Friday's NBA Capsules
Originally published April 14, 2012 at 12:01 a.m., updated April 14, 2012 at 1:32 a.m.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Andrew Bynum had 30 points and eight rebounds, Matt Barnes added a season-high 24 points, and the Los Angeles Lakers clinched a playoff berth without Kobe Bryant or coach Mike Brown, holding off the Denver Nuggets 103-97 Friday night.
Pau Gasol had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Pacific Division-leading Lakers (38-22), who have won three of four without Bryant. The NBA scoring leader is resting his bruised shin.
Los Angeles also played without Brown, who left Staples Center shortly before tipoff for undisclosed personal reasons. Assistant coach John Kuester ran the team.
Barnes played an enormous game in a reserve role while matching his highest-scoring performance in two seasons with the Lakers. He scored six consecutive points after Denver trimmed Los Angeles' lead to one point, hitting a 3-pointer and adding a clutch jumper with 1:29 to play.
Andre Miller scored 20 points and Al Harrington added 18 for the Nuggets, who had won five of seven. Arron Afflalo also had 18 for Denver, which is hanging on to a playoff spot.
MAVERICKS 97, TRAIL BLAZERS 94
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Dirk Nowitzki had 24 points and nine rebounds, Delonte West added 21 points, seven assists and six rebounds, and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Portland Trail Blazers 97-94 on Friday night.
Shawn Marion had 17 points and 14 rebounds for defending champion Dallas, which has a 1 1/2-game lead over Denver and Houston for the sixth playoff spot in the Western Conference. Brandan Wright added 13 points and eight rebounds.
Nicolas Batum had 20 to lead the Blazers, Jamal Crawford scored 18 and Wesley Matthews had 15 points and seven rebounds.
The Mavericks jumped out to an early lead and held Portland at a comfortable distance for 3 1/2 quarters. Dallas was up by 24 points in the third and 16 points with less than four minutes to go in the game.
NETS 95, 76ERS 89
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Gerald Green scored 23 points, and Kris Humphries had 18 points and 13 rebounds.
Deron Williams had 11 points and 10 assists, MarShon Brooks scored 22 points and Jordan Williams had 13. New Jersey's 13 road wins are four more than they have at home.
Jrue Holiday led the Sixers with 19 points, Evan Turner had 18 and Thaddeus Young 13.
The Sixers snapped a two-game winning streak and suffered a big blow in their push up the Eastern Conference standings. They started the game clinging to seventh place and play six of their final seven games on the road. This was a game they could not afford to lose.
The Sixers, who started 20-9, have not won three straight games since March 7-11.
HEAT 105, BOBCATS 82
MIAMI (AP) — LeBron James had 19 points and nine rebounds and Chris Bosh had 18 points and seven rebounds to help Miami complete a three-game season-series sweep of Charlotte.
Miami led by 22 after three quarters and rested James, who also had five assists, the entire final period.
The Heat, playing without Dwyane Wade again due to an ankle injury, improved to 11-1 in the star guard's absence. He is expected back for Sunday's game at New York.
Derrick Brown had 21 points and nine rebounds to lead Charlotte, which lost its 15th straight. The Bobcats trailed 33-19 after the first quarter and got no closer than 15 points in the second half.
PACERS 102, CAVALIERS 83
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Danny Granger scored 18 points to help Indiana clinch a playoff berth.
Tyler Hansbrough scored 16 points, George Hill had 15 and seven assists, Leandro Barbosa scored 13 points and Roy Hibbert added 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Pacers, who have won seven of eight. The Pacers have won all three games Hill has started at point guard while Darren Collison has recovered from a sore groin.
Indiana (37-22) matched its win total from last season. The Pacers are in third place in the Eastern Conference standings.
Omri Casspi matched a season high with 14 points and Samardo Samuels had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Cavaliers. Cleveland shot just 35 percent from the field.
The Pacers, best known for their defense, scored more than 100 points for the eighth time in nine games. Indiana won the season series 3-1.
RAPTORS 84, CELTICS 79.
TORONTO (AP) — DeMar DeRozan scored 13 of his 22 points in the third quarter and made four pivotal free throws down the stretch.
DeRozan was a perfect 13-for-13 from the line as the Raptors ended a four-game losing skid despite being without two of their top players.
Big man Andrea Bargnani was shut down for the rest of 2011-12 with an aggravation of a lingering left calf injury that had forced him to miss nearly half the season, while point guard Jose Calderon was still feeling the effects of a right eye bruise and was kept out as a precaution.
