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Updated: 14 min 9 sec ago
The Cavaliers came up short. Dion Waiters scored 22 points and the Cavs played one of their best games this season, routing the Detroit Pistons 122-100 on Wednesday before being eliminated from the playoff race. Tyler Zeller scored 18 and rookie Matthew Dellavedova had 14 points and 12 assists for Cleveland, which had its slim playoff hopes ended when Atlanta defeated Boston 105-97. ''It's an empty feeling now that your chances are done,'' said All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, who has missed the postseason in each of his three years in the NBA.
Jeff Teague scored 19 points, Kyle Korver added 17 and the Atlanta Hawks helped their playoff chances with a 105-97 victory over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night. With four games remaining in the regular season, Atlanta increased its lead to two games over the New York Knicks for the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot. Avery Bradley finished with 24 points and Rajon Rondo had 19 points with 12 assists for Boston, which has lost nine straight. The Celtics dropped their 13th in a row on the road, breaking the franchise mark set during the final 13 games of 1978-79.
The slumping Indiana Pacers will rest all five starters Wednesday night against Milwaukee, even as they chase the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. Coach Frank Vogel told reporters at the Pacers' shootaround that none of his top five had taken part and they would all sit out the game. He said it's a chance for Paul George, David West, Roy Hibbert, George Hill and Lance Stephenson to get some minor injuries healed, and for his reserves to play extended minutes. The Pacers have lost five of their last six games and Vogel said he thought they looked tired after a 107-88 home loss to Atlanta on Sunday, when Indiana was held to a franchise-low 23 points in the first half.
Miami guard Dwyane Wade will not play against the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night, but coach Erik Spoelstra indicated the Heat's second-leading scorer is close to returning. Spoelstra said before the game that the team's second-leading scorer is improving from a strained left hamstring that has caused him to miss the Heat's previous seven games. ''We are encouraged by the progress he's been making,'' Spoelstra said. ''We'll see what happens when we get back to Miami.'' Wade is one of four players that Spoelstra said are not available against Memphis.
David Lee's latest injury with Golden State has been keeping him awake at night wondering if he will ever get to go through the playoffs healthy. After tearing his right hip flexor in his first postseason game last year, Lee is trying to rehabilitate an even more perplexing injury at the worst time again. ''I'm so frustrated that I'm almost not frustrated anymore,'' said Lee, who missed four games in last year's playoffs before playing limited minutes with the hip injury. It's such a fun time of year, and obviously I'd be lying if last year how the season ended didn't factor into that.'' The Warriors' co-captain participated in a portion of Wednesday's light practice, working up a sweat on his gray shirt before shooting free throws when reporters were allowed to enter the gym.
If Derrick Rose wants to try, U.S. basketball officials are eager to see. Prove he is indeed healthy, and Rose could end up playing in the World Cup of Basketball. ''I think he needs to find out just where he is physically,'' USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said Wednesday of the Chicago Bulls guard. And if he's ready, he has a chance to make the team.'' Rose had surgery in November to repair torn cartilage in his right knee, and the Bulls said he would miss the rest of the season.
Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak has agreed to a multiyear contract extension late in one of the worst seasons in franchise history. Los Angeles announced its new deal for Kupchak late in the fourth quarter of a 145-130 loss to the Houston Rockets. The Lakers' latest defeat was their 53rd of the season, matching the franchise record set in 1958. Kupchak has a wholesale rebuilding job in store with the Lakers, who will miss the playoffs for just the third time since 1976.
When the nets finally cooled down at Staples Center, the Houston Rockets had a choice. James Harden and the Rockets chose to draw motivation from both sources for their playoff push after a prolific night against the Los Angeles Lakers. Terrence Jones and Harden scored 33 points apiece, and the Rockets beat the Lakers 145-130 on Tuesday night for their third straight victory. Chandler Parsons scored 19 points for the Rockets, who used a 49-point third quarter to solidify their hold on fourth place in the Western Conference standings despite their second-worst defensive performance of the year.
With Kevin Durant on the bench to start the fourth quarter, his Oklahoma City Thunder teammates put together a run that helped end one of the most impressive scoring streaks in NBA history. And Durant says nobody is happier it's over than him. Caron Butler made all six of his 3-point attempts to finish with 23 points, and the Thunder began the fourth quarter on a 16-0 spurt to pull away for a 107-92 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night.
