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NBA roundup

Cavaliers put end to slump

Associated Press / April 6, 2009
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The Cavaliers returned home and returned to form.

LeBron James scored 38 points, Mo Williams and Delonte West added 22 apiece, and the NBA's best home team avoided its first three-game losing streak by beating the San Antonio Spurs, 101-81, yesterday.

Embarrassed in a 29-point loss in Orlando, a humbling defeat that came one day after a humiliating loss at lowly Washington, Cleveland played with purpose at both ends and improved to 37-1 at home.

If they can win their final three home games, the Cavaliers would match the 1985-86 Celtics (40-1) for the best home record in NBA history.

Tony Parker scored 24 but got little help from Manu Ginobili (4 points) or Tim Duncan, who had just 6 and didn't score after the 2:56 mark of the first quarter.

Home-court advantage in the playoffs is huge for the Cavaliers, who are 0-2 at Boston and Orlando this season.

Mavericks 140, Suns 116 - Jason Kidd had 19 points and a season-high 20 assists - all in just three quarters - leading host Dallas to victory over Phoenix, virtually assuring the Mavericks of grabbing no worse than the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Dallas owns a four-game lead with five games left. Because the Mavs won the season series, they hold the tiebreaker over the Suns, so Phoenix must finish 5-0 and Dallas 0-5 for the teams to trade places in the standings.

Put another way, any Mavs win or Suns loss clinches a ninth straight postseason trip for Dallas and ends a streak of four straight playoff trips for Phoenix.

Pistons 104, Bobcats 97 - Will Bynum scored a franchise-record 26 points in the fourth quarter to lead host Detroit past Charlotte, putting the Pistons a step closer to locking up the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Bynum scored the final 13 points for the Pistons and finished with a career-high 32, and also had seven assists.

Bynum picked up the scoring load for Richard Hamilton, who led Detroit with 13 points before he was ejected at the end of the third quarter after picking up his second technical foul.

Nets 96, 76ers 67 - Vince Carter scored 15 points and host New Jersey kept its playoff hopes alive for a couple more days by handing Philadelphia its worst loss of the season.

The Nets were pushed to the brink of elimination while their game was being contested when the Pistons beat the Bobcats, but they stayed mathematically alive by getting double figures from seven players.

New Jersey and Detroit each have five games left. New Jersey will miss the postseason for the second straight year if it loses one or the Pistons win one.

Jazz 108, Hornets 94 - Ronnie Brewer scored 23 points and visiting Utah completed a convincing season sweep of New Orleans.

Deron Williams had 21 points and 11 assists for Utah, which led by 30 in the second quarter and snapped a three-game skid with its first road victory against a winning team in the Western Conference this season.

The Hornets could have clinched a playoff spot with a victory, but instead lost their second straight game.

Lakers 88, Clippers 85 - In Los Angeles, Lamar Odom had 18 points and 10 rebounds and Kobe Bryant added 18 points as the host Lakers edged the Clippers to remain a game behind Cleveland for the NBA's best record.

Warriors 105, Kings 100 - Kelenna Azubuike scored 30 points as visiting Golden State hung on after nearly blowing a 15-point fourth-quarter lead to beat Sacramento with just seven healthy players in uniform.

Nuggets 110, Timberwolves 87 - Carmelo Anthony scored 23 points and visiting Denver won its seventh in a row by easily beating Minnesota.

Rockets 102, Trail Blazers 88 - Yao Ming had 21 points and 12 rebounds to lead host Houston past Portland. The loss came just hours after the Trail Blazers clinched their first playoff berth since 2003 when Dallas beat Phoenix.

Pacers 117, Thunder 99 - Danny Granger scored 24 points as visiting Indiana kept its slim playoff hopes alive with a win over Oklahoma City.

Knicks 112, Raptors 103 - Wilson Chandler led visiting New York with 17 points as the Knicks eliminated Toronto from the playoffs.

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