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Updated: 4 min 11 sec ago
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Golden State center Andrew Bogut underwent rib X-rays following the Warriors' 119-117 overtime loss at Portland on Sunday night.
LaMarcus Aldridge said an overtime thriller over Golden State was good preparation for the looming postseason. ''It definitely shows what we're going to see in the playoffs,'' Portland's All-Star forward said, ''where every possession counts and every basket counts.'' Aldridge had 26 points, including the go-ahead basket in the waning moments of overtime, and the Trail Blazers emerged with a 119-117 victory over the Warriors on Sunday night. The win, which featured 16 lead changes and nine ties, assured the Blazers of no less than the fifth seed in the playoffs. Portland's win came despite the best efforts of Golden State's Stephen Curry, who had a season-high 47 points.
After a rough start to the season, Mike Conley was thinking of winning some games, not making the playoffs. The Memphis Grizzlies beat the Los Angeles Lakers 102-90 on Sunday night to move a game ahead of idle Phoenix in the race for the final Western Conference playoff berth. Marc Gasol added 18 points and 15 rebounds and Mike Miller had 13 points for the Grizzlies, who head to Phoenix for a showdown with the Suns on Monday night. ''These are the games we get up for.'' The Grizzlies are 2-0 against the Suns this season, winning by 19 points at home and by eight in Phoenix.
Barring a change of heart from the league offices, Sacramento center DeMarcus Cousins has played his last game of the season. Cousins recorded his eighth straight double-double with 35 points and 15 rebounds but picked up his 16th technical foul of the season late in the fourth quarter of the Kings' 106-103 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night. By NBA rules, Cousins must sit out Sacramento's final regular season game at home against Phoenix on Wednesday. ''I'm not going to talk about it,'' said Cousins, who had sat for several minutes in front of his locker with his head hung low.
In nearly 800 NBA regular-games, Carmelo Anthony had never played in one like this. He and the Knicks did it well, getting 20 points from Tim Hardaway Jr. and beating the Chicago Bulls 100-89. No longer with any hopes of their own, the Knicks snapped the Bulls' seven-game winning streak and dropped them back into a tie with Toronto for the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference with two to play. It was probably the biggest game of the season,'' Bulls center Joakim Noah said.
Going into their second straight appearance in the postseason, Nets coach Jason Kidd was looking to see how his players would respond in certain situations. Kidd used a bigger starting lineup after having gone smaller for most of the season since center Brook Lopez was hurt in December. Mirza Teletovic scored a team-high 20 points, Joe Johnson and Mason Plumlee each added 17 and the Nets beat the Orlando Magic 97-88. The Nets have two games remaining in the regular season before the playoffs start next weekend.
Joe Dumars tried to push the Detroit Pistons back toward the playoffs with a couple of big moves last offseason. That didn't work, and now the Pistons will be hiring someone else to replace him. Detroit has decided not to renew Dumars' contract as president of basketball operations, a person familiar with the situation said Sunday. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not made any announcement on Dumars' future, says Dumars will remain with the Pistons as an adviser.
Kyle Lowry picked up his fifth foul at around the midway point of the fourth quarter - then was called for his sixth 20 seconds later. It was the type of mistake that could prove costly for Toronto in the playoffs, but this time the Raptors were able to overcome it. DeMar DeRozan scored 14 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter, and the Raptors tied a franchise record for victories with a 116-107 win over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday. That's what happens when he is aggressive - he can take over a game.'' The Raptors (47-33) had already clinched the Atlantic Division, and the victory over Detroit was their 10th in 14 games.
The Pacers were back to being themselves Sunday. Lance Stephenson regained his swagger and, yes, the reeling Pacers even looked like a playoff-ready team. David West made three free throws in the final 15 seconds and Stephenson produced his league-leading fifth triple-double to give Indiana a 102-97 win over Oklahoma City 102-97, putting the Pacers on the cusp of clinching the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. We have to get that No. 1 spot,'' Stephenson said.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Pacers coach Frank Vogel said Sunday that he will use his regular starters Sunday against Oklahoma City.
