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Friday, May 1, 1998

Knicks fight way into Game 5 against Heat

AP Basketball Writer
NEW YORK, May 1 -- There will be a Game 5 in Miami without Alonzo Mourning and Larry Johnson, and another Game 5 in Seattle with George Karl.

There will not be a Game 5 in Indiana or Inglewood.

The New York Knicks and Seattle SuperSonics staved off elimination and extended their first-round series to deciding fifth games Thursday night by beating Miami and Minnesota, respectively.

The Knicks beat the Heat 90-85 in a game that featured a fist fight between Mourning and Johnson with 1.4 seconds left that will undoubtedly result in suspensions.

``It's like deja vu all over again,'' Johnson said. ``I'm going to be sitting in the hotel room.''

The Sonics beat the Timberwolves 92-88, saving Karl's job for at least one more weekend.

``I think our team has finally gotten into the playoff seriousness that we needed to be in from the beginning,'' said Karl, who is in the final year of his contract.

The Pacers, meanwhile, moved on to the second round with an 80-74 victory at Cleveland. And the Lakers also made it out of the first round by finishing off Portland 110-99.

As far as bizarre endings go, nothing could beat the final 1.4 seconds of the Knicks-Heat game as Mourning and Johnson exchanged swings.

After the two battled for a rebound, Mourning threw the first punch and Johnson threw several in return. Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy bolted onto the court and grabbed Mourning's leg, holding on even as he was being dragged along the floor.

NBA rules call for an automatic one-game suspension for throwing a punch, so both Mourning and Johnson will be forced to sit out Game 5 on Sunday.

``One-point-four seconds to go. I can't believe both guys would do that,'' said Miami coach Pat Riley, whose team had no chance of winning the game when the fight broke out. ``I mean, we did what we had to do, came up, got a split, got back into the series after losing in Miami.''

It was an incredible ending to another hard-fought, physical game between the bitter rivals, whose second-round series last year featured a brawl at the end of Game 5 that led to five Knicks being suspended for one game each.

That incident ultimately ended up costing the Knicks their season, but now they have a chance to turn the tables in the very same building where it happened.

``I made a big mistake. I let my teammates down,'' said Mourning, who complained that Johnson was hitting him all night.

``It's a big game Sunday. I should have grabbed my composure, I should have known better,'' Johnson said. ``It was spontaneous, but I had time to do the right thing.''

The altercation was broken up after about 30 seconds, and suddenly the whole tenor of the series was changed.

Instead of having a Game 5 with both teams at even strength, Miami will be without its franchise center and New York will be without its only low-post scoring threat - unless Patrick Ewing returns.

``When Patrick is ready, he'll get out there and play,'' general manager Ernie Grunfeld said.

Johnson and Allan Houston led New York with 18 points apiece, John Starks had 17 and Charles Oakley and Chris Childs had 10 each.

Tim Hardaway scored 33 for Miami, shooting 12-for-21, and Mourning - playing without the facemask he had been wearing since fracturing his cheekbone late in the season - had 29 on 11-for-14 shooting.

Aside from those two players, Miami got little help from anyone else. Jamal Mashburn shot 1-for-9 and Voshon Lenard was 1-for-6. P.J. Brown fouled out with almost five minutes left, finishing with six points and nine rebounds.

SuperSonics 92, Timberwolves 88
At Minneapolis, Gary Payton had 24 points and eight assists, and the Sonics used a late 19-6 run to take control.

The Wolves pulled to 91-88 when Kevin Garnett scored with seven seconds left, but Greg Anthony hit the second of two free throws to clinch it.

The win kept Seattle from its first three-game losing streak of the season and kept coach Karl employed for at least one more game. In the final year of his contract, Karl almost certainly won't be re-hired if Seattle losses in the first round, as it did in 1994 and '95.

Hersey Hawkins scored 16 of his 24 points in the first quarter, and Vin Baker had 13 points and 12 rebounds for Seattle.

Seattle lost first-round series in 1994 and '95, but for now this series seems more like last year, when the Sonics trailed Phoenix 2-1 before winning Game 4 on the road and clinching the series at home in Game 5.

``When our back is against the wall, we play well. We should. We're a veteran team. We got the job done and we got the series back home,'' Hawkins said.

