Cavs clinch home-court for playoffs

PHILADELPHIA (AP) " LeBron James had 27 points and 10 assists, Wally Szczerbiak scored a season-high 18 and the Cavaliers beat the struggling Philadelphia 76ers 102-92 Friday night to clinch the No. 1 playoff seed and home-court advantage in the conference.

No team has played better at home this season than the Cavs. They're 38-1 at Quicken Loans Arena, with the only loss coming against the Los Angeles Lakers on Feb. 8. Cleveland (64-15) entered with a half-game lead over the Lakers for the best record in the league.

Andre Iguodala led Philadelphia with 26. The Sixers (40-39) have lost four straight since clinching a playoff berth.

Andre Miller and Lou Williams each had 17 for Philadelphia, and Mo Williams had 18 for the Cavs.

Celtics 105, Heat 98

BOSTON (AP) " Paul Pierce scored 21 of his 28 points in the second half, including the go-ahead free throws with 97 seconds left to lead the Celtics.

Rajon Rondo had seven points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists for Boston, and Glen "Big Baby" Davis scored 22 points with eight rebounds.

Dwyane Wade scored 21 of his 31 points in the second half, adding nine assists, to help the Heat tie it 95-all with just under 2 minutes left. But Boston scored the next eight points to pull away.

Michael Beasley scored 23 with 13 rebounds and Jermaine O'Neal had 16 points and nine boards for the Heat.

Knicks 105, Magic 95

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) " Al Harrington scored 27 points, Wilson Chandler had 22 and the New York dealt a crushing blow to Orlando's hopes of getting the Eastern Conference's second seed.

David Lee added 20 points and 16 rebounds to help the Knicks avoid a season sweep by the Magic, who won the first three games against New York this season.

Hedo Turkoglu scored 24, and Dwight Howard had 16 points and 14 rebounds for Orlando, which fell two games back of Boston for the East's No. 2 spot. With three games left and Boston owning the tiebreaker, the Magic are likely to finish with the third seed.

Hawks 122, Pacers 118

ATLANTA (AP) " Josh Smith scored 30 points and Joe Johnson had 24 to help the Hawks clinch the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference.

Al Horford finished with 22 points and 15 rebounds as the Hawks earned home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Atlanta needed either a win or a loss by Miami, which fell by seven in Boston, to wrap up the No. 4 spot.

Indiana, which had won two straight and four of five, was eliminated from playoff contention.

Danny Granger had 35 points to lead the Pacers in scoring for the eighth straight game.

Pistons 100, Nets 93

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) " Will Bynum scored 20 points and Rasheed Wallace added 15 as Detroit clinched a playoff spot

Detroit (39-40) will be in the postseason for the eighth straight year, but still needs two wins in its final three games to finish with a .500 record.

New Jersey (32-47) lost for the eighth time in 10 games as coach Lawrence Frank went with a young lineup for much of the game. Rookie Ryan Anderson led the Nets with 20 points, one short of his career high, and fellow first-year players Chris Douglas-Roberts and Brook Lopez had 16 each.

Grizzlies 106, Suns 89

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) " Rudy Gay and O.J. Mayo scored 20 points apiece, and the Memphis Grizzlies snapped a 10-game losing streak against Phoenix.

While shooting 47 percent, Phoenix committed 22 turnovers, only three short of its season high.

Mike Conley scored 17 points. Hakim Warrick had 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Marc Gasol finished with 14 points.

Jason Richardson and Louis Amundson led the Suns with 13 points apiece, the only Phoenix players in double figures.

Thunder 84, Bobcats 81

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) " Kevin Durant had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and the Thunder knocked Charlotte out of playoff contention in the home finale of their first season in Oklahoma City.

Nenad Krstic added 19 points, Jeff Green had 10 points and 11 rebounds and Russell Westbrook had 10 points and 11 assists for the Thunder.

D.J. Augustin led the Bobcats with 20 points, including a 3-pointer with 35.6 seconds left that got Charlotte within 83-81. Green then swatted away a runner by Raymond Felton and Krstic corralled the rebound on the floor with 2.2 seconds left. Wizards 100, Raptors 98

TORONTO (AP) " Caron Butler made a jumper at the buzzer to give Washington a victory.

Antawn Jamison had 24 points and 12 rebounds and Butler added 21 points for the Wizards, who nearly blew a six-point lead in the final minute.

A 3-pointer by Toronto's Jose Calderon cut Washington's lead to 88-87 with 3:30 left, but Jamison and Butler each made three-point plays on either side of a Chris Bosh free throw to give the Wizards a 94-88 edge with 1:41 remaining.

Bosh had 21 points and 10 rebounds for Toronto, and Kapono added 20. Calderon had 15 points and 11 assists.

Mavericks 100, Hornets 92

DALLAS (AP) " Josh Howard and Dirk Nowitzki each scored 25 points and the Mavericks held off a late rally led by Chris Paul for a victory over New Orleans that tied the teams for the sixth seed in the Western Conference.

It won't stay that way for long " they meet again Sunday in New Orleans.

Paul had 42 points, one shy of his career high, with nine rebounds and seven assists. New Orleans never led on the way to its fourth loss in five games.

Dallas won its third straight and fifth in six games.

Spurs 105, Jazz 99

SAN ANTONIO (AP) " Tony Parker scored 31 points and the Spurs shook off their funk long enough to bury the Jazz further back in the playoff race.

Tim Duncan scored 14 points to help San Antonio win for just the third time in seven games.

The Jazz, meanwhile, have lost five of six and slipped closer to having to face the dominant Los Angeles Lakers in the first round. Utah has just three games left to climb out of the No. 8 seed and secure a more favorable matchup.

Deron Williams had 25 points and 10 assists for the Jazz, whose misery in San Antonio continues. The Jazz haven't won here since 1999, a streak spanning 23 games.

Trail Blazers 106, Lakers 98

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) " Brandon Roy had 24 points and eight assists, and the Trail Blazers held off the Lakers.

Kobe Bryant scored 32 points for the Lakers, but missed a key 3-pointer, had a crucial turnover and was off on a jumper in the final minute. It was Portland's eighth straight victory over the Lakers at the Rose Garden.

The Lakers played without coach Phil Jackson, who didn't travel with the team because of pain in his lower right leg, and fell 1 1/2 games behind Cleveland for the best record in the NBA and home-court advantage throughout the postseason.

Rockets 113, Warriors 109

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) " Dikembe Mutombo had 10 points and 15 rebounds, Luis Scola added a career-high 28 points and Houston maintained its slim hold on the third seed in the Western Conference.

Making a rare start after center Yao Ming was scratched from Houston's lineup during pregame warmups because of lingering soreness in his right foot, the 42-year-old Mutombo blocked four shots and played a season-high 36 minutes while helping the Rockets complete a four-game season sweep of the Warriors.

Ron Artest added 19 points and six assists for Houston, which remained a half-game in front of Portland and San Antonio for the third seed in the Western Conference.

Kelenna Azubuike had 32 points and C.J. Watson and Ronny Turiaf added 18 apiece for Golden State (28-51), which overcame a 14-point deficit in the second half before falling short.

Clippers 109, Kings 78

LOS ANGELES (AP) " Brian Skinner scored a season-high 21 points, Eric Gordon added 20 and the Los Angeles Clippers snapped a six-game losing streak.

Baron Davis had 16 points and Chris Kaman chipped in 14 points and 13 rebounds in his return to the lineup as the Clippers (19-60) won for just the second time in 11 games in a matchup between two lottery-bound teams hoping to land the first overall pick in the NBA draft.

Playing without leading scorer Kevin Martin, Sacramento (16-63) got 18 points from point guard Beno Udrih. Nocioni added 11 points and nine rebounds as the Kings shot 32.6 percent from the field.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment