Wednesday's NBA Capsules

MIAMI (AP) — John Salmons scored 17 points, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute added 14 points and 12 rebounds, and even while being officially eliminated from postseason contention the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Miami Heat 90-85 on Wednesday night.

The loss knocked Miami (54-24) a half-game back of Boston in the race for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Carlos Delfino’s 3-pointer with 24 seconds left helped seal it for the Bucks, who got 14 points from Corey Maggette. Milwaukee was eliminated from playoff contention during the game, thanks to Indiana’s win over Washington.

LeBron James scored 29 points for Miami, which played without injured guard Dwyane Wade, the NBA’s No. 3 scorer.

Thunder 112, Clippers 108

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Kevin Durant scored 29 points, Russell Westbrook added 26 and Oklahoma City clinched the Northwest Division title.

The Thunder won the first division crown for the franchise since 2005, when they were known as the Seattle SuperSonics, but only after fending off a late charge from the Clippers.

Blake Griffin had 35 points and 11 rebounds in the second visit to his hometown in his NBA career, but he missed a key foul shot that helped put the game away for Oklahoma City.

Durant hit two free throws at the other end to put the Thunder up 110-106 with 12 seconds left and ice the game, just moments after he’d missed a foul shot to give the Clippers a chance for the tie.

Hornets 101, Rockets 93

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Chris Paul had 28 points and 10 assists, and New Orleans clinched a playoff spot.

Trevor Ariza, acquired by the Hornets from Houston in an offseason trade, scored 19 for a second straight game and tied a season high with six steals.

Jarrett Jack added 19 points, while seventh-year pro Emeka Okafor, who’s never been to the playoffs, added 11 points to help rookie coach Monty Williams get there with a far shorter wait.

Kevin Martin scored 21 for Houston, which is now on the brink of elimination.

Pacers 136, Wizards 112

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Danny Granger scored 25 points, and Indiana clinched a playoff spot for the first time since 2006.

The Pacers needed a win and a Charlotte loss to Orlando to clinch a spot in the postseason. As the Pacers’ game ended, the Orlando-Charlotte game was in overtime, and the Conseco Fieldhouse staff put the game on the Jumbotron. Many fans stayed to cheer to the Magic on to a 111-102 win.

Paul George scored a career-high 23 points and Darren Collison added 15 points and 11 assists for the Pacers, who posted their second-highest point total of the season.

Jordan Crawford scored 29 points and John Wall had 19 points and nine rebounds for Washington.

Warriors 95, Lakers 87

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Monta Ellis scored 26 points, David Lee had 22 points and 17 rebounds, and Golden State held on to beat Los Angeles.

Stephen Curry added 20 points, six rebounds and five assists to help the Warriors build a 19-point lead in their third straight victory — all against playoff-bound teams. They have beaten Dallas, Portland and Los Angeles in perhaps their best stretch of wins all season.

Kobe Bryant had 25 points and Pau Gasol scored 18 for the Lakers, who lost for the second consecutive night to an inferior opponent. Bryant brought the Lakers within eight points in a frantic rally in the fourth quarter, but all that did was make the final score seem close.

Nuggets 104, Mavericks 96

DALLAS (AP) — J.R. Smith broke a tie in the final minutes with a layup and immediately followed with a jumper, lifting Denver past short-handed Dallas.

Smith scored 23 points, seven after Dallas tied it at 94 with 2:51 left. Kenyon Martin added 18 as the Nuggets won for the seventh time in eight games. The NBA’s highest-scoring team also cracked 100 after going a season-worst three straight games in double figures.

Playing without Jason Kidd or Tyson Chandler, the Mavericks lost their fourth straight, and ninth in a row against Western Conference playoff teams. They are 8-9 since an 18-1 spurt that put them in contention for the top overall seed.

Magic 111, Bobcats 102

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Gilbert Arenas scored 25 points, and Orlando overcame Quentin Richardson’s ejection and Dwight Howard’s 18th technical foul to eliminate the Bobcats from playoff contention.

Jameer Nelson atoned for two turnovers in the closing seconds of regulation by hitting a jumper and banking in a 3-pointer in Orlando’s 12-2 run to open the extra period. Brandon Bass added 19 points for the Magic, who secured their fourth consecutive 50-win season.

Gerald Henderson scored a career-high 32 points for the Bobcats.

Knicks 97, 76ers 92

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Carmelo Anthony had 31 points and 11 rebounds, Amare Stoudemire scored 18 points and New York moved into sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

Toney Douglas bailed out the Knicks after they blew a 19-point lead and trailed by one late in the fourth. Douglas hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:47 left for a 90-88 advantage, then made two free throws with 42 seconds left for a four-point lead.

Andre Iguodala pulled the Sixers within one with his first 3-pointer of the game. Anthony delivered with a big-time 3-pointer and pounded his chest in celebration with a 95-91 lead.

Each team has 40 wins and New York holds a half-game lead on the Sixers.

Spurs 124, Kings 92

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Manu Ginobili scored 25 points and San Antonio clinched the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference following a victory over Sacramento.

The Spurs improved their NBA-best record to 60-19 and earned home-court advantage throughout the West playoffs after the Los Angeles Lakers lost later Wednesday at Golden State.

George Hill scored 12 of his 19 points during the third quarter, when the Spurs outscored the Kings by 20 in their best offensive quarter of the season.

Tyreke Evans led the Kings with 16 points and rookie DeMarcus Cousins added 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Cavaliers 104, Raptors 96

TORONTO (AP) — J.J. Hickson scored 28 points to lead Cleveland past Toronto.

Jerryd Bayless scored 28 points for the Raptors (21-57), who have four games left in their disappointing season. DeMar DeRozan added 19 points, while Reggie Evans had a season-high 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Sonny Weems finished with 17 points.

Baron Davis added 19 points for the Cavs (17-61), while Ramon Sessions chipped in with 15, Ryan Hollins finished with 14, and Alonzo Gee added 10.

Pistons 116, Nets 109

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Richard Hamilton scored 25 points and Rodney Stuckey added 22 to lead Detroit.

Brook Lopez scored a career-high 39 points for New Jersey, which was without star Deron Williams. The point guard was out with an injured right wrist. Lopez nearly made up for his absence, but the Nets settled for outside shots against Detroit’s zone defense late in the game.

Stuckey played well in his return after being benched for two games by Detroit coach John Kuester. Stuckey had eight points for the Pistons during one fourth-quarter stretch, helping them take a 110-102 advantage.

Suns 108, Timberwolves 98

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Marcin Gortat scored 20 points and grabbed 16 rebounds and Phoenix dropped Minnesota into last place in the NBA.

Minnesota has lost 11 consecutive games and 22 of its past 26.

Michael Beasley scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who were playing again without the injured All-Star Kevin Love (groin).

With Cleveland’s victory at Toronto, the Timberwolves’ 17-62 record put them at the bottom of the league.

Hakim Warrick and Grant Hill each scored 17 points for the Suns, who had lost six of seven and four straight on the road.

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