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NBA roundup

Cavaliers wrap it up

Top record secure with win vs. Pacers

Associated Press / April 14, 2009
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The Cleveland Cavaliers clinched the NBA's best record and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs last night behind LeBron James's 37 points in a 117-109 victory over Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis.

Cleveland has a 39-1 record at home, best in the league.

Delonte West scored 20 points, Mo Williams had 18, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 16 points and 10 rebounds for Cleveland, which won its fifth straight.

Danny Granger scored 38 points, rookie Brandon Rush scored 27, and Troy Murphy had 17 points and 13 rebounds for Indiana.

Bulls 91, Pistons 88 - Ben Gordon made a tiebreaking layup with 15 seconds left, and visiting Chicago beat Detroit to lock the Pistons in the No. 8 seed in the East.

The loss means the Pistons (39-42) will face Cleveland in the first round of the playoffs. Chicago (41-40) leads Philadelphia by a half-game for sixth.

Derrick Rose scored 11 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter and added a key defensive play as the Bulls overcame a double-digit deficit in the second half.

Spurs 101, Warriors 72 - Tony Parker scored 17 points and Tim Duncan added 16 points and 13 rebounds before both stars sat out the fourth quarter, and visiting San Antonio beat Golden State to keep pace with Houston atop the Southwest Division.

If Houston and San Antonio both win their regular-season finales tomorrow , the Rockets will win a complex tiebreaker for the division title and get the No. 3 playoff seed, while San Antonio could end up starting the postseason on the road against fourth seed Portland unless Dallas knocks off Houston.

Mavericks 96, T'wolves 94 - Dirk Nowitzki keyed a late fourth-quarter rally with great plays on both ends of the court, then Jason Terry hit an 18-foot jumper from the right side with 0.2 seconds left, leading host Dallas past Minnesota.

Dallas and New Orleans are tied for the sixth seed in the West and the Hornets hold the tiebreaker, so the only way the Mavericks can move up is by beating Houston and by New Orleans losing at San Antonio.

Nuggets 118, Kings 98 - J.R. Smith's career-high 45 points and franchise-best 11 3-pointers helped host Denver clinch the Northwest Division title and home-court edge in a playoff series for the first time in 21 years.

The Nuggets would secure the No. 2 seed with a win at Portland or if Houston loses at Dallas tomorrow.

Jazz 106, Clippers 85 - Carlos Boozer had 20 points and 13 rebounds, and Utah snapped a three-game losing streak by beating visiting Los Angeles to keep alive their slim hopes of climbing out of the No. 8 seed in the West and avoiding the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the playoffs.

The Jazz are within a game of Dallas and New Orleans, but need to win against the Lakers tonight plus a loss by Dallas or New Orleans in their season finales to avoid a return trip to Los Angeles this weekend.

Bucks 98, Magic 80 - Richard Jefferson scored 24 points as host Milwaukee beat Orlando, which was missing Dwight Howard and two other starters.

Coach Stan Van Gundy sat Howard out to give some rest for the postseason. The other starters were injured. Rashard Lewis has right knee tendinitis and Hedo Turkoglu has a sprained left ankle.

Rockets 86, Hornets 66 - Yao Ming scored 22 points, Luis Scola grabbed 15 rebounds, and host Houston beat New Orleans to move within one victory of the Southwest Division title.

Trail Blazers 113, Thunder 83 - Travis Outlaw had 21 points as a last-minute starter and host Portland built a 35-point lead before defeating Oklahoma City.

In other games, Chris Bosh made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 9.9 seconds left, and host Toronto rallied past Washington, 97-96 . . . Jarvis Hayes hit two late 3-pointers in a 37-second span and New Jersey overcame a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat visiting Charlotte, 91-87. . . Shaquille O'Neal hit four late field goals and rookie Robin Lopez tied his career high with 14 points, helping host Phoenix beat Memphis, 119-110.

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