Magic Gain 3-0 Advantage in NBA Playoffs; Thunder Beat Champion Lakers

The Orlando Magic took a 3-0 lead in their National Basketball Association playoff series after defeating the Charlotte Bobcats 90-86, while the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers.

Jameer Nelson scored 32 points for the Magic, who are within one game of winning the best-of-seven series and reaching round two.

Stephen Jackson had 19 points for the Bobcats, who next meet the Magic tomorrow at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina.

At Ford Center in Oklahoma City, the Thunder tied their series at 2-2 with a 110-89 win over the Lakers.

Kevin Durant score 22 points for the Thunder, who will play Game 5 against the Lakers on April 27 in Los Angeles.

Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum each scored 13 points for the Lakers, who hit 18 percent of their three-point attempts and 33 percent from the foul line compared with the Thunder who made 61 percent of their three-pointers and 88 percent of their free throws.

Milwaukee’s John Salmons scored 22 points to lead the Bucks to a 107-89 victory over the Atlanta Hawks at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee.

Salmons was among three starters and three reserves to score in double digits for the Bucks, who trail the Hawks 2-1 in their playoff series.

Photographer: Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

Guard Jameer Nelson #14 of the Orlando Magic shoots a fade away shot during the game between the Charlotte Bobcats and the Orlando Magic during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at Time Warner Cable Arena on April 24, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Close

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Photographer: Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

Guard Jameer Nelson #14 of the Orlando Magic shoots a fade away shot during the game between the Charlotte Bobcats and the Orlando Magic during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at Time Warner Cable Arena on April 24, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Joe Johnson was the high-scorer with 25 points for the Hawks, who play the Bucks in Game 4 tomorrow in Milwaukee.

At the Rose Garden in Portland, the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Phoenix Suns 96-87 to tie the series at two games each.

LaMarcus Aldridge was high scorer for the Trail Blazers with 31 points. Amar’e Stoudemire scored 26 points for the Suns. The teams will face each other tomorrow in Portland.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nancy Kercheval in Washington at nkercheval@bloomberg.net

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