LeBron James made sure the only thing that dropped for the Cavaliers was his shot.
James made a career-high seven 3-pointers and scored 40 points -- 28 in the first half -- as Cleveland kept its weak grasp on a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with a 98-81 win over the Milwaukee Bucks last night in Cleveland.
By snapping a three-game losing streak and winning for just the fifth time in 15 games, Cleveland (39-37) slowed its free fall through the Central Division standings. With six games left, the Cavaliers are tied with Philadelphia for the No. 7 spot in the East, 1 1/2 games ahead of New Jersey.
James drained five 3-pointers while single-handedly outscoring Milwaukee, 22-15, in the second quarter when Cleveland took control. James added 10 assists and 10 rebounds for his third triple-double this season. It was the first triple-double by a Cavaliers player at home since Andre Miller Feb. 12, 2002.
Spurs 125, Clippers 124 -- Robert Horry made a 3-pointer with 22.2 seconds remaining in the second overtime, then preserved the victory with a block, giving visiting San Antonio the win. Manu Ginobili had 40 points, 6 rebounds, and 9 assists, and Tony Parker had 27 points and nine assists for the Spurs. Horry had 15 points and eight rebounds and Tony Massenburg added 14 points and nine rebounds.
The Spurs (56-20) moved within one game of the Phoenix Suns for the top seed in the Western Conference.
Bulls 110, Raptors 97 -- Chicago is headed to the playoffs for the first time since the 1997-98 season, when Michael Jordan led the Bulls to their sixth NBA title.Kirk Hinrich scored 25 points and five Bulls scored in double figures. Tyson Chandler had a season-high 18 points and finished with 21 rebounds in a reserve role.
Nuggets 121, SuperSonics 105 -- Carmelo Anthony had 24 points, Earl Boykins added 23, and host Denver won its seventh straight to move a step closer to reaching the playoffs for the second straight season. Andre Miller had 14 points and a season-high 17 assists, helping the Nuggets shoot 57 percent in their 21st win in 23 games -- the franchise's best stretch since going 27-2 in 1974, when they were still in the ABA.
Mavericks 88, Jazz 81 -- Dirk Nowitzki scored 24 points to help host Dallas secure home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs with a victory over Utah. Nowitzki also had 9 rebounds, 5 assists, and 5 blocks as Dallas (52-24) wrapped up the fourth spot in the Western Conference playoffs.
76ers 112, Wizards 106 -- Philadelphia played without Allen Iverson, blew a 21-point first-half lead, and trailed by 13 in the fourth quarter before rallying for its fourth straight win. Andre Iguodala, Willie Green, and Marc Jackson scored 20 points each to lead six 76ers in double figures as the team spread the wealth without NBA scoring leader Iverson, who sprained both thumbs in Friday night's win over Cleveland.
Rockets 98, Suns 97 -- Tracy McGrady scored 34 points and visiting Houston held off a fierce late Phoenix rally and secure a playoff berth. The Suns, down by 14 with 9:51 to go, had a chance to win it at the finish but Steve Nash missed an 18-footer, and Steven Hunter's attempt to slam home the rebound bounced out.
Hawks 105, Timberwolves 98 -- Tyronn Lue scored 23 points, including 12 straight in the fourth quarter, and host Atlanta beat Minnesota to end a 14-game losing streak and hand the Timberwolves a devastating blow to their dwindling playoff hopes.