NBA playoffs have an off day

May 30, 2003 at 12:45 PM
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SAN ANTONIO, May 30 (UPI) -- Friday is one of several consecutive off days on the NBA playoff schedule, with San Antonio having closed out Dallas Thursday night.

The Spurs will represent the Western Conference when they meet Eastern Conference champion New Jersey beginning on June 4.

The Spurs used a 23-0 scoring surge in the fourth quarter Thursday to down the Mavericks, 90-78, winning the best-of-seven series, four games to two.

Guard Steven Jackson, who led the Spurs with 24 points, nailed consecutive three-pointers to pull the Spurs within 71-68 before little-used reserve Steve Kerr tied the game with a shot from the arc with 7:12 to play, then put the Spurs ahead for good, 74-71, with a three-pointer with 6:28 left, and made it 79-71 with another shot from the arc with 5:14 to go.

The Spurs, who have gotten a reputation for blowing big leads, finally were able to quiet their critics with their stunning defensive stand in the final period.

Game One of the NBA Finals, the first between two former ABA teams, will be Wednesday in San Antonio. The Nets, who have won 10 straight playoff games, will have had 10 days off by the time that series starts.

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