14 April 2012

Lakers Clinch NBA Playoff Spot


The Los Angeles Lakers clinched an NBA playoff spot by beating the Denver Nuggets 103-97 on Friday despite the absence of Kobe Bryant and coach Mike Brown.
Andrew Bynum had 30 points and eight rebounds and Matt Barnes added a season-high 24 points for the Lakers, who have won three of four without Bryant, who is resting a bruised shin.
Los Angeles also played without Brown, who left shortly before tipoff for undisclosed personal reasons. As¬sistant John Kuester filled in.

Barnes played an enormous game in a reserve role while match¬ing his highest-scoring performance in two seasons with the Lakers. He scored six consecutive points after Denver trimmed Los Angeles' lead to one point, hitting a 3-pointer and adding a clutch jumper with 1:29 to play.
Andre Miller scored 20 points for the Nuggets, who are clinging on to a playoff spot.
In Orlando, the Atlanta Hawks extended their recent dominance of Orlando by cruising past the Magic 109-81 on Friday, moving above their rivals in the NBA's Southeast Divi¬sion.
Jannero Pargo hit five 3-pointers and scored 17 points, and Joe John¬son, Josh Smith and Marvin Williams each had 16 for the Hawks, who have won their past six regular-season games against Orlando.
SUNS 112, ROCKETS 105
In Houston, Phoenix boosted its playoff hopes with a win at Houston.
THUNDER 115, KINGS 89
In Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant had 29 points and nine rebounds to lead Oklahoma City past Sacra¬mento.

MAVERICKS 97, T'BLAZERS 94
In Portland, Dirk Nowitzki had 24 points and nine rebounds as Dal¬las hung on to beat fast-finishing Portland.

PACERS 102, CAVALIERS 83
In Indianapolis, Danny Granger scored 18 points to help Indiana clinch a playoff berth with victory over Cleveland.

RAPTORS 84, CELTICS 79
In Toronto, DeMar DeRozan scored 13 of his 22 points in the third quarter and made four pivotal late free throws to lead Toronto past Boston.

NETS 95, 76ERS 89
In Philadelphia, Gerald Green scored 23 points in New Jersey's win over Philadelphia.

BUCKS 113, PISTONS 97
In Auburn Hills, Michigan, Drew Gooden scored 26 points as Milwau¬kee pulled away from Detroit in the third quarter.

HEAT 105, BOBCATS 82
In Miami, LeBron James had 19 points and nine rebounds as Miami completed a three-game season sweep of lowly Charlotte.

HORNETS 96, JAZZ 85
In New Orleans, Eric Gordon scored 10 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter to shore up New Orleans win over Utah.

KNICKS 103, WIZARDS 65
In New York, Baron Davis scored a season-high 18 points on his 33rd birthday as New York crushed Wash¬ington and surged into a tie for sev¬enth in the East.

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