NBA wrap: Pacers work their magic as Bulls, Hawks close gap

Miss last night’s NBA playoff action? Here’s everything you need to know.

THE INDIANA PACERS clinched their first series win since 2005, defeating the Orlando Magic 105-87 to take an unassailable 4-1 lead.

Danny Granger posted 25 points while Darren Collison added 19 (15 of those in the fourth quarter) as the Pacers booked their spot in the second round where they will face Miami or New York.

Jameer Nelson had a game-high 27 points but the Magic starter shot only 15-for-43 overall.

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In Chicago, the injury-plagued Bulls bounced back to record a 77-69 win over the Philadelphia 76ers and move within one game of levelling the series.

Loul Deng (24) and Carlos Boozer (19) added 43 points between them.

Philadelphia, who still lead 3-2 heading into game six, shot just 32 percent from the field.

The Bulls will head to Philadelphia with confidence after winning their first match without Derrick Rose since he suffered a season-ending knee injury in game one.

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Al Horford’s 19 points helped the Atlanta Hawks to a morale-boosting 87-86 victory in Boston.

Horford was impressive in attack but his defensive pressure in the final seconds on Rajon Rondo lifted the Hawks to a much-needed win.

Veterans Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett both posted 16 points for the Celtics.

Atlanta now trail 3-2 in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference first-round playoff. Game six will be played in Boston on Thursday.

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At the Staples Center, the Denver Nuggets led from start to finish as they beat the LA Lakers 102-99.

Denver led 92-79 at one stage in the fourth and had to withstand some late pressure from the Lakers.

Arron Afflalo (19), JaVale McGee (21) and Andre Miller (24) all started for the visiting team. For the Lakers, Bryant made it 164 successive playoff games in double digits with 43 points, while Andrew Bynum ended the game on 16 points.

The Pepsi Center, Denver is the location for game six.

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