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NBA Today

May 10, 2006

Los Angeles Clippers at Phoenix (10:30 p.m. EDT). The Clippers try to even the Western Conference semifinal series at a game apiece.

STARS

Tuesday

_ Rasheed Wallace, Pistons, scored 29 points, including 5-for-8 on 3-pointers, as Detroit held on for a 97-91 win over Cleveland.

_ Josh Howard, Mavericks, had 27 points and nine rebounds as Dallas stole homecourt advantage from San Antonio with a 113-91 rout of the Spurs.

SHAKE IT UP

Dallas coach Avery Johnson shook up his starting lineup for Tuesday’s Game 2 against San Antonio, starting speedy Devin Harris at point guard to juice up the offense and sending defensive-oriented Adrian Griffin to the bench. It was his biggest gamble since moving DeSagana Diop into the starting lineup in January _ a move that sparked a 13-game winning streak. The move resulted in a 113-91 win that evened the series at a game apiece.

GO THROUGH JOSH

Josh Howard led the way with 27 points as Dallas stole homecourt advantage from San Antonio with a 113-91 win over the Spurs on Tuesday in Game 2 of that Western semifinal series. The Mavericks are 20-0 when Howard scores 20 or more points.

ONE TO ANOTHER

Detroit’s Ben Wallace was presented with the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award _ for an unprecedented fourth time in five seasons _ by Boston Celtics great Bill Russell prior to the Pistons’ 97-91 win over Cleveland on Tuesday. Dikembe Mutombo is the only other four-time winner.

TOO LITTLE TOO LATE

LeBron James scored 23 of his 30 points in the second half and Cleveland staged a fourth-quarter comeback before falling short in a 97-91 loss to Detroit in Game 2 of that Eastern semifinal series on Tuesday. The Cavaliers trailed by as many as 22 points before outscoring the Pistons 31-19 in the fourth.

SAY IT AIN’T SO

Cleveland forward Donyell Marshall claimed before Tuesday’s Game 2 against Detroit that a quote of his didn’t imply the Pistons would win the best-of-seven series. Following a 27-point loss in Game 1, Marshall said the Pistons’ experience would overtake the Cavaliers’ youth _ and it did again Tuesday as Detroit jumped out to a 22-point lead before holding on for a 97-91 victory.

THE BIG EASY

Sandra Gunner, the president and CEO of the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, said Tuesday she expects the rebuilding of the city to accelerate and be ready to take back the Hornets by the 2007-08 season. The comments came one day after team owner George Shinn expressed disappointment in the city’s rebuilding.

DOUBTFUL

New Jersey forward Richard Jefferson is listed as doubtful for Wednesday’s Game 2 of the Nets’ Eastern semifinal series with Miami because of a bone bruise in his right ankle. An MRI exam performed Tuesday was negative, as was an X-ray taken shortly after he was injured during New Jersey’s 100-88 win in the series opener Monday night.

DISMISSED

Rick Adelman was let go by the Sacramento on Tuesday despite leading the club to eight consecutive playoff appearances as the most successful coach in franchise history. Adelman’s 752 career victories _ 395 with Sacramento _ are the sixth-most among active NBA coaches. Only Pat Riley (1,151), Larry Brown (1,010), Jerry Sloan (984), Phil Jackson (877) and George Karl (784) have more.

SPEAKING

``It showed that we can play with them. Now, we’ve got to play with them for the entire game.″ _ Cavaliers center Zydrunas Ilgauskas after Cleveland, which trailed by as many as 22 points, pulled within five in the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s 97-91 loss to Detroit in Game 2 of that Eastern semifinal series.

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