Mavs Sink Celtics; Heat Take 25th Straight
Boston Celtics' guard Jason Terry, left, drives past Dallas Mavericks' guard Darren Collison during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Friday, March 22, 2013, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
Dallas — Dirk Nowitzki scored 22 points, Shawn Marion had a double-double in his return from a calf injury and the Mavericks spoiled Jason Terry’s return to Dallas with a 104-94 victory over the Boston Celtics last night.
Terry scored eight in his first game in Dallas since leaving for Boston in free agency. He was the latest key piece the Mavericks decided not to keep since beating Miami in the 2011 NBA finals.
Terry was known for 3-point shooting and clutch fourth quarters with the Mavericks, but he missed both 3-pointers for the game and was just 1 of 3 shooting without a try from long range in the final quarter.
Paul Pierce and Brandon Bass led Boston with 16 points apiece, and Bass added 11 rebounds.
Pacers 102, Bucks 78
Indianapolis — Tyler Hansbrough had 22 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Pacers to their third straight win. Paul George added 20 points and had Roy Hibbert had 11 points, eight rebounds and seven blocks for the Pacers.
Monta Ellis had 22 points and Samuel Dalembert had 10 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Bucks, who have lost five of seven.
The Pacers went on a 14-4 run to start the second half and to take a 61-48 lead midway through the third quarter.
Larry Sanders was ejected with 7:54 left in the third when he was called for a double technical after Hibbert was fouled on a shot.
George hit both technical free throws and Hibbert scored two more to make it 57-47.
Knicks 99, Raptors 94
Toronto — Carmelo Anthony scored 37 points, Kenyon Martin had 19 points and 11 rebounds, and the Knicks clinched a playoff berth.
Martin shot 9 of 10 from the field and didn’t miss until 1:40 remained in the game, J.R. Smith scored 14 points and the Knicks earned their 41st win. That guaranteed they’ll reach the playoffs for the third straight season, something they hadn’t done since a 14-year streak of postseason appearances from 1988 to 2001.
The league’s second-leading scorer, Anthony has 57 total points in his past two games after missing six of the previous eight with a sore right knee.
Thunder 97, Magic 89
Orlando, Fla. — Kevin Durant scored 11 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, Russell Westbrook had 19 points and Oklahoma City held off Orlando.
The Magic briefly took a one-point lead in the final period, but the Thunder hit eight of their final 10 free throws to help seal the victory.
The win ends a string of consecutive losses for the Thunder, who played the first of four straight games against teams with losing records. They entered the night trailing West-leading San Antonio by 2½ games.
Maurice Harkless led the Magic with 25 points, followed by Jameer Nelson with 16.
Orlando lost its sixth straight.
The Magic also lost starting shooting guard Arron Afflalo in the second quarter with a right hamstring injury.
Heat 103, Pistons 89
Miami — LeBron James scored 29 points, Dwyane Wade added 19 and the Heat extended their winning streak to 25 games.
Shane Battier and Mario Chalmers scored 11 apiece for Miami, which shook off yet another slow start to move within eight of tying the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers for the longest winning streak in NBA history. The Heat also won at home for the 16th straight time.
James added eight rebounds and eight assists for Miami, whose magic number for clinching the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference is now three.
Greg Monroe finished with 23 points and 15 rebounds for Detroit, which dropped its 10th straight game.
Trail Blazers 104, Hawks 93
Atlanta — Wesley Matthews scored 28 points to lead three Trail Blazers with at least 20 points and Portland beat the Atlanta for its second road win in as many nights.
Damian Lillard scored 22 points and LaMarcus Aldridge had 20 points and 13 rebounds, giving him at least 20 points in seven straight games. Aldridge had 28 points in the Blazers’ 99-89 win at Chicago on Thursday night.
Rockets 116, Cavaliers 78
Houston — James Harden scored 20 points, Chandler Parsons and Omer Asik added 13 points apiece and the Houston routed cold-shooting Cleveland.
Thomas Robinson scored 15 points and Greg Smith grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds off the bench for the Rockets, who stayed in the No. 7 spot in the Western Conference. Asik also grabbed 11 rebounds for Houston, which has won four of five games on its current homestand.
Shaun Livingston scored 14 points for the Cavaliers, who’ve dropped five in a row and nine of their last 11 games.
Hornets 90, Grizzlies 83
New Orleans — Robin Lopez had 23 points, including a key putback and a pair of free throws in the final 1:11, and the New Orleans Hornets beat the Memphis Grizzlies 90-83.
Lopez also had 10 rebounds for New Orleans, which has won two in a row. Anthony Davis added 18 points and 15 boards, Greivis Vasquez had 12 points and nine assists and Eric Gordon finished with 11 points.
Mike Conley scored 20 points while nearly leading the Grizzlies back from a 16-point fourth-quarter hole.
His consecutive 3s had Memphis as close as 83-81 with 2:36 left, but Vasquez answered with a big 3 and Lopez’s putback made it 88-81.
Marc Gasol had 16 points for the Grizzlies, while Zach Randolph added 14 and Jerryd Bayless 12.