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NBA Playoffs roundup: Smith, Hawks level series vs. Pacers

Josh Smith scored 29 points, and the Atlanta Hawks built a 17-point halftime lead before foiling a second-half comeback try to earn a 102-91 victory Monday against the visiting Indiana Pacers in Game 4 of a first-round Eastern Conference playoff series. The result tied the series 2-2, with Game 5 scheduled for Wednesday in Indianapolis.

After struggling for much of the second half, Smith made every big play down the stretch. He swished a three-pointer, came up with a big offensive rebound to set up a three-pointer by Kyle Korver, then finished off a fast break with a right-handed dunk.

Paul George scored 18 of his 21 points in the second half as the Pacers made a game of it but couldn’t come back from a 57-40 deficit at the break.

Kings look to be staying put

The Sacramento Kings seem to be staying put, possibly ending an emotional saga that has dragged on for nearly three years.

The NBA’s relocation committee voted unanimously to recommend that owners reject the application for the Kings to relocate to Seattle. The 12 owners on the committee made the decision on a conference call and forwarded their recommendation to the NBA board of governors.

The board, which is made up of all 30 owners, will convene during the week of May 13 to vote on the matter. While the recommendation doesn’t guarantee the Kings will stay put, it’s difficult at this point to imagine how they won’t.

Shortly after the announcement of the committee’s recommendation, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnston tweeted: ‘‘That’s what I’m talking about SACRAMENTO!!!!! WE DID IT!!!!!’’

Sun-Times wires

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