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NBA: Spurs, Pistons Advance to Conference Finals


The Detroit Pistons and San Antonio Spurs have advanced to the semifinals of the National Basketball Association playoffs with victories late Thursday.

The Spurs edged the SuperSonics in Seattle, 98-96. Argentina's Manu Ginobili drove the lane with time running down and threaded a pass to Tim Duncan under the basket, who scored with a half-second remaining.

Seattle's Ray Allen just missed a desperation three-point shot as time expired. Duncan led all scorers with 26 points, while Allen netted 25 for the Sonics.

The Spurs took the best-of-seven series, 4-2 and now await either the Phoenix Suns or Dallas Mavericks as their opponents in the Western Conference finals. The top-seeded Suns take on the Mavericks Friday night. Phoenix leads the series, 3-2.

The Eastern Conference finals will be a matchup between the defending NBA champion Detroit Pistons and Shaquille O'Neal's Miami Heat.

The Pistons finished off the Indiana Pacers Thursday in Indianapolis, 88-79, taking the series 4-2. Detroit's Richard Hamilton led all scorers with 28 points. Indiana's Reggie Miller wrapped up his 18-year career - all with the Pacers - by netting 27 points.

The 39-year-old Miller left the court to a prolonged standing ovation in the closing seconds. The three-point specialist retires as the 12th leading career scorer in NBA history (with 25,279 points).

Some information for this report provided by AP.