10 May 2012

Hawks, Bulls stay alive, Pacers win first series since 2005

12:36 pm on 10 May 2012

The Denver Nuggets held off a stunning Los Angeles Lakers fightback to win 102-99, while the Atlanta Hawks edged the Boston Celtics 87-86 as both teams kept alive their NBA basketball playoff aspirations.

The tense win helped the Hawks cut their best-of-seven Eastern Conference first round series deficit to 3-2 with game six in Boston on Friday, while the Nuggets win means the Lakers now lead the series 3-2, with game six in Denver on Friday.

The Indiana Pacers advanced past Orlando to win their series 4-1 while the injury-plagued Chicago Bulls showed grit in beating Philadelphia 77-69 to cut their deficit to 3-2.

Playing without injured NBA Most Valuable Player Derrick Rose and ailing Joakim Noah, Chicago avoided elimination and forced Game Six on Friday in Philadelphia.

In Indiana, the Pacers were buoyed by 25 points from Danny Granger to blowout the Magic 105-87 and achieve their first playoff series win since 2005.