PHILADELPHIA, April 30 (Ticker) --
Thanks to Jamal Mashburn
, the New Orleans Hornets are still hanging on by a finger
in the NBA playoffs.
NBA TV highlights from|
Nestlé Crunch Time:
Mashburn returned from a finger injury to score 21 points and
Lynch victimized his former team with 12 of his 16 points in the
fourth quarter as the Hornets stayed alive with a 93-91 victory
over the Philadelphia 76ers.
For the first time in four tries, the fifth-seeded Hornets won a
Game 5 when facing a 3-1 deficit. They will host Game Six
on Friday night.
Mashburn suffered a chip fracture and dislocation of the middle
finger on his right hand in a Game 2 loss here and sat out
Games 3 and Four in New Orleans. He took some criticism for
not playing, although he claimed to be unable to comfortably
hold the ball.
The All-Star forward did not seem bothered by the injury as he
made five of his first six shots, giving the Hornets a
psychological boost. He endured a cold spell but finished
8-of-20 from the field, adding six assists.
"It is still hurting," Mashburn said. "Just because I've been
out for five or six days doesn't mean it is still not broken.
... I told the guys I didn't want to go home, and that was
pretty much the bottom line -- that I didn't want to go home."
"There's no way we could have won the game without him," Hornets
coach Paul Silas said. "This thing is killing him. It's
really sore. He knew just his presence would help us."
Mashburn made just one basket in the fourth quarter, which
belonged to Lynch. A starting forward on the 76ers squad that
reached the 2001 NBA Finals, he was sent to the Hornets in a
three-team deal prior to the following season.
"It was about time," said Lynch, who made 7-of-9 shots. "It
took me five games. I was rushing my shot in the first four.
Tonight, I had the opportunity to come off the bench after
watching the flow of the game. We were able to keep the game
close, which helped us. None of the shots that I made were
rushed shots. They were in the flow of the offense. We want to
win this series, but I really want to win this series. It
would be against my old teammates, and that would be sweet."
Known more for his rebounding and defense, Lynch hurt the Sixers
from both outside and inside. He had a pair of 3-pointers and
a corner jumper in a 12-2 run that opened the period and gave
the Hornets an 83-76 lead with 4:48 to go.
"We do a lot of shooting and we chart our shots," Lynch said.
"I've been able to shoot around 50 percent from 3-point range in
practice. I've made a number of them." "I'm probably the only
coach in history who will let him shoot the three," Silas said.
Lynch put home follow shots on consecutive possessions in the
final two minutes, giving New Orleans the lead each time.
had 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Hornets,
who became the first team in the series to win after trailing at
halftime. They won despite a bad game from Baron Davis, who
made just 3-of-17 shots and was held to nine points.
scored 30 points and Keith Van Horn
series-long slump with 21 for the Sixers. But both players
wasted chances in the final seconds to provide a tie or lead.
"The opportunity was there, but we didn't get it done," Iverson
After missing nine of its first 10 shots of the fourth quarter,
Philadelphia fought back to tie it. Iverson made a layup,
blocked a breakaway layup by Davis and hit a
jumper at the other end and Iverson drilled a tying 3-pointer
with 2:41 to play.
Mashburn and Iverson traded baskets before Lynch put home a miss
by Mashburn for an 87-85 lead with 1:40 left. Coleman stroked
a long tying jumper, but Lynch again put back a miss by Mashburn
to give New Orleans the lead for good at the 1:02 mark.
"He really made us pay for helping off of him," Van Horn said.
"He really stepped up and hit some big shots and got those two
Iverson lost the ball, and Mashburn drew a foul with 23 seconds
left. Bothered by the finger injury, he split the pair of free
"The finger doesn't allow me to follow through as I normally
do," Mashburn said.
Iverson missed an open 3-pointer but made a layup after Eric
ran down the rebound and called timeout. That cut the
deficit to 90-89 with 14 seconds remaining, and the Sixers
fouled Mashburn, who again went 1-of-2 from the line.
Van Horn tried to make a move but had the ball stripped by
Lynch. Davis recovered it and made the clinching free throws
with 3.8 seconds to play.
scored 11 points and David Wesley
added 10 for the
Hornets, who shot just 41 percent (34-of-83) and missed 10 free
throws but took better care of the ball as they committed just
"We only had 10 turnovers tonight. In games we lost, we had
20-plus turnovers," Silas said. "We protected the ball and
didn't turn it over very much. They had 16, which is unlike
them. We have to continue to take care of the basketball if
we're going to win this thing."
had 12 points and 14 rebounds and Snow added 11,
eight and seven assists for the Sixers, who shot 42.5 percent
(31-of-73) and held a 43-39 edge on the glass. But Philadelphia
committed 16 turnovers, six by Iverson.
New Orleans went 6 1/2 minutes without a basket across halftime.
A 3-pointer by Van Horn and three-point play by Iverson gave
Philadelphia its largest lead at 60-50 with 9:14 left in the
third quarter, but Mashburn and Wesley had 3-pointers in a 15-4
spurt that reclaimed the lead for the Hornets.
"Instead of taking advantage of being at home, we let them crawl
back in and make it a close game," Van Horn said. "It came
down to the wire, and when you're at home, you don't want to let