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NBA PLAYOFFS

Home cooking suits Heat fine

Miami pulls even, heads to Indiana

There's no doubt the Miami Heat can win at home.

But to get out of the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, they'll have to do it on the road, too.

Lamar Odom scored 22 points and Caron Butler added 21 to lead the Heat to a 100-88 victory over the Indiana Pacers last night, extending their home winning streak to 18 games. They also evened the series at two games apiece.

"They played good, we played horrible," Pacers forward Ron Artest said. "It's hard to pinpoint any one thing. I'm convinced now that they're one of the toughest teams in the NBA."

Game 5 is Saturday at Indiana, while Game 6 is Tuesday back in Miami. The Heat will have to win on the road to win the series.

Miami, which fell behind by 9 points early, handled the best of the Pacers. The Heat also ended their streak of not scoring 100 points in the postseason at 38 games, an NBA record.

Jermaine O'Neal, who was quiet for the first two games of the series, scored 37 points for the Pacers, while Artest added 28 after scoring just 14 in Game 3. They looked to be playing 2-on-5 basketball at times.

Miami was much more balanced.

Dwyane Wade scored 20 points, Eddie Jones and Rafer Alston had 11 each, and Brian Grant added 10 before dislocating a finger on his right hand. He left the game with 4:38 to play.

The Pacers had no one else in double figures. The team with the best record in the NBA during the regular season lost consecutive games for just the fourth time this season.

"We really haven't faced a big test yet, but now we have one," Pacers forward Austin Croshere said.

The game got physical near the end.

The Pacers were called for two flagrant fouls in the final minutes. Jamaal Tinsley was ejected after a double technical with Jones. He was tossed because it was his second technical foul of the game. Artest also got hit with a flagrant foul after knocking Wade hard to the ground.

The Heat took control by outscoring the Pacers, 23-13, in the third quarter with Odom doing most of the damage.

He blew by Reggie Miller, who got no help from O'Neal, and dunked for a 72-67 lead with 2:51 to play in the quarter.

Odom then drove the baseline and dunked again to make it a 7-point game.

Kings 87, Timberwolves 81 -- Though every basket was a grind, host Sacramento gritted its teeth and tied the series. Chris Webber scored a playoff-high 28 points and Brad Miller added 20 to lead the Kings to victory over Minnesota in Game 4.

Mike Bibby had 15 points and a playoff-best 12 assists for the Kings. Webber scored 6 points over the final 3:20, quashing the Timberwolves' hopes for a third straight last-minute victory.

Except for Webber's six straight baskets to start the game, nothing came easily for either team. It was nearly the opposite of Minnesota's thrilling 114-113 overtime win two nights earlier, as both teams struggled to make easy shots and committed countless boneheaded turnovers. Kevin Garnett had 19 points and 21 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who made 24 turnovers while losing in Sacramento for the first time in four games this season. Minnesota's Big Three -- Garnett, Latrell Sprewell and Sam Cassell -- combined to shoot 17 for 48 as defenses dominated.

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