The Indiana Pacers clinched their eighth consecutive playoff berth with a 90-86 win over the New Jersey Nets last night in Indianapolis.
Reggie Miller scored 7 of his 22 points in a 22-second flurry to help the Pacers erase a 6-point deficit down the stretch. Stephen Jackson added 17 despite missing 14 of his 19 shots.
Kendall Gill hit three of the Pacers' 12 3-pointers and finished with 11 points in Indiana's eighth win in nine games.
The Nets carried an 11-point lead into the second half before falling 1 1/2 games behind Philadelphia in the battle for the final Eastern Conference playoff berth.
Jason Kidd had 29 points and 15 rebounds for New Jersey.
Wizards 93 Bulls 82 -- Larry Hughes scored 23 points and Gilbert Arenas added 21 as host Washington whipped Chicago. The victory, coupled with New Jersey's loss, gave the Wizards their first playoff berth since 1997.
Antawn Jamison had 19 points and 14 rebounds for Washington, which had a 21-point lead after three quarters. Kirk Hinrich and Ben Gordon each scored 21 points for the Bulls, who fell behind, 28-6, in the first quarter.
Nuggets 116, Hornets 102 -- Carmelo Anthony scored 19 points to lead seven teammates in double figures and host Denver extended its winning streak to a season-high nine games by trouncing Denver.
The Nuggets used a big early lead to win its 10th straight home game and 23d of 25 overall. Marcus Camby had another superb all-around game, with 6 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 blocks, and 2 steals.
Jazz 93, Spurs 91 -- In Salt Lake City, Mehmet Okur put back a rebound with 2.4 seconds remaining and Utah spoiled Tim Duncan's return with a victory over San Antonio.
Duncan finished with 17 points and seven rebounds after missing 12 games with a sprained ankle. Okur finished with 25 points and 16 rebounds and Matt Harpring scored 17 points, including two free throws with 14 seconds left.
Pistons 103, Magic 94 -- Ben Wallace became the fifth player in NBA history to have 100 blocks and 100 steals in five straight seasons and Detroit won its eighth in a row in a rout of Orlando in Auburn Hills, Mich.
Rookie Jameer Nelson scored a season-high 30 points for the Magic, who have lost five straight and 16 of 20.
Wallace joined Hakeem Olajuwon, Julius Erving, Sam Lacey, and David Robinson as the only players to have 100 blocks and 100 steals in five consecutive seasons, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Wallace finished with 9 points, 13 rebounds, 2 steals and no blocks.
Rockets 100, Grizzlies 92 -- Yao Ming scored 28 points and Tracy McGrady had 23 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists to lead host Houston to its fourth straight victory, denying Memphis a chance to clinch a playoff spot.
Timberwolves 116, Warriors 100 -- Kevin Garnett posted his first triple-double of a disappointing season, finishing with 21 points, 15 rebounds, and 11 assists to lead host Minnesota past Golden State.
Bobcats 105, Hawks 84 -- Emeka Okafor had 17 points and 11 rebounds to lead Charlotte over visiting Atlanta, guaranteeing the expansion Bobcats of not finishing with the worst record in the NBA.