NBA playoffs: Heat complete sweep of Bobcats
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — LeBron James scored 31 points, and the Miami Heat completed a first-round sweep of the Charlotte Bobcats with a 109-98 victory Monday night.
James scored 19 points after injuring his thigh in the third quarter. He finished the game 10 of 19 from the field and had nine assists.
Chris Bosh added 17 points and Dwyane Wade battled through foul trouble and finished with 15 as Miami won its 20th straight game over Charlotte.
The two-time defending champion NBA champions will await the winner of Brooklyn-Toronto series, which is tied 2-2.
Kemba Walker led Charlotte with 29 points.
The Bobcats played without Al Jefferson, their leading scorer and rebounder who has been bothered by a foot injury since the first quarter of Game 1.
The loss signaled the end of an era for the Bobcats. They will become the Hornets next season.
HAWKS 107, PACERS 97
INDIANAPOLIS — Mike Scott made five 3-pointers during a 30-6 second-quarter run and Atlanta fended off a furious fourth-quarter rally to beat top-seeded Indiana and take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Atlanta can clinch the first-round series at home Thursday.
Scott scored all 17 of his points during a 12-minute stretch when Atlanta went 13 of 16 from the field and outscored Indiana 41-19 to take a 61-40 halftime lead. The Hawks and the 1970 Milwaukee Bucks are the only road teams in the shot-clock era to score at least 40 points and allow fewer than 20 in any quarter of a playoff game.
Shelvin Mack led the eighth-seeded Hawks with 20 points.
Paul George had 26 for Indiana, which got as close as eight points in the final minute.
SPURS 93, MAVERICKS 89
DALLAS — Manu Ginobili scored 23 points and Boris Diaw hit a go-ahead 3-pointer in the final minute as San Antonio held off a second-half surge by Dallas to even the first-round playoff series.
The Spurs regained the home-court advantage by getting a split of two games in Dallas, matching what the eighth-seeded Mavericks did in San Antonio.
The Spurs led by 20 points in the third quarter before the Mavericks pulled even midway through the fourth quarter of Game 4. The score was still tied when Diaw hit from long range over Dirk Nowitzki at the top of the key for a 90-87 lead.
Monta Ellis led Dallas with 20 points but missed two potential tying shots after Diaw’s basket.
Game 5 is Wednesday night in San Antonio.
Nowitzki had 19 points and was held under 20 in a fourth straight playoff game for the first time since his first postseason in 2001.
HALL OF FAME COACH RAMSAY DIES AT 89
MIAMI — Jack Ramsay, a Hall of Fame coach who led the Portland Trail Blazers to the 1977 NBA championship before he became one of the NBA’s most respected broadcaster, has died following a long battle with cancer. He was 89.
Ramsay’s death was announced by ESPN, for whom he worked as a broadcaster for many years.
“Dr. Jack Ramsay has passed,” ESPN spokesman Chris LaPlaca wrote on Twitter early Monday. “A rare man. Loved and respected by all. Fascinating life well lived. An inspiration to so many.”
Ramsay coached in the NBA for parts of 21 seasons before embarking on a second career as an NBA analyst. He was diagnosed with melanoma in 2004 and later battled growths and tumors that spread to his legs, lungs and brain, then later fought prostate cancer and most recently a marrow syndrome.
His affinity for fitness never wavered, though. Ramsay, who competed in at least 20 triathlons during his life, worked out regularly into his 80s, even as he battled the various forms of cancer that he was stricken with. He often spoke of his love of swimming in the Gulf of Mexico near his home in Naples, Fla., or jogging in a pool or from wall to wall in his hotel room when he was traveling on NBA assignments.
Ramsay had enormous popularity within the league, even until the final stages of his life. To commemorate Ramsay’s 89th birthday earlier this year, Portland coach Terry Stotts wore a loud checkered jacket and open-collared shirt for a Blazers’ game — a nod to how Ramsay dressed when he coached the club.
“Jack’s life is a beacon which guides us all,” Bill Walton, who was on Ramsay’s 1977 title team in Portland, told USA Today in 2007. “He is our moral compass, our spiritual inspiration. He represents the conquest of substance over hype. He is a true saint of circumstance.”
Ramsay took over as coach of the Philadelphia 76ers in 1968, moved on to the Buffalo Braves in 1972 and took his craft to Portland in 1976 — where he took a team with stars like Walton and Maurice Lucas and delivered an NBA championship in his first season, beating the 76ers in six games in the final series.
Ramsay was 864-783 in his NBA career, being named one of the league’s Top 10 all-time coaches in 1996.