Celtic Dagger. Paul Pierce's 32 points led the Celtics in a 100-98 win; his last two, though, were what staked Boston to a 3-0 series lead. The flair for the dramatic Pierce has flashed throughout his career came in handy on his 21-footer at the buzzer. Dwyane Wade couldn't do anything to stop Pierce, either, and had to watch his 34-point, eight-rebound, five-assist go to waste from the sidelines, cramps knocking him out for the critical moments. It's all but over for the Heat in these playoffs, even if Wade, who swapped jerseys during the game because of sweat and took intravenous fluids after it, can go for Sunday's Game 4.
Ginobili Puts Spurs Ahead. Manu Ginobili's seventh assist was his best: With the Spurs up four and less than half a minute left, he evaded the Mavericks and dished an off-balance pass to Tony Parker, who converted a three-point play to put San Antonio up seven. It wasn't particularly pretty, but little about the Spurs' 94-90 win was: Ginobili was knocked out of the game in the third quarter with a nose injury, Tim Duncan had just two fourth-quarter points, and just seven Spurs scored. But when Ginobili returned for the beginning of the fourth quarter, he scored eight points in a 12-3 run that gave San Antonio the lead for good. For the Spurs, ugly was enough.
Thin Ice Holds. Both the Canadiens and Sabres faced elimination on Friday night, and both staved it off. The Habs got 37 saves from Jaroslav Halak in a 2-1 win over the Capitals, while Buffalo gave Ryan Miller a cushion with a goal on its first shot, and cruised to a 4-1 victory against Boston.
Clausen, McCoy Snapped Up. The wait ended for Jimmy Clausen at the 48th pick, when Carolina drafted him; Colt McCoy had to endure almost 40 more picks before the Browns plucked him with the 85th pick. Clausen did end up in a good position, SN's Clifton Brown writes. But neither Clausen nor McCoy makes Matt Hayes list of good, bad, and bizarre draft decisions, and the former Golden Domer shows up on Dennis Dillon's list of losers.â†µ
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