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Walker, Lin lead Hornets over Heat in Game 4

Kemba Walker scored a playoff career-high 34 points, Jeremy Lin added 21 and the Hornets beat the Miami Heat, 89-85, Mondayt night in Charlotte to even their first-round playoff series at two games apiece.

Walker scored 11 straight Charlotte points in the fourth quarter after Miami had cut the lead to two with 6:07 left. Courtney Lee sank two free throws with 4.6 seconds left after being fouled on an offensive rebound to seal the win.

Lee finished with 11 points and helped hold Dwyane Wade to 12 points and 4-for-11 shooting.

“We fought so hard tonight,” Lin said. “Up 18 and then all of a sudden up one. We put everything out there and I’m glad we got the win.”

Game 5 is tomorrow night in Miami.

Joe Johnson led Miami with 16 points, and Luol Deng had 15.

Charlotte dominated in the paint for the second straight game, outscoring Miami 44-30.

Miami pulled to 76-75 when Gerald Green knocked down a three-pointer from the left wing midway through the final quarter.

Walker took over from there.

The runner-up for the league’s Most Improved Player buried a pull-up jumper from 18 feet and sank both foul shots after drawing a fourth foul on Wade on a drive. Walker made a three-pointer from the left wing, added a floater in the lane and another pull-up jumper to push the lead to 87-80.

The Heat kept battling back, though, with Wade’s jumper and a free throw by Hassan Whiteside cutting it to two.

The Hornets nearly squandered their last possession, but Walker threw up a deep three-pointer to beat the shot clock that hit the front rim. Lee was fouled on the rebound and swished both shots with 4.6 seconds left to make it a two-possession game.

Now the Hornets head to Miami, where the Heat won the previous two games in this series at home by an average margin of 22 points..

Thunder 118, Mavericks 104: Russell Westbrook had 36 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists, and the Thunder beat the Dallas Mavericks in Oklahoma City to win the first-round playoff series 4-1 and advance to the Western Conference semifinals.

Westbrook was 13 of 23 from the field and 7 of 8 on free throws. Kevin Durant scored 33 points and Steven Adams added 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Thunder, who will play the San Antonio Spurs in a series that begins Saturday.

Oklahoma City shot 50.6 percent from the field and outrebounded the Mavericks 42-35.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 24 points, Justin Anderson had 14 and Zaza Pachulia added 12 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for the Mavericks, who were hampered by injuries throughout the series.

Oklahoma City lost Game 2 85-84 at home, then won three straight, including two on the road.

Westbrook scored 13 points in the first quarter to help the Thunder take a 35-24 lead. The Mavericks closed to 57-55 in the second quarter, but Oklahoma City closed the half strong to lead 68-61 at the break.

Durant scored 20 points in the first half. Nowitzki scored 17 and Pachulia added 12 points, seven assists and five rebounds in the first half to keep the Mavericks close.

A three-pointer by Westbrook late in the third quarter put the Thunder ahead 93-79, and Oklahoma City took a 93-83 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Mavericks trimmed it to 107-103 with 4:08 left before the Thunder pulled away. Durant hit a fadeaway and was fouled by Nowitzki, who was then called for a technical. Durant made both free throws to put Oklahoma City up 113-103 with 2:49 to play.


— AP

New York Sports