Suns top Clippers, clinch 1st playoff berth since 2010

Sports

PHOENIX (AP)Chris Paul scored 28 points, Devin Booker added 21 and the Phoenix Suns beat the Los Angeles Clippers 109-101 on Wednesday night to clinch a spot in the playoffs for the first time in 11 years.

The Suns finally figured out a way to beat the Clippers, who won the first two games of the season series. Phoenix didn’t trail the entire game but needed a fourth-quarter push to turn back a Los Angeles rally.

The Suns took an 86-80 lead into the final quarter. The Clippers pulled within 93-92 midway though the fourth but Paul scored three consecutive tough baskets to give Phoenix some space.

The 35-year-old Paul shot 10 of 15 from the field and dished 10 assists.

Paul George led the Clippers with 25 points and 10 rebounds, while Marcus Morris Sr. added 16 points.

76ERS 127, HAWKS 83

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Seth Curry scored 20 points, Tobias Harris and Joel Embiid each added 17 and Philadelphia built a big early lead and cruised past Atlanta to clinch an Eastern Conference playoff berth.

Shake Milton and Furkan Korkmaz scored 12 apiece and Tyrese Maxey added 11 for the Sixers, who became the second team in the Eastern Conference to secure a postseason spot. The Sixers are currently second in the East, a game behind Brooklyn and 2 1/2 games ahead of third-place Milwaukee with 10 games to play.

Atlanta was missing star guard Trae Young, who missed his fourth game since spraining his left ankle on April 21 against New York. John Collins scored 21 points and Solomon Hill added 14 for Atlanta.

WIZARDS 116, LAKERS 107

WASHINGTON (AP) – NBA scoring leader Bradley Beal scored 27 points and Russell Westbrook posted his 13th triple-double in April, helping Washington beat the Lakers.

Los Angeles lost for the fourth time in five games. The Lakers are 8-12 without LeBron James as he sits out with an ankle injury.

Westbrook finished with 18 points, 18 rebounds and 14 assists. That extends his NBA record for most triple-doubles in a month and gives him 30 for the season and 176 for his career, just five away from Oscar Robertson’s career mark.

Anthony Davis scored 26 points for the Lakers.

HEAT 116, SPURS 111

MIAMI (AP) – Erik Spoelstra got a milestone win, Jimmy Butler scored 29 points, Bam Adebayo scored 21 and Miami went on a 17-0 run in the second half before hanging on late to beat San Antonio.

It was the 600th regular-season win for Spoelstra, making him the 27th coach in NBA history to win that many and just the sixth coach to do so with one franchise.

Adebayo added 11 rebounds for Miami, which got 18 points from three players – Kendrick Nunn, plus reserves Goran Dragic and Dewayne Dedmon.

Dejounte Murray had 22 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists for the Spurs, who were without starting guard Derrick White, who is expected to miss the rest of the season with a sprained ankle. DeMar DeRozan scored 20 for the Spurs, who got 18 from Lonnie Walker IV, 13 from Rudy Gay and 11 from Devin Vassell.

MAGIC 109, CAVALIERS 104

CLEVELAND (AP) – Cole Anthony made the tiebreaking layup with 45 seconds left, and Orlando squandered a 23-point lead before edging Cleveland and snapping a six-game losing streak.

Gary Harris had 19 points, six rebounds and seven assists for Orlando, which won for the second time in 14 games and pulled into a tie with Detroit for the worst record in the East. Chuma Okeke had 18 points before exiting with a twisted ankle.

Kevin Love missed his first eight shots, seven of them 3-pointers, and finished with six points on 2 of 11 from the field. He added 10 rebounds, six assists and three steals.

Darius Garland scored 25 points in the Cavaliers’ fourth straight loss, while Cedi Osman had 19 points and Jarrett Allen added 17 points and 13 rebounds.

CELTICS 120, HORNETS 111

BOSTON (AP) – Jaylen Brown scored 38 points, Jayson Tatum added 35, and Boston rebounded from an embarrassing loss a night earlier with a win over Charlotte.

Tristan Thompson chipped in with 12 points and 13 rebounds for Boston, which had lost four of its last five following a six-game winning streak.

Devonte’ Graham led Charlotte with 25 points, and P.J. Washington and Miles Bridges each had 19.

Hornets’ leading scorer Terry Rozier was held to 15 points on 4-for-18 shooting, collecting nine in the final quarter.

KNICKS 113, BULLS 94

NEW YORK (AP) – Julius Randle scored 34 points and New York beat Chicago for its 10th win in 11 games.

RJ Barrett added 22 points as New York bounced back from its loss to Phoenix that snapped a nine-game winning streak. Immanuel Quickley and Reggie Bullock each scored 13 points as the Knicks regained sole possession of fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

Nikola Vucevic had 26 points and 18 rebounds for Chicago. Lauri Markkanen added 14 points, while Colby White and Garrett Temple each had 12.

TRAIL BLAZERS 130, GRIZZLIES 109

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – CJ McCollum had 26 points and six assists, and Norman Powell added 24 points, helping Portland solidify its hold on seventh place in the West with a victory over Memphis.

Damian Lillard finished with 23 points and Carmelo Anthony scored 18 as Portland moved two games ahead of Memphis and San Antonio.

Jonas Valancuinas led Memphis with 19 points, and Dillon Brooks had 18. Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 13 points and Ja Morant added 10 points and eight assists as the Grizzlies lost their second straight.

NUGGETS 114, PELICANS 112

DENVER (AP) – Nikola Jokic scored 32 points and blocked Zion Williamson’s shot from behind with 2.2 seconds remaining as Denver held off New Orleans.

Michael Porter Jr. added 28 points and Facundo Campazzo made three critical 3-pointers down the stretch on his way to a career-high 19 points. Aaron Gordon contributed 10 points while also keeping close tabs on Williamson in a game in which the Nuggets never trailed.

Denver improved to 7-1 since Jamal Murray was lost for the season with a torn ACL.

Brandon Ingram scored 27 points, and Lonzo Ball recorded a triple-double with 16 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists. Williamson had 21 points and two rebounds.

JAZZ 154, KINGS 105

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Bojan Bogdanovic scored 24 points, Utah made 24 3-pointers, and the short-handed Jazz bounced back from consecutive losses and set a franchise scoring record in a win over Sacramento.

Rudy Gobert had 12 points and 10 rebounds, Jordan Clarkson scored 23 points and Georges Niang scored 19 with five 3s for Utah.

Utah’s previous record for points in a game was 153, set in 1977-78 when the franchise was in New Orleans.

Buddy Hield had 18 points and seven assists for Sacramento. The Kings’ fading postseason hopes took another blow with their 12th loss in 15 games.

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