday night.

Boris Diaw scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Suns, along with nine assists. Teammate Steve Nash scored 22 points and Shawn Marion added 21 points to help Phoenix cut the Lakers' lead to three games to two in the best-of-seven Western Conference series.

Kobe Bryant scored 29 points for Los Angeles, but was ejected in the final period after getting his second technical foul of the game. The Suns' Raja Bell was ejected minutes earlier for his second technical foul after making a hard defensive play against Bryant.

In other NBA playoff games Tuesday, the Miami Heat beat the Chicago Bulls 92-78, as Dwayne Wade scored 28 points for the Heat. Miami's Antoine Walker scored 17 points and Shaquille O'Neal added 16 points while pulling down 10 rebounds. Miami is now leading its Eastern Conference rivals by a 3-2 margin.

The New Jersey Nets downed the Indiana Pacers 92-86 to take 3-2 lead in their first-round series. New Jersey's Vince Carter scored 34 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, while teammate Richard Jefferson added 24 points. Jason Kidd had 15 assists, setting a franchise post-season record.

San Antonio's Manu Ginobelli scored 27 points to lead the Spurs to a 109-98 win over the Sacramento Kings. Teammates Tim Duncan scored 24 points and Tony Parker got an extra 21 points.

Bonzi Wells scored a game-high 38-points for the Kings, while Ron Artest added 24 points.

San Antonio leads their Western Conference first-round series 3-2.

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