CLEVELAND - New Jersey? What exit?
The Nets aren't ready to take the off ramp out of the NBA playoffs just yet.
Jason Kidd scored 20 points, and the Nets somehow delayed an early summer vacation with an ugly 83-72 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers last night to pull within three games to two in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
The Nets, who had been doomed by an inability to execute down the stretch in the series, built a 22-point lead in the third quarter and then hung on for dear life to force Game 6, to be played tomorrow night in East Rutherford, N.J.
"I wanted to let the guys know this series isn't over and we had to come out and put ourselves in a position to win," Kidd said. "We came out and had a great start."
How they won was nothing short of a miracle.
New Jersey made one field goal and scored just six points in the fourth quarter, on 1-for-15 shooting from the field. Moreover, the Nets were only 4 for 10 from the free-throw line in the final 12 minutes. Kidd missed five foul shots in the final minute, when the Nets were trying to put it away.
Cleveland wasn't much better, shooting just 3 for 17 in the fourth quarter. The Cavaliers played the last 56 seconds without LeBron James, who appeared to cut his right knee as he tumbled over Cleveland's bench while scrambling with Kidd for a loose ball.
Richard Jefferson added 15 points, Mikki Moore 14 and Vince Carter 12 for the Nets.
James led the Cavaliers with 20 points and Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 15, but Larry Hughes gave Cleveland just seven, going 3 for 17 from the floor.
NBA looks to London. The NBA plans to open an office in London this summer to expand its fan base in Europe.
Officials will work with the British Olympic Association and focus on basketball development leading up to the 2012 Olympics, NBA commissioner David Stern announced yesterday.
Stern met with London Mayor Ken Livingstone at NBA headquarters in New York. London will host a preseason game between the Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves on Oct. 10.
Jazz 100, Warriors 87
SALT LAKE CITY - Utah ended Golden State's surprising run through the playoffs and got the Jazz back to where they haven't been since the days of John Stockton and Karl Malone.
Andrei Kirilenko had 21 points, 15 rebounds and three steals to lead the Jazz, who wrapped up the Western Conference semifinal series in five games.
Utah held Golden State to 14 points in the fourth quarter and unraveled the Warriors, who had knocked out top-seeded Dallas in the opening round but were badly outmatched in much of this series.
Carlos Boozer had 21 points and 14 boards and Derek Fisher scored 20 points for the Jazz, who clinched the victory from the foul line after struggling with free throws all night.