Raptors Rip Celts
Boston — Terrence Ross scored 24 points, Kyle Lowry 23 and the Toronto Raptors edged closer to their first playoff berth since 2008 with a 99-90 win over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night.
DeMar DeRozan added 20 points for Toronto, which increased its Atlantic Division lead to 2 1/2 games over Brooklyn, which lost in Charlotte. The Raptors can clinch a playoff spot if the New York Knicks lose at Sacramento later Wednesday.
Jared Sullinger led Boston with 26 points, going 4 of 6 from 3-point range. Boston lost for the seventh time in eight games.
It was Lowry’s eighth straight game of 20 or more points and helped the Raptors snap an 11-game losing streak in Boston.
Boston guard Rajon Rondo was cut on the forehead midway into the third quarter and received nine stitches. He returned to the bench early in the fourth quarter with a bandage that ran from the bridge of his nose straight up to his forehead and he re-entered the game with 8:05 to play.
Notes: A few minutes before the opening tip-off and about 10 after the national anthems were completed, the Celtics asked the crowd to rise for a moment of silence to honor two Boston firefighters that were killed battling a fire in the city’s Back Bay section — about 2 miles away. ... Sullinger had 25 points and 20 rebounds when the Celtics beat the Raptors at home on Jan. 15. He had eight boards on Wednesday.
Pacers 84, Heat 83
Indianapolis — Paul George scored 23 points and Roy Hibbert had 21, leading Indiana back from a seven-point fourth-quarter deficit.
The NBA’s best home team ended a two-game losing streak, took a 2-1 lead in the season series against the two-time defending champions and rebuilt a three-game advantage in the race for the Eastern Conference’s top seed. Indiana (52-20) also clinched its second straight Central Division crown, something it hadn’t done since 1998-99 and 1999-2000.
LeBron James scored 38 points, but missed a potential go-ahead 3 late. Chris Bosh had a jumper at the buzzer to win it but it hit nothing but air.
Wolves 107, Hawks 83
Minneapolis — Gorgui Dieng had 15 points and 15 rebounds to continue his out-of-nowhere emergence and Minnesota dealt slumping Atlanta another costly loss.
Paul Millsap had 12 points and 10 rebounds for Atlanta, which has lost four straight.
Bobcats 116, Nets 111 (ot)
Charlotte, n.c. — Al Jefferson scored 35 points, Kemba Walker had a double-double and the Bobcats defeated Brooklyn in overtime for their 10th victory at home in the last 12 games.
Walker had 20 points and 12 assists and Chris Douglas-Roberts had 16 points, including two big jump shots in overtime.
Suns 99, Wizards 93
Washington — After letting a 25-point lead dwindle to three, Suns guards Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe got back to business, combining to finish with 48 points, 13 assists and 13 rebounds, helping Phoenix beat Washington for its fifth consecutive victory.
Cavaliers 97, Pistons 96
Auburn Hills, Mich. — Dion Waiters hit a contested baseline jumper at the buzzer, completing a rally that lifted Cleveland over Detroit.
Pelicans 98, Clippers 96
New Orleans — Anthony Davis had 16 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks, and the under-manned Pelicans won their fourth straight.
Darius Miller, Davis’ former Kentucky teammate, capped a 16-point effort with a pair of crucial late jumpers, the last giving New Orleans a 97-92 lead with 47 seconds left.
Jamal Crawford scored 31 for the Clippers, but narrowly missed a couple late 3-point attempts, including one as time expired that could have won it.