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Thursday, May 14, 1998

Bulls, Pacers clinch with home victories

AP Sports Writer
CHICAGO -- It's one of the NBA's basic, unwritten rules,
like rookies carrying veterans' bags. Everyone knows it, and
most players are smart enough to accept it.

But the Charlotte Hornets just had to test it. And like
anyone else who's tried to bend the rules, they've learned
their lesson: Never, ever make Michael Jordan mad. Do it,
and he'll make you pay.

Jordan scored all 11 of his fourth-quarter points after a
dust-up with Glen Rice that earned His Airness a rare
technical foul, and the Chicago Bulls moved on to the
Eastern Conference finals with a 93-84 victory over the
Hornets on Wednesday.

Chicago plays Indiana, which beat the Knicks 4-1 in the
other semifinal, with Game 1 Sunday at the United Center.

It marks Chicago's eighth trip to the conference finals in
the last 10 years. The Bulls' only absences came in 1993-94,
when Jordan ``retired'' and later went to shag fly balls,
and in 1994-95, when a rusty Jordan returned to basketball
at the end of the season.

Getting back to the conference finals was more difficult
than the Bulls expected as the Hornets played their most
physical game and shot better than they had all series.

``It was a scrum game that physically had to be won by the
players,'' Chicago coach Phil Jackson said.

Jordan certainly did his share with 33 points. He carried
Chicago through three quarters, knocking down jumpers with
Rice and Anthony Mason hanging all over him.

Finally, with 10:09 left and the Bulls holding onto a 76-74
lead, Jordan lost his cool. After he and Rice got tangled up
in front of the Bulls bench for a second time, Jordan had to
be restrained by Scottie Pippen. Rice was charged with an
offensive foul, and both he and Jordan were hit with

``We felt he's been setting some illegal screens all series
and I made a purpose of trying to get the referees to call
it,'' Jordan said. ``I chose to challenge the screen to see
if they were going to call it and I guess he took offense to

But Rice said it was Jordan getting the calls from the

``It was just a hard play,'' said Rice who finally broke out
of a series-long shooting slump, scoring 30 points on
13-of-21 shooting.

``Michael and I were definitely trying to establish our
grounds out there. A couple of times I felt the referee let
him get away with some things and I just showed my

Pacers 99, Knicks 88

Mark Jackson had the first triple-double in Pacers playoff
history to lead Indiana over New York in the

Jackson had 22 points, 14 rebounds and 13 assists as Indiana
reached its first conference final since 1995 under rookie
coach Larry Bird.

``We do not get rattled, we make plays and we do not beat
ourselves,'' Jackson said. ``That's the way this team was

Reggie Miller scored 24 points and Rik Smits added 22 for
the Pacers, who held New York without a basket for a
six-minute stretch of the fourth quarter as they turned a
73-73 tie into an 87-75 lead.

Allan Houston led the Knicks with 33 points. Patrick Ewing
was held to 10 points, shooting 4-for-13 from the field and
2-for-8 from the foul line.

``Their whole team outplayed us,'' Ewing said, ``but we
still feel they're not a better team than we are.''

Stars take 3-1 series lead with 3-1 win

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -- The Edmonton Oilers desperately
want to return for another playoff game in their hometown.
The Dallas Stars will do everything possible to avoid
another trip to western Canada, even though they profited in

The Stars muscled out a 3-1 victory Wednesday night over
the Oilers to put a stranglehold on their Western Conference
semifinal. It was their second straight win in Edmonton and
they lead the best-of-7 series 3-1.

``We're going to talk about not coming back to Edmonton,''
said Dallas centre Brian Skrudland. ``We know they're a
proud bunch, they believe because they've done it before.''

Benoit Hogue scored two of three Dallas goals Wednesday
night to help the NHL's top regular-season club get a
commanding lead in the series. Of course, the Avalanche
thought their 3-1 lead in the opening round was commanding,

``They came back down 3-1 from a great hockey team in
Colorado,'' said Hogue. ``This series is over when you win
four and we only have three right now. We have a couple days
to rest and enjoy the time off, and get back at it

Hogue said he looked forward to going back to Reunion Arena
with the chance to close out the Oilers.

``We're up 3-1 and I think our fans are going to be right
there behind us and be an extra player on the ice for us,''
he said.

Guy Carbonneau also scored for Dallas, while the Oilers'
goal came from Scott Fraser.

The offensive drought that plagued Dallas for the first
three games of the series ended Wednesday. The Stars
peppered Edmonton goaltender Curtis Joseph with 36 shots and
used a relentless forecheck to demoralize the Oilers.

``They played tough defensively and we're going to have to
find a way to get it around their fallen players -- they
block a lot of shots,'' Joseph said.

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