When Dirk Nowitzki was shipped to Dallas in a surprise trade before his rookie season, it seemed like a major gamble for a franchise that had endured a stretch of several rough seasons. That little deal worked out in a big way for the Mavericks. Nowitzki had 21 points Tuesday night to pass Oscar Robertson for 10th on the NBA's career scoring list, leading the Mavs to a 95-83 victory over the Utah Jazz. Dallas (48-31) shot 56 percent from the field and had six players score in double figures en route to recording a fifth consecutive victory.
Throughout the San Antonio Spurs' 19-game winning streak, coach Gregg Popovich was practically begging for his team to lose to help them re-focus as the playoffs approached. Well it's happened twice in the last three games now, and the latest was a thumping by the lottery-bound Minnesota Timberwolves. Ricky Rubio scored 23 points and Gorgui Dieng had 12 points and 15 rebounds, leading the Timberwolves to a 110-91 victory over the Spurs on Tuesday night. We were awful and a lot of it was because of their aggressiveness.'' Kevin Love had 19 points and 12 rebounds and Corey Brewer scored 14 for the Timberwolves, who have beaten Miami and San Antonio in two of their last three games.
Hello, Brooklyn - the only NBA team this season to go unbeaten against the Miami Heat. Mason Plumlee denied LeBron James' dunk attempt at the rim with 2 seconds left, and the Nets finished off a four-game sweep of Miami by beating the Heat 88-87 on Tuesday night. With Miami down by one and time running out, Rashard Lewis somehow got a pass from underneath the basket to James, who rose as Plumlee jumped to contest the play. Replays showed Joe Johnson made some contact with James as he started his move and that Plumlee hit the four-time MVP's hand on the dunk try, but the Heat never got the call they wanted.
Jeff Teague was in no mood to talk after the Atlanta Hawks missed a chance to win their third straight game. We should've taken care of business.'' Rodney Stuckey scored 29 points, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond each had a double-double and the Detroit Pistons snapped a 10-game skid in Atlanta with a 102-95 victory over the Hawks on Tuesday night. Atlanta has five games left in the regular season and a 1 1/2-game advantage over New York for the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot. Paul Millsap had 24 points and 12 rebounds for the Hawks.
Kentucky's talented freshmen shed a shaky regular season and then showed why the Wildcats were picked No. 1 in the preseason with an impressive run to the NCAA championship game. After falling short in a 60-54 loss to Connecticut, the annual question is who will leave Kentucky for the NBA, including John Calipari. The fifth-year Kentucky coach is used to inquiries, but former Kentucky player Rex Chapman turned up the heat Monday by tweeting that Calipari coaching the Los Angeles Lakers was a ''done deal.'' While Calipari said later that he was happy with the Wildcats and planned to be back at Kentucky, he didn't completely dismiss the scenario.
After victories over Portland and Oklahoma City, the Phoenix Suns have cemented their status as the NBA's most surprising team. Now comes a three-games-in-four-days trip that could make or break the Suns' playoff chances. Entering Tuesday's play, with five games to go, the Suns held the eighth and final playoff spot in the West, a game ahead of Memphis and a half-game behind No. 7 Dallas. A team predicted to be among the worst in the league stands at 46-31, with first-year coach Jeff Hornacek overseeing a high-energy bunch led by the dynamic backcourt of Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe.
Detroit Pistons forward Josh Smith has patella tendinitis in his left knee and did not play Tuesday against his former team, the Atlanta Hawks. Smith wore a suit and watched from the bench. It was the first game he missed since leaving Atlanta in July to sign a four-year, $54 million contract as a free agent. Smith leads the Pistons, who are eliminated from playoff contention, with a 16.4 scoring average and is second with a 6.8 rebounding average.
Dante Cunningham returned to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Tuesday night's game against San Antonio, just over 24 hours after being released from jail for his second arrest in three days. The forward was in uniform and available to play against the Spurs, with the Wolves and the NBA following collectively bargained rules that require them to wait until the legal process plays out before deciding to issue any discipline. Cunningham was charged last week with felony domestic assault for allegedly choking his girlfriend in his suburban Minneapolis home. Cunningham posted bail on Monday night, but authorities have not charged him off the second arrest while they continue to investigate.
METAIRIE, La. (AP) -- Pelicans coach Monty Williams does not expect guard Eric Gordon to play in any of New Orleans' final five games this season.