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Celtics into play-offs with win over Lakers

By Reuters - Apr 04,2016 - Last updated at Apr 04,2016

Los Angeles Lakers centre Roy Hibbert battles for rebounding position against Boston Celtics Jared Sullinger during their NBA game in Los Angeles on Sunday (Reuters photo by Richard Mackson)

Isaiah Thomas scored 26 points and Jae Crowder added 22 more, leading the Boston Celtics to a 107-100 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Centre on Sunday night.

Boston (45-32) clinched a play-off berth with the win.

Warriors 136, Trail Blazers 111

Stephen Curry scored 14 of his game-high 39 points in the third quarter Sunday night, helping the Golden State Warriors pull away from the Portland Trail Blazers en route to a 136-111 victory.

Playing for the first time since having their 54-game, home court winning streak ended by Boston on Friday night, the Warriors (69-8) kept their record perfect in games following losses with an eighth straight win.

Bulls 102, Bucks 98

Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo combined for 58 points but Jimmy Butler hit two clutch buckets late to help the Chicago Bulls hold on for a 102-98 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks Sunday evening at the Bradley Centre.

Butler hit 9 of 10 shots from the field to finish with a team-high 25 for Chicago, which gained a half game on Indiana in the race for the eighth and final Eastern Conference play-off spot.

Pacers 92, Knicks 87

Paul George hit the tiebreaking basket with 23.6 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter as the Indiana Pacers squandered an 18-point lead before pulling out a 92-87 victory over the New York Knicks Sunday night.

The Pacers shot 4 of 16 in the fourth and their biggest hoop came in the final minute. After getting an inbounds pass from Monta Ellis, George gained enough separation from his defender and knocked down a 19-foot left-wing jumper in front of the New York bench.

Magic 119, Grizzlies 107

Center Nikola Vucevic, now in a reserve role, scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in leading the Orlando Magic to a 119-107 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies Sunday night at the Amway Centre.

The Grizzlies (41-36) lost their sixth consecutive game and 10th in their last 12 as they struggle to keep their play-off position in the Western Conference.

Jazz 101, Suns 86

Gordon Hayward scored 22 points and Derrick Favours added 17 as the Utah Jazz overcame a slow start to beat the Phoenix Suns 101-86 on Sunday.

The Jazz (39-38) stayed tied with the Dallas Mavericks, who beat the Minnesota Timberwolves Sunday, for seventh in the Western Conference play-off race. Both teams remained a game ahead of the Houston Rockets (38-39), who beat Oklahoma City on Sunday.

Mavericks 88, Timberwolves 78

The Dallas Mavericks played like a team that can smell the playoffs on Sunday, pulling away late to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 88-78.

J.J. Barea led the Mavericks with 21 points as Dallas extended its win streak to four games. Wesley Matthews had 19 and Devin Harris added 16 points off the bench as the Mavs (39-38) remained in the thick of the fight for a Western Conference playoff spot.

Rockets 118, Thunder 110

James Harden delivered on both ends of the court and the Houston Rockets defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 118-110 on Sunday at Toyota Centre to keep their postseason hopes afloat.

Harden had game high 41 points with nine assists and three steals, including one with 37 seconds left that preceded his full-court pass to Patrick Beverley, whose dunk game Houston (38-39) a 112-104 lead.

Clippers 114, Wizards 109

Blake Griffin performed like a player who missed 45 games. However, his teammates, who have grown accustomed to his absence, picked up the slack as the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Washington Wizards again.

Chris Paul scored 27 points and handed out 12 assists to spark the Clippers to a 114-109 victory over the Wizards on Sunday at Staples Centre.

Cavaliers 112, Hornets 103

LeBron James had 31 points and 12 assists and J.R. Smith matched his season high with 27 points in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 112-103 victory against the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday.

The Hornets pulled within 96-92 after the Cavs led by 21 in the first half, but Smith and Kevin Love each made key 3-pointers late in the game and the Cavs held on to strengthen their hold on the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Pelicans 106, Nets 87

Tim Frazier had his first career double-double with 19 points and 13 assists as the New Orleans Pelicans put on a passing clinic during a 106-87 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday.

 

After getting extensive praise from coach Alvin Gentry before the game, Frazier had the most productive game of his career. In his 10th game for the Pelicans, he made 7 of 10 shots while playing 38 minutes.

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