Jeff Teague says he never doubted the Atlanta Hawks would be in the playoffs. Even with Al Horford's season-ending injury in December and a 1-14 stretch in February and March, the Hawks made the Eastern Conference field with two games remaining. We were able to still make it to the playoffs.'' Teague scored 25 points, Lou Williams had 18 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and the Hawks earned the East's final playoff spot with a 98-85 victory over the Miami Heat on Saturday night. Atlanta's third straight victory eliminated the New York Knicks from playoff contention.
Monta Ellis came to Dallas because he wanted to pair up with Dirk Nowitzki and see what kind of scoring tag team they could be. With the Mavericks in danger of making their playoff road much more difficult, they shared their best moment of the season. Ellis matched his season high with 37 points and Nowitzki scored 21 of his 23 during a second-half rally that carried the Mavericks back to the postseason in a 101-98 victory against the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night. ''And because Monta Ellis, at the time we needed him most, stepped up and played his biggest game of the year.'' The Mavericks left the Suns and Memphis to battle for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference by winning their home finale, and avoided a possible winner-take-all game at the Grizzlies on the last night of the regular season.
Kenneth Faried joined the 20/20 club just 48 hours after sinking his first winning basket. Faried scored 24 points and pulled down 21 rebounds Saturday night in the short-handed Denver Nuggets' 101-94 come-from-behind win over the Utah Jazz. Faried was coming off an 18-point, 17-rebound performance at Golden State on Thursday night that would have been overshadowed by Timofey Mozgov's 23-point, 29-board performance were it not for coach Brian Shaw diagramming the last-second shot for him - another first. ''Hey, why not?'' Suddenly, anything seems possible for these Nuggets, who are headed for the NBA lottery instead of the playoffs for the first time in a decade but are somehow playing well despite a depleted roster.
James Harden wasn't concerned about overstating the importance of Houston's come-from-behind victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night. Harden had 33 points and 13 assists and the Rockets rallied for a 111-104 win over the Pelicans to maintain their spot in the Western Conference standings with the postseason just days away. The Rockets had lost two in a row and needed the win to stay ahead of Portland in fourth place in the West. The Rockets got a boost from the return of Dwight Howard and Patrick Beverley, who had both missed the last eight games with injuries.
The Boston Celtics are trying to finish the season on a high note. The Cleveland Cavaliers are ending with another puzzling tailspin. Rookie Kelly Olynyk matched a career high with 25 points and the short-handed Celtics dominated the Cavaliers in a 111-99 win Saturday night. Avery Bradley also scored 25 points for the Celtics, who built a 33-point lead early in the fourth quarter despite dressing only eight players.
Steve Clifford isn't exactly singing his team's praises after the Bobcats won for the sixth time in seven games. Whatever it is, we have two games to get it back.'' The Bobcats held on to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 111-105 on Saturday behind 29 points and 12 rebounds from Al Jefferson, but it was far from an impressive victory. The win came on the heels of a costly loss at Boston Friday night that dropped the Bobcats back to seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings. Jefferson said the Bobcats need to find their mojo with two tough games coming up to close the season - at Atlanta on Monday night and at home against Chicago on Wednesday.
For all their flaws, the Washington Wizards had no business whatsoever losing to the Milwaukee Bucks - especially after Brandon Knight was scratched with a sore right hip seconds before tipoff. Still, the Wizards waited until the third quarter to start playing serious defense against a team short on ball-handlers. ''We just played defense that third quarter,'' Wizards point guard John Wall said. ''That's how we've got to play for 48 minutes and get teams out of their rhythm.'' Bradley Beal scored 26 points, and Wall added 15 points and eight assists for the Wizards, who also clinched the franchise's first winning record since 2008 - which was also the last time they made the playoffs.
DALLAS (AP) -- Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is backing his public address announcer after the team had to pay a $25,000 fine because the announcer criticized referee Danny Crawford on Twitter after a recent game.