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Clippers 117, Kings 101

Clippers 117, Kings 101: Blake Griffin scored 27 points and handed out nine assists as host Los Angeles pulled away late to win for the 19th time in 23 games. DeAndre Jordan had 21 points, nine rebounds and seven blocked shots for the Clippers, who need to win out and have Oklahoma City lose out to gain the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs. Chris Paul added 17 points and 10 assists and Jamal Crawford hit two big 3-pointers down the stretch and finished with 10 points in his return from a calf injury.

James leads Heat to win over Pacers in battle for East top spot

U.S. Sports Desk, Apr 12 (EFE).- LeBron James scored 36 points to lead the Miami Heat to a 98-86 home victory over the Indiana Pacers and into first place in the Eastern Conference standings. The Pacers led the East for most of the season but they have been in a tailspin since early March and that lack of form proved costly in Friday's night's pivotal game at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami. The Heat trailed Indiana by two after 12 minutes of play but then shifted into a higher gear to build a comfortable 76-62 advantage by the end of the third quarter.

Preview: 76ers at Bobcats

The Charlotte Bobcats look to bounce back from a tough road loss when they host the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night. Charlotte dropped a 106-103 decision in Boston on Friday to fall a game behind Washington in the race for the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Al Jefferson scored 32 points and hauled in 10 rebounds in the loss, which snapped the Bobcats' season-high five-game winning streak.

Preview: Kings at Clippers

(Updated: UPDATES Clippers playoff situation after Oklahoma City victory in Para 1 and 2) The Los Angeles Clippers look to keep alive their slim hopes at a No. 2 seed in the Western Conference when they host the Sacramento Kings on Saturday. The Clippers' chances at moving up a spot before the playoffs began were virtually wiped away when they dropped a 107-101 decision to second-place Oklahoma City on Wednesday. Los Angeles enters this one trailing the Thunder, a likely second-round opponent, by three games with three to play.

Grizzlies move into West's last playoff spot

Grizzlies move into West's last playoff spot MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Guard Courtney Lee did not cheer when told the Phoenix Suns had lost Friday night and his Memphis Grizzlies had climbed ahead of the Suns for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference. "It's good news," Lee said after the Grizzlies had defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 117-95 at FedExForum for their franchise-tying 13th straight home win. "But we know we have to continue to take care of what we can take care of."

Raptors win division despite loss to Knicks

Raptors win division despite loss to Knicks TORONTO -- The New York Knicks were 108-100 winners on Friday, but came away with only the right to try to keep winning to maintain their playoff hopes. The Toronto Raptors lost but wound up winning the Atlantic Division for the second time in franchise history because the Brooklyn Nets lost to the Atlanta Hawks.

Timberwolves 112, Rockets 110

(Updated: UPDATES Houston's playoff situation in Para 3) Timberwolves 112, Rockets 110: Corey Brewer matched the franchise record with 51 points and Gorgui Dieng’s basket in the final seconds gave Minnesota a victory over visiting Houston.

Trail Blazers takes control in fourth quarter to defeat Jazz

Trail Blazers takes control in fourth quarter to defeat Jazz SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah Jazz fans were excited to see their team's group of young players, expected to be a big part of the franchise's future, start together for the first time this season Friday night. While Utah's fresh-faced group of Trey Burke, Alec Burks, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter, all between 21-24, had good outings, it was a couple of familiar-looking young guys from Portland who spoiled their upset bid.

NBA: Heat rout Pacers to keep top seeding in sight

The NBA champion Miami Heat routed the Indiana Pacers 98-86 on Friday to position themselves to nab the number one seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. LeBron James scored a game-high 36 points, and while the Heat haven't locked up the top seed, they control their own fate with three games remaining in the regular season against the Atlanta Hawks, Washington Wizards and Philadelphia 76ers. "I would love to see us play with this identity, to our identity, (Saturday) night," was Heat coach Erik Spoelstra's only comment on the seedings race.

Hawks 93, Nets 88

Hawks 93, Nets 88: Paul Millsap collected 27 points and 10 rebounds and Jeff Teague poured in 22 points as visiting Atlanta held on to snap Brooklyn's 15-game home winning streak. DeMarre Carroll tallied 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Hawks, who reduced their magic number to clinch a playoff spot to one. Atlanta survived a 1-for-19 performance from 3-point range to maintain its two-game lead over New York for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
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