The Phoenix Suns clinched their first playoff berth since the 2009-10 season with a 109-101 win over the visiting Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night.
Chris Paul scored 15 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter, and he also had 10 assists. Phoenix are now two games ahead of the Clippers for second place in the Western Conference. The Utah Jazz lead the conference standings by a game over the Suns.
Phoenix’s Devin Booker added 21 points and six rebounds. Paul George had 25 points and 10 rebounds for Los Angeles, and Marcus Morris Sr. added 16 points.
Seth Curry scored 20 points in three quarters and hosts Philadelphia 76ers had little trouble dispatching Atlanta Hawks 127-83.
Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris added 17 points and seven rebounds each as the Sixers clinched a playoff spot. Shake Milton and Furkan Korkmaz contributed 12 apiece and Tyrese Maxey had 11 for Philadelphia.
The short-handed Hawks played without a number of key players such as Trae Young (left ankle), Cam Reddish (right Achilles) and De’Andre Hunter (right knee). John Collins led the Hawks with 21 points while Solomon Hill added 14.
Bojan Bogdanovic scored 24 points and Jordan Clarkson added 23 to lead Utah Jazz to a dominating 154-105 victory over hosts Sacramento Kings as the Jazz set a franchise record for most points in a game.
Georges Niang chipped in 19 points while Rudy Gobert added 12 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks for the Jazz. Eight players scored in double figures to help Utah snap a two-game losing streak.
Richaun Holmes and Buddy Hield scored 18 points apiece to lead the Kings. Justin James added 16 points. Sacramento could not keep pace after allowing the Jazz to shoot 64 percent from the field and make 24 of 41 (58.5 percent) of their 3-point attempts.
Nikola Jokic had 32 points and delivered a key block on Zion Williamson in the final seconds to help hosts Denver Nuggets hold on to beat New Orleans Pelicans 114-112.
Facundo Campazzo had a career-high 19 points along with 10 assists, and Michael Porter Jr. scored 28 for Denver.
Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball had 16 points, 12 assists and 12 rebounds for his first triple-double of the season. Brandon Ingram scored 27 points while Williamson added 21.
Russell Westbrook had a triple-double, Bradley Beal scored 27 points and Washington Wizards beat visiting Los Angeles Lakers 116-107.
Westbrook finished with 18 points, 18 rebounds and 14 assists for his 30th triple-double of the season. Alex Len had 18 points and nine rebounds for Washington, which have won 11 of 13 and currently holds the final play-in spot in the Eastern Conference.
Anthony Davis led the Lakers with 26 points. Andre Drummond had 17 points and 11 rebounds for Los Angeles, which have lost four of five.
Jimmy Butler scored a game-high 29 points and hosts Miami Heat used a 17-0 second-half run to rally past San Antonio Spurs 116-111.
Bam Adebayo added 21 points and a game-high 11 rebounds for the Heat. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra earned career win No. 600. Only four other active coaches have more victories than Spoelstra.
San Antonio’s Dejounte Murray posted his fourth triple-double of the season with 22 points, a game-high 11 assists and 10 rebounds. He scored 11 points in the fourth quarter, but the Spurs — who entered the game with the NBA’s second-best road record at 18-10 – couldn’t stop Miami.
Jaylen Brown’s 38 points and Jayson Tatum’s 35 propelled Boston Celtics to a bounce-back 120-111 victory against visiting Charlotte Hornets.
The Celtics snapped a three-game losing streak that included a home loss a night earlier to struggling Oklahoma City. They also avenged Sunday’s lopsided 21-point setback at Charlotte. The Celtics, who posted a 54-33 rebounding advantage, played again without Kemba Walker (oblique).
The Hornets lost their second game in as many nights despite 25 points from Devonte’ Graham. Terry Rozier had an off night for Charlotte, posting nine of his 15 points in the fourth quarter. He was 4-for-18 overall from the floor, including 1-for-8 on 3-point attempts against his former team.
Other scores: Trail Blazers 130, Grizzlies 109; Knicks 113, Bulls 94; Magic 109, Cavaliers 104. (Reuters)