Patrick Ewing won a second-half duel with Derrick Coleman, then turned his sights to the Chicago Bulls and the next round of the NBA playoffs.

Ewing scored 27 of his 36 points in the second half Friday night, boosting New York to a 102-92 victory over New Jersey and setting up yet another playoff series between the Knicks and Bulls."I'm very happy to be finished and go on to the next round," Ewing said. "New Jersey was in the way, and we got rid of them. Let's move on. I don't care who's there. Chicago is in our way, too. We'll be ready."

New York, which won the best-of-5 series 3-1, has been eliminated the last three years by the Bulls en route to their three consecutive NBA titles. The best-of-7 Eastern Conference semifinals begin Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

"It was a competitive series and now we have to concentrate on Chicago," Knicks coach Pat Riley said. "We know them pretty well. Somewhere, you've got to break through. We've had a great rivalry with them."

Ewing, who also had 14 rebounds and five blocked shots, had 11 points and Charles Smith eight during a decisive 23-12 burst that turned a 49-49 tie into a 72-61 lead after three periods. New York extended the margin to 78-63 early in the fourth quarter before New Jersey rallied.

"We made a big run, they came back, we regrouped and we were able to come away with the win," said Ewing, who scored 25 points after Nets center Benoit Benjamin left the game with five fouls midway through the third quarter. "I wouldn't say they were soft, but Armon Gilliam is a lot smaller than I am. I got the ball, I made strong moves and they fouled me."

Ewing made 12 of 16 free throws along with his 12-for-24 shooting from the field. Coleman, meanwhile, scored 23 of his 31 points in the second half and finished 21-for-25 from the free-throw line.

"We fought them and they definitely knew they were in a war," Coleman said. "I was trying to do anything I could to keep us in the game. I was trying to take it to the hoop and get fouled. We fought them with everything we had, but they were a better team."

The Nets, shooting 18.8 percent from the field in the final period of the first three games of the series, scored seven consecutive points to close within eight, then made it 89-84 with 3:20 left on Coleman's two free throws. But the Nets had just one more point until the final minute against a Knicks defense that allowed just 86.5 points per game in the series.

Rockets 92, Trail Blazers 89

At Portland, Ore., Hakeem Olajuwon scored 10 of his 28 points in the final 6:06 as the Houston Rockets blew a 21-point first-half lead, then held on to beat the Portland Trail Blazers and advance to the second round of the NBA playoffs.

Olajuwon also had 16 rebounds for the Midwest Division champions, who won the best-of-5 series 3-1 and open the Western Conference semifinals at home against Phoenix on Sunday.

But he missed one of two free throws with 4.2 seconds to play to give the Trail Blazers a final chance to tie the game. Portland's Rod Strickland, who scored 18 of his 26 points in the second half, threw up a 3-pointer from the top of the key at the buzzer but it bounced off the front of the rim.

Robert Horry added 14 points and Kenny Smith 13 for the Rockets, who were 7-1 against Portland this season. Clyde Drexler scored 23 for the Blazers.