Garnett led the Wolves with 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Anthony Peeler scored 19. Minnesota was hurt by poor shooting nights by Stephon Marbury (4-for-16) and Sam Mitchell (4-for-13).

Pacers 80, Cavaliers 74

Indiana made larry Bird a winner in his first playoff series as a coach, surviving a scare from the young Cavs.

``They wouldn't quit,'' said Indiana point guard Mark Jackson, surprised by how close Cleveland came to forcing a fifth game. ``It was like trying to put your kids to sleep, and they want to play one more Nintendo game.''

Despite having three rookies in the starting lineup, the Cavs cut a 13-point, first-half deficit to 75-73 with 2:15 left. But Reggie Miller grabbed two crucial rebounds in the final half-minute to send the Pacers into the second round against either New York or Miami.

``Being a first-year coach, it's always great to win in the playoffs,'' said Bird, a Hall of Famer who led the Pacers to a 58-victory regular season in the first coaching job of his life. ``Looking at the players and seeing them before the game, I knew they had come to play.''

Miller led the Pacers with 19 points and Rik Smits had 17.

The Pacers didn't come up with a way to stop Cavs forward Shawn Kemp, who had 21 points and 12 rebounds and came close to single-handedly forcing a fifth game.

``The eyes of America saw it,'' Kemp said. ``We've got a tough, young team.''

Lakers 110, Trail Blazers 99
At Portland, the series ended exactly as it did last year, with the Lakers ousting the Blazers in four games.

Los Angeles advances to the conference semifinals against the winner of the Seattle-Minnesota series.

Shaquille O'Neal had 31 points and 15 rebounds, but it was his supporting cast that made the difference.

Kobe Bryant had 13 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter, including two soaring dunks and an acrobatic driving layup in the fourth quarter when the Lakers smashed a brief Portland rally. Rick Fox had 16 points and nine rebounds, and Nick Van Exel added 14 points and seven assists.

The Lakers shot 58 percent from the field, compared with Portland's 39 percent.

Crockett doubles team takes first at Andrews

PECOS, May 1 -- Crockett Middle School tennis players Brenda Fuentes and Rebecca Wein took first place last weekend in girls doubles at the Andrews Junior High Tournament.

The pair won four matches, beating McCartney and Hale from Big Spring, 8-2; Ornelas and Stoker from Snyder, 8-5; Minatra and Deveza of Andrews, 9-7; and Legg and Long from Big Spring, 8-2. No first names were available on the opposing doubles teams.

They were one of three teams to participate for Pecos in the division. Laura Hinojos and Katherine Orona beat Lynch and Snow of Andrews, 8-6, and Pilgrim and Kruger of Snyder, 9-8 (7-4), before losing to Legg and Long, 8-5, while GiGi Jaramillo and Jessica Rodriguez lost both their matches last weekend.

The Eagles had one player apiece in boys and girls singles on the eighth grade level. Kristina Dominguez beat Mary Neufield of Seminole, 8-4, then lost to Fort Stockton's Mallerie Lujan, 8-2; while Jay Dannelly lost both his matches.

In the seventh grade girls singles division, Amanda Fleming beat Abby Carl of Seminole, 8-1, then lost to Amanda Hertzog of Snyder, 8-3, while Jennifer Marquez lost to Lindsey Dushane of Andrews, 8-4, beat Seneca Arguello of Big Spring, 9-7, and lost to Melissa Pollard of Andrews, 8-2.

In doubles, Zavala's Caroline Esquivel and Elizberth Carreon beat Neufield and Valdez of Seminole, 8-1, then lost to Ham and Copeland of Andrews, 9-7. The other doubles team, Rachel Rubio and Beatrice Villarreal, lost to Casas and Sutter from Snyder, 8-1, then were beaten by Neufield and Valdez in the consolation semifinals.

Swim lesson registration schedule set

PECOS, May 1 -- Registration for American Red Cross summer swimming lessons will be held on May 11 and May 18 at the Pecos High School swimming pool.

Registration will be from 4:30 to 6 p.m. both days in the lobboy of the PHS pool, with a fee of $25 per student. The sessions will be divided into Preschool (3- and 4-years-old) and School Age (5 and up) divisions and into two sessions, from June 1-12 and June 15-26.

For further information, call PHS swimming coach Terri Morse at 447-7242.

The swimming lessons are part of the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah summer althetic program. Times and dates for other summer programs will be announced later this month.

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