Friday's NBA Capsules
Saturday, April 21, 2012
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Mike Conley had 18 points and seven assists as Memphis rallied to beat Charlotte 85-80 on Friday night, extending the Bobcats’ franchise-worst losing streak to 19 games.
The Grizzlies overcame an eight-point deficit in the fourth quarter and then held on to get an important victory in terms of playoff seeding in the Western Conference.
If the Bobcats (7-55) lose their final four games they will finish with the worst winning percentage in league history.
Gerald Henderson tied a career high with 32 points for the Bobcats.
Henderson’s 3-pointer with 20 seconds left got the Bobcats within three points, but he turned the ball over on the next possession and Conley hit two free throws.
Zach Randolph added 14 points for Memphis.
CAVALIERS 98, KNICKS 90
CLEVELAND (AP) — Amare Stoudemire’s return from a back injury didn’t help playoff-bound New York.
Stoudemire had missed the previous 13 games with a bulging disk, but even with him in the lineup, the Knicks couldn’t handle the Cavs, who snapped a three-game losing streak and won for just the fourth time in 19 games.
Stoudemire finished with 15 points and Carmelo Anthony had 12 before sitting out the fourth quarter.
Manny Harris had 19 points and a career-high 12 rebounds to lead the Cavs, and rookie Kyrie Irving scored 21 points in his second game back from a shoulder injury. Samardo Samuels added 15 points for Cleveland.
The Knicks wrapped up a playoff spot on Thursday night, clinching when Milwaukee lost.
Irving showed some nice flashes in 26 minutes.
Stoudemire wound up 5 of 11 from the field and had three rebounds in 27 minutes.
HAWKS 97, CELTICS 92
ATLANTA (AP) — Joe Johnson scored 30 points, and Atlanta edged short-handed Boston to take a step toward landing homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
The Hawks (38-25) are in line to be the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference, and Celtics (37-27) are on track to be No. 5. This, however, looked nothing like a playoff game early.
Both teams shot over 50 percent and Atlanta took a 58-49 halftime lead while Boston guard Avery Bradley scored 17 of his career-high 28 points.
Boston left Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen and Mickael Pietrus at home with injuries, and perennial All-Stars Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce made the trip to Atlanta but Celtics coach Doc Rivers rested both stars after playing 11 games in 15 days.
Josh Smith had 19 points and 12 rebounds for Atlanta, and Keyon Dooling scored 17 points for the Celtics.
MAVERICKS 104, WARRIORS 94
DALLAS (AP) — Vince Carter had 19 points, including eight straight for Dallas early in the fourth quarter.
Carter’s personal streak ended when he had an assist on Jason Terry’s breakaway 3-pointer that stretched the Dallas lead to 87-75 with 9 minutes left.
It was the last regular season home game for the defending NBA champions, who clinched a playoff spot Thursday night without even playing. The Mavericks were guaranteed their 12th straight playoff appearance after Houston’s sixth consecutive loss.
Brandan Wright had 17 points for Dallas, which finished 23-10 at home and is sixth in the Western Conference, while Dirk Nowitzki and Delonte West each had 16 and Shawn Marion 14.
Klay Thompson, one of four rookie starters for Golden State, led the Warriors with 26 points. Brandon Rush had 20 points on 9-of-12 shooting.
SPURS 121, LAKERS 97
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili all scored at least 20 points to help San Antonio spoil Kobe Bryant’s return.
Bryant had missed the previous seven games with a bruised left shin, and the Lakers went 5-2 without the NBA’s scoring leader. Bryant scored 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting.
The Spurs stayed atop the Western Conference with their sixth straight victory while the Lakers missed a chance to clinch home court in the first round.
San Antonio has given Los Angeles its two worst losses of the season, the worst Friday night and 112-91 on Tuesday. Duncan had 21 points and eight rebounds, Parker had 20 points and 10 assists, and Ginobili added 20 points and seven assists.
THUNDER 103, KINGS 92
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Kevin Durant had 29 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists to lead Oklahoma City.
The Thunder took the lead for good midway through the first quarter and went on to their second consecutive victory and fourth in five games.
Oklahoma City (46-17) remained in contention for the best record in the Western Conference. The Thunder are one-half game behind San Antonio and have three games remaining, including Tuesday against the visiting Kings. The Spurs defeated the Lakers at home on Friday.
James Harden had 20 points and Russell Westbrook scored 18 for the Thunder, who have a 7-5 record in April. Serge Ibaka had 12 points and eight of the Thunder’s 11 blocks and Kendrick Perkins had 10 points.
DeMarcus Cousins had 18 points and nine rebounds for the Kings, who have lost nine of 10. Tyreke Evans scored 16 points, Jason Thompson added 13, Isaiah Thomas 12 and Jimmer Fredette 11 for the Kings (20-43), who are tied with New Orleans for the worst record in the Western Conference.
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