Vince Carter #25 and Brendan Haywood #33 of the Dallas Mavericks guard Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at Staples Center on April 15, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.
(April 14, 2012 – Photo by Harry How/Getty Images North America)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Andrew Bynum had 23 points and 16 rebounds, Pau Gasol made back-to-back 3-pointers in overtime, and the Los Angeles Lakers won their fourth straight game without Kobe Bryant, 112-108 over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.
Ramon Sessions scored 22 points, and Gasol had 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers, who are 4-1 while the NBA’s leading scorer rests his bruised shin.
Metta World Peace had 18 points as Los Angeles rallied from a fourth-quarter deficit before finishing off a four-game season sweep of the defending champion Mavericks, who swept the Lakers out of last season’s playoffs.
Dirk Nowitzki had 24 points on 9-of-28 shooting and 14 rebounds, but Jason Terry missed a potential tying layup at the rim with 5 seconds left in overtime for the Mavericks, whose three-game winning streak ended. Delonte West scored 20 points, and Terry had 21 before missing a shot while trying to avoid Matt Barnes’ defense.
HEAT 93, KNICKS 85
NEW YORK (AP) — LeBron James had 29 points and 10 rebounds, Dwyane Wade added 28 points and nine boards, and the Heat beat the Knicks to clinch the Southeast Division title.
Chris Bosh finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds for the Heat, who pulled away in the fourth quarter of a possible playoff preview. Miami is second in the Eastern Conference and New York came into the game tied for seventh, although they fell back behind Philadelphia after the loss.
BULLS 100, PISTONS 94, OT
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Derrick Rose scored 24 points, including a tying 3-pointer in the final seconds of regulation, and the Bulls beat the Pistons for the 15th straight time.
Rodney Stuckey scored 32 points for the Pistons, but he missed two crucial free throws late in the fourth quarter. Rose’s 3-pointer with 6.4 seconds remaining tied the game at 86 and sent it to the extra session.
Joakim Noah had 20 points and 17 rebounds for the Bulls, who are 3½ games ahead of Miami in the race for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
MAGIC 100, CAVALIERS 84
CLEVELAND (AP) — Jameer Nelson scored 21 points and the Magic clinched a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference with a win over the Cavaliers.
Orlando led from wire-to-wire despite playing without star center Dwight Howard, who has missed the last four games with a herniated disk in his back.
The news the Magic made the postseason took a back seat to the team’s injury list, which seems to grow by the day. Howard and forward Hedo Turkoglu (facial fracture) are sidelined indefinitely. Coach Stan Van Gundy said before the game he’s preparing to play the rest of the regular season and the playoffs without the two players.
Antawn Jamison led the Cavaliers with 21 points. Donald Sloan scored a career-high 15.
RAPTORS 102, HAWKS 86
ATLANTA (AP) — DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points and the injury-riddled Raptors beat the Hawks for their second straight win over a playoff-bound team.
Alan Anderson, one of three Toronto players whose 10-day contract is about to expire, added 16 points for the Raptors, who were coming off an 84-79 win against Boston on Friday.
Toronto, bound for the NBA’s draft lottery, dominated in Atlanta. The other two former D-League players who’ve recently joined the Raptors contributed as well. Ben Uzoh, who like Anderson started, and rookie Justin Dentmon scored 10 points each.
The Hawks, who routed the Magic 109-81 Friday for their fourth win in five games, never led against the Raptors. Josh Smith scored 12 of his 26 points in the first quarter, but Atlanta allowed Toronto to shoot 55 percent (41 for 74).
KINGS 104, TRAIL BLAZERS 103
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Marcus Thornton scored 20 points and made the winning jumper with 3.4 seconds left, lifting the Kings to a victory over the Trail Blazers.
Thornton hit a 17-footer off an inbound pass before Portland’s Raymond Felton missed a desperation shot from halfcourt at the buzzer.
DeMarcus Cousins scored 23 points and Tyreke Evans also had 20 for the Kings, who rallied from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to snap a seven-game skid with only their third win in 15 games. Isaiah Thomas had 18 points and eight assists.
Wes Matthews made a career-high eight 3-pointers and scored 31 points for the Trail Blazers, who made 16 of their 32 3-point attempts. Felton scored 19 points, Nicolas Batum had 14, and JJ Hickson had 10 points and 13 rebounds.
CELTICS 94, BOBCATS 82
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Rajon Rondo had 20 points and 16 assists to help the Celtics beat the Bobcats despite playing without three of their star players.
Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen were given the night off to rest and did not make the trip to Charlotte, N.C. to face the NBA-worst Bobcats. But the Celtics won anyway as Avery Bradley and Brandon Bass each scored 22 points.
Greg Stiemsma started in place of Garnett and had six blocks, tying a career-high.
The loss was the Bobcats’ 16th straight, tying a dubious franchise record set earlier this season. Gerald Henderson had 22 points in a losing effort for the Bobcats (7-52). If the Bobcats lose their final seven games this season they will finish with the worst single-season winning percentage in NBA history.
HORNETS 88, GRIZZLIES 75
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Eric Gordon scored 18 points and the Hornets won for the fourth time in five games, upsetting the playoff-contending Grizzlies.
Saints owner Tom Benson attended his first game since Friday’s announcement that he had agreed to buy the Hornets from the NBA. He received a standing ovation, and the Hornets kept the applause coming as they pulled away in the fourth quarter from a Grizzlies squad that had won five of its previous six games.
Carl Landry had 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Jason Smith had 14 points and 10 rebounds for New Orleans.
Rudy Gay scored 24 points for Memphis.
NUGGETS 101, ROCKETS 86
DENVER (AP) — Arron Afflalo scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half, leading the Nuggets to a win over the Rockets in the opener of a crucial home-and-home set between playoff hopefuls.
The teams play again in Houston on Monday night.
With the win, the Nuggets took sole possession of seventh place in the Western Conference, a-half game behind Dallas, which lost in overtime to the Los Angeles Lakers earlier Sunday.
The teams are clinging to the final two playoff spots in the West, trying to fend off fast-charging Phoenix and Utah.
Ty Lawson also scored 20 points for Denver, which has won five straight at home. Chase Budinger and Luis Scola each scored 19 to lead the Rockets, who lost their third straight game and saw their four-game road winning streak come to an end.