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Heat shut down Bucks

Heat shut down Bucks MILWAUKEE -- A majority of the announced 17,986 crowd at the BMO Harris Bradley Center Saturday night paid more attention to the University of Wisconsin's Elite Eight game in Anaheim, Calif., than they did to the Bucks-Heat game taking place in front of them. It's probably a good thing, as even a short-handed Miami team had no trouble dispatching the NBA's worst team, rolling to a 88-67 victory.

Preview: Heat at Bucks

The Miami Heat broke out of their road slump in emphatic fashion on Friday despite being without several key players. The Heat will attempt to close out a three-game trip with another triumph when they visit the lowly Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday. Miami had dropped three straight and six of seven on the road before going into Detroit and putting a 110-78 hurting on the Pistons behind LeBron James’ triple-double.

Preview: Kings at Mavericks

he Dallas Mavericks are running out of time to crack the top eight in the Western Conference standings, so they’ll need to win the games they’re supposed to down the stretch. That begins with Saturday’s matchup against the visiting Sacramento Kings, who managed just 81 points in Friday's 13-point loss at the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Mavericks missed a golden opportunity to leapfrog the Phoenix Suns for eighth place in the West on Thursday, blowing an 11-point lead to the visiting Los Angeles Clippers with about 8 1/2 minutes remaining and losing 109-103.

Wizards 91, Pacers 78

(Updated: UPDATES that Indiana's lead in East slipped to two games in Para 3 ADDS that Stephenson's rebounds match career best in Para 3 CHANGES to 12 straight Indiana points in Para 4) Wizards 91, Pacers 78: John Wall tallied 20 points and eight assists and Marcin Gortat added 17 points and 12 rebounds as host Washington easily handled Indiana to move closer to clinching its first playoff berth in six years.

Magic 110, Bobcats 105 (OT)

Magic 110, Bobcats 105 (OT): Nikola Vucevic recorded 24 points and 23 rebounds while Jameer Nelson scored five of his 11 points in overtime as Orlando rallied to beat visiting Charlotte. Arron Afflalo contributed 17 points and Tobias Harris chipped in with 15 off the bench for the Magic, who trailed by as many as 16 in the first half. Reserve Victor Oladipo had 14 points and Kyle O’Quinn added 13 points and seven rebounds for Orlando, which posted its 1,000th win in franchise history.

Preview: Celtics at Raptors

The Toronto Raptors used a win over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday to inch ever closer to their first playoff appearance in six years. One more win will do the trick - and they'll look to accomplish that feat against those very same Celtics as the teams renew acquaintances Friday night in Toronto. Terrence Ross scored 24 points to lead the Raptors to a 99-90 victory in the opener of the back-to-back, a win that reduced Toronto's magic number for clinching a playoff spot to one.

Preview: Lakers at Bucks

The Los Angeles Lakers may be well on the outside of the Western Conference playoff race, but they showed the New York Knicks they can still lay a beatdown. The Lakers look to build on an impressive victory over New York as they visit the woeful Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night. The Lakers reeled off an astounding 51 third-quarter points en route to a 127-96 thumping of the Knicks, and will now face a Bucks team that sits at the bottom of the NBA standings.

Short-handed Pelicans grind out win vs. Clippers

Short-handed Pelicans grind out win vs. Clippers NEW ORLEANS -- In a season of serial injuries, not even New Orleans Pelicans coach Monty Williams experienced a challenge close to this. Facing the Los Angeles Clippers, winners of 13 of their last 14 games and sporting the NBA's fourth-best record, the Pelicans had only nine players available to suit up, including just two true guards.

Suns hold off Wizards for fifth straight win

Suns hold off Wizards for fifth straight win WASHINGTON -- Anybody expecting the Phoenix Suns to wilt under the glare of a playoff race might want to stop those thoughts. Guard Goran Dragic scored 25 points and backcourt partner Eric Bledsoe had 23 as the Suns defeated the Washington Wizards 99-93 on Wednesday night for their fifth straight victory.

Bobcats 116, