|Dwyane Wade had 27 points and 10 assists in Miami's postseason-clinching victory. (Chris Keane/Reuters)|
Magic pummel James, Cavaliers
Never in LeBron James's entire basketball life could he recall being down by more than 40 points.
Not in the NBA. Not in high school. Not even playing pickup basketball as a kid.
The Magic gave him a first.
Dwight Howard had 20 points and 11 rebounds, and the Magic rode a strong second-half start to go ahead by 41 points and hand the Cleveland Cavaliers their most lopsided loss of the season with a 116-87 blowout last night in Orlando.
"It's embarrassing," James said.
Rashard Lewis had 22 points and Hedo Turkoglu scored 13 for the Magic, who remained percentage points behind the Celtics - but tied in the loss column - for the second seed in the East.
James finished with 26 points and nine rebounds but never found his rhythm, shooting 7 for 20 from the floor.
Heat 97, Bobcats 92 - Dwyane Wade had 27 points and 10 assists, and Miami clinched a playoff berth a year after an ugly 15-win season by beating host Charlotte.
Gerald Wallace had 21 points in a damaging loss for the Bobcats, who dropped their second straight to fall two games behind idle Chicago for the final playoff spot in the East.
Suns 139, Kings 111 - Steve Nash had 29 points and nine assists, then sat out the fourth quarter in Phoenix and watched his team gain ground in its last-ditch playoff drive.
The Suns' seventh straight home victory, combined with Dallas's 107-102 loss at Memphis, left Phoenix three games behind the Mavericks for the final playoff spot in the West with six to play. The Suns are at Dallas tomorrow.
Spurs 126, Pacers 121 - Tony Parker had 31 points and 10 assists, and San Antonio won in Indianapolis to make up ground in the Western Conference playoff race.
Tim Duncan had 22 points and 11 rebounds, Michael Finley scored 18 points. and Drew Gooden added 17 for the Spurs, who trail Denver by a half-game in the scramble for the No. 2 seed in the West.
Lakers 93, Rockets 81 - Pau Gasol had 23 points and 10 rebounds, Kobe Bryant added 20 points, and host Los Angeles picked up its 60th victory.
Ron Artest had 21 points for the Rockets, who slid one game behind San Antonio in the Southwest Division.
Trail Blazers 107, Thunder 72 - LaMarcus Aldridge scored 35 points and pulled down a career-high 18 rebounds as Portland routed host Oklahoma City.
Playing in front of his college coach, Texas's Rick Barnes, Aldridge missed matching the highest scoring total of his career by 1 point and had a key role in three scoring runs that helped the Blazers pull away.
Grizzlies 107, Mavericks 102 - Rudy Gay had 27 points and 10 rebounds, and Mike Conley added 25 points to help host Memphis win its third straight game.
Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 35 points, 25 in the second half. Jason Terry scored 16 points, and Erick Dampier, Brandon Bass, and Jose Barea had 10 each.
Warriors 111, Hornets 103 - Jamal Crawford scored 39 points, Anthony Randolph added 20 points and a career-high 15 rebounds, and Golden State offset a 43-point night by Chris Paul to beat visiting New Orleans.
Timberwolves 103, Jazz 102 - Ryan Gomes hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with a minute left and Minnesota held off Utah to snap a nine-game road losing streak.