CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (AP) — CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (AP) — Avery Bradley had 30 points and eight rebounds as the Boston Celtics beat the Charlotte Hornets 116-104 on Monday night for an important Eastern Conference victory.
Evan Turner scored 15 points as the Celtics won for the 10th time in the last 16 games. Jae Crowder and Marcus Smart each had 14 points.
Boston moved back into eighth place in the conference standings, a few percentage points ahead of Brooklyn in the battle for the East’s final playoff spot.
Kemba Walker led a furious fourth-quarter comeback that fell short, finishing with 28 points and 12 assists. Gerald Henderson added 17 points for Charlotte, which has dropped four of its last five games.
Charlotte’s loss clinched a second straight playoff berth for the Washington Wizards.
RAPTORS 99, ROCKETS 96
TORONTO (AP) — DeMar DeRozan scored a career-high 42 points and tied his career best with 11 rebounds as the Raptors earned their eighth straight home victory over the Rockets.
DeRozan made a go-ahead turnaround bank shot with 1:27 left, and then closed out the win with a jumper over James Harden with 18 seconds to go. He made 14 of 27 attempts from the floor and 12 of 17 at the free-throw line.
Jonas Valanciunas scored 15 points for Toronto, and Lou Williams had 13.
Harden scored 31 for the Rockets, who had won four in a row. Trevor Ariza had 15 points, and Corey Brewer finished with 13.
Houston has not won north of the border since a 114-100 victory on March 16, 2007.
TRAIL BLAZERS 109, SUNS 86
PORTLAND, Oregon (AP) — Damian Lillard scored 19 points before sitting the final quarter, and Portland secured a playoff berth.
The Blazers have won four straight to edge closer to their first Northwest Division title since 2008-09.
LaMarcus Aldridge added 17 points and seven rebounds, and Portland led by as many as 31 points. The Blazers rested their starters in the fourth quarter after building a 92-65 lead.
The Suns have lost four straight, and while they are mathematically in the playoff picture, their chances are dwindling. Phoenix plays six of its last eight games on the road.
Gerald Green and rookie T.J. Warren each scored 13 points in the Suns’ seventh loss by 20 or more points this season.
HAWKS 101, BUCKS 88
ATLANTA (AP) — DeMarre Carroll scored 23 points and Kyle Korver put on quite a shooting display in the third quarter, carrying Atlanta to the win.
Having clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference, the Hawks are trying to maintain their playing edge while staying healthy for the final two weeks of the regular season. This wasn’t pretty — they put up five airballs — but it was enough to improve to 56-18, one win away from tying the team record.
Korver, who has seemed uncomfortable playing with a protective mask since breaking his nose March 15, missed his first four shots against the Bucks — all beyond the arc. Then, suddenly, he found the range.
In just 65 seconds, Korver made four straight deep jumpers. Three of them were outside the stripe, pushing what had been a five-point edge to 67-51. That brief stretch accounted for each of his 11 points in the game.
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 18 for Milwaukee.
GRIZZLIES 97, KINGS 83
MEMPHIS, Tennessee (AP) — Mike Conley scored 18 points, Jeff Green had 16 and Memphis ended a three-game losing streak.
The Grizzlies moved back into the second spot in the Western Conference playoff race by a half-game over the Houston Rockets, who lost 99-96 at Toronto.
Zach Randolph scored 15 points for Memphis, and Marc Gasol had eight points and 11 rebounds. Kosta Koufos grabbed a season-high 12 boards as the Grizzlies outrebounded Sacramento 45-41.
Rudy Gay led the Kings with 24 points before leaving in the third quarter with a head injury. Ray McCallum had 12 points and Derrick Williams finished with 10.
The Kings played without leading scorer DeMarcus Cousins, who was rested by the team.
LAKERS 113, 76ERS 111, OT
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jordan Clarkson made the tiebreaking basket with 0.7 seconds left in overtime, lifting the Lakers past the 76ers in a matchup of two of the NBA’s worst teams.
Clarkson scored 26 points and Jabari Brown finished with 22 for Los Angeles (20-53). Wayne Ellington added seven of his 20 points in OT, including a 3-pointer that put the Lakers up 111-105 with 1:25 left.
Rookie Nerlens Noel led the 76ers (18-57) with 19 points and 14 rebounds for his ninth double-double of the month. He scored six points in the final minute of overtime to tie the game at 111.
Philadelphia point guard Isaiah Canaan scored 18 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter. Ish Smith added 17, hitting a go-ahead layup with 31 seconds left in regulation that put Philly up 100-98.
JAZZ 104, TIMBERWOLVES 84
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Gordon Hayward scored 22 points, reserve Trey Burke had 19 and the Jazz got the road win.
Trevor Booker had 17 points and 13 rebounds for Utah, which earned its second straight victory after a four-game losing streak. Rudy Gobert finished with 15 points and 12 boards.
The Jazz grabbed control with a 14-0 run at the start of the second half.
Zach LaVine led Minnesota with 21 points, and Andrew Wiggins scored 17.