Apr. 02, 2014
NEW YORK (AP) — The Brooklyn Nets clinched a playoff berth by beating the Houston Rockets for the first time in eight years, getting 32 points from Joe Johnson in a 105-96 victory on Tuesday.
Shaun Livingston added 17 points for the Nets, who extended their home winning streak to 14 games, longest in their NBA history and tops in the league this season. They also pulled within 1½ games of Toronto and Chicago for the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Nets ended a 14-game skid against Houston with their first victory in the series since March 13, 2006. The Nets hadn't defeated the Rockets at home since March 31, 2003, when they were still playing in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
James Harden scored 26 points for Houston, which lost its second straight following a five-game winning streak. Still without Dwight Howard because of a sore left ankle, the Rockets shot just 38 percent from the field.
WARRIORS 122, MAVERICKS 120, OT
DALLAS (AP) — Stephen Curry made a tiebreaking jumper in the final second of overtime, lifting the Golden State to the win.
Curry finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Klay Thompson led Golden State with 27 points, and Jermaine O'Neal added 20.
Dallas had a three-point lead until Thompson made a 3-pointer with 1:01 remaining in regulation.
O'Neal blocked a Dallas shot with the game tied at 120, setting the stage for Curry's winning move. He dribbled the ball to the left side of the court and hit from 20 feet.
The Mavericks called timeout, but the inbounds pass failed to connect as time ran out.
Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas with 33 points and 11 rebounds. He had 16 in the Mavericks' 41-point second quarter.
Dallas dropped from seventh in the Western Conference to ninth, a half-game behind Memphis and Phoenix in the final two playoff positions.
TRAIL BLAZERS 124, LAKERS 112
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Damian Lillard scored 34 points, and LaMarcus Aldridge had 31 points and 15 rebounds as Portland overpowered Los Angeles.
The Blazers' fourth straight victory, coupled with Houston's loss at Brooklyn, moved Portland within 1½ games of the Rockets for fourth place in the Western Conference and home-court advantage in the opening round of the playoffs. The Rockets have three games in hand.
Nick Young, the fifth and last player off the Los Angeles bench, made his first eight shots and finished 15 for 26 with a season-high 40 points. But it wasn't enough to prevent the Lakers' 10th defeat in 14 games. They slipped to 25-49 — the most losses by the club since finishing 33-49 in 1993-94. The franchise hasn't lost 50 games in a season since 1974-75 (30-52).