Paul Pierce's 18 points paced the Celtics (34-25), who nearly wiped out a 15-point fourth-quarter deficit but ultimately fell shot in the opener of a dizzying stretch that will see them play six games in six different cities over an eight-day span. Boston remained three games ahead of Philadelphia atop the Atlantic Division after the 76ers dropped a 95-89 decision to the New Jersey Nets.
HAWKS 109, MAGIC 81
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Jannero Pargo hit five 3-pointers and scored 17 points, and Joe Johnson, Josh Smith and Marvin Williams each had 16.
The Hawks earned their third straight win over the Magic this season and have now won six consecutive regular-season meetings over their division mates.
Atlanta shot 50 percent from the field (40 for 79) for the game, including 14 3-pointers. The Hawks led by 35 at one point.
Glen Davis and Von Wafer each scored 16 points to lead the Magic. Orlando lost its second straight and fell to 1-4 without center Dwight Howard, who sat for the fifth time in seven games with back spasms.
KNICKS 103, WIZARDS 65
NEW YORK (AP) — Baron Davis scored a season-high 18 points on his 33rd birthday, JR Smith had 23, and the New York Knicks surged into a tie for seventh place in the Eastern Conference.
Carmelo Anthony and Steve Novak also had 18 for the Knicks, who could now be looking at a playoff preview when they host second-place Miami on Sunday. The Knicks tied Philadelphia after the 76ers lost earlier Friday to New Jersey, and New York holds the tiebreaker for the No. 7 seed.
Anthony was well off his NBA-leading average of 32.4 points through his first five games in April. But he only played 29 minutes as the Knicks narrowly missed their second 40-point victory under interim coach Mike Woodson.
Davis shot 7 of 9 in just 23 minutes for the Knicks, who won for the fifth time in six games and improved to 14-4 under Woodson, who started with a 42-point victory over Portland on March 14.
THUNDER 115, KINGS 89
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Kevin Durant had 29 points and nine rebounds and Russell Westbrook scored 22 points for Oklahoma City in the first of three meetings with Sacramento in a 12-day span.
Kendrick Perkins added 11 points and 11 rebounds for his second double-double of the season as the Thunder (43-16) didn't even need their starters in the fourth quarter to hang onto the best record in the Western Conference.
Rookie Isaiah Thomas scored 21 points, and DeMarcus Cousins had nine points and 12 rebounds for the Kings, who dropped their seventh straight for their longest losing streak of the season.
HORNETS 96, JAZZ 85
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Eric Gordon scored 10 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, and the New Orleans Hornets won their first game under prospective new owner Tom Benson.
Chris Kaman added 19 points for the Hornets, who won for the third time in four games while delivering a critical loss to the Jazz, who entered the night 1 1/2 games out of the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot.
Hours earlier, Benson, the longtime owner of the NFL's Saints, agreed to buy the Hornets from the NBA, virtually assuring the club's long-term presence in New Orleans. Then Gordon returned from a two-game absence caused by back soreness and made the difference on the court as the Hornets won their second straight.
Paul Millsap scored 27 points for Utah.
BUCKS 113, PISTONS 97
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Drew Gooden scored 26 points, and the Milwaukee Bucks pulled away from the Detroit Pistons in the third quarter.
Milwaukee is in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, trailing the New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers by two games in the race for the playoffs.
The Bucks led 52-47 after two quarters but pushed the lead to double digits early in the second half and eventually led by 20. The Pistons fought back to get within 12 after three, but Milwaukee maintained a comfortable advantage throughout the final quarter.
Brandon Jennings had 20 points and 10 assists for Milwaukee, which had all five starters score in double figures.
Brandon Knight scored 25 points for the Pistons, and Ben Gordon added 24.
SUNS 112, ROCKETS 105
HOUSTON (AP) — Marcin Gortat had 20 points and 15 rebounds, Steve Nash had 18 points and 10 assists and Phoenix boosted its playoff hopes.
Jared Dudley scored 19 points, Michael Redd added 13 and Sebastian Telfair had 12 for the Suns, who moved into the ninth spot in the Western Conference. Phoenix also moved within one game of the Rockets, who came in holding the No. 7 seed in the West.
Grant Hill had four points and six rebounds in his first game back following March 30 surgery to repair a medial meniscus tear in his right knee.
Marcus Camby had 14 points and 18 rebounds and Luis Scola scored 21 for the Rockets.