Wizards, Nets tie their playoff series

Posted: April 26, 2006

CLEVELAND — Gilbert Arenas scored 30 points and Washington bottled up Cleveland superstar LeBron James last night as the Wizards downed the Cavaliers, 89-84, to even their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series at one game each.

Caron Butler added 21 points and was Washington's primary defender on James, who recorded a triple-double in his playoff debut but played like a mere mortal in his second postseason game. The Cavaliers' setback snapped their 12-game winning streak at home.

James finished with 26 points on 7-of-25 shooting, but matched his career high with 10 turnovers and made some mental errors, including a costly one late when he made an out-of-bounds save under his own basket that was picked off by Arenas for an easy layup.

"They had a great scheme by playing me one on one," said James. "I missed a lot of shots, layups that I usually make."

Antawn Jamison also scored 21 points for the Wizards, while Drew Gooden scored 24 points on 11-of-12 shooting and added 16 rebounds for the Cavaliers.

Nets 90, Pacers 75

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Vince Carter rebounded from a dismal shooting performance to score 33 points and lead New Jersey over Indiana, tying their first-round series at a game apiece.

Carter, who was 12 of 33 in Game 1, was 12 of 20 from the floor last night. Richard Jefferson added 21 points and Nenad Krstic had 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Nets.

Jason Kidd added 6 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds in a game the Pacers probably felt was decided a little too much by an officiating crew that included Violet Palmer, the first female to referee a playoff game.

The 41-year-old Palmer is the only current female official in the NBA. The Los Angeles resident is in her ninth season.

The crew called two fouls apiece on Indiana's Jermaine O'Neal and Stephen Jackson in the first quarter, and the Pacers were never able to find their offense on a night when Peja Stojakovic was sidelined with a sore right knee. Jackson ultimately fouled out with 10 points, while O'Neal finished with 12 points and five fouls.

Overall, the officiating crew called 43 personal fouls and six technicals, with Nets coach Lawrence Frank picking up his second in two games.

Coach of the year. After his first full season leading the Dallas Mavericks, Avery Johnson was honored as the league's coach of the year.

Johnson, who took over for the retired Don Nelson in March 2005, got 63 first-place votes and 419 total points from the panel of 124 writers and broadcasters, topping Phoenix's Mike D'Antoni (27-247).

Detroit's Flip Saunders (18-223) was third, followed by Mike Dunleavy (5-88) of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Early draft entries. Entering the draft were St. Louis center Ian Vouyoukas and three guards: Marcus Williams (Connecticut), Darius Washington (Memphis), and Daniel Gibson (Texas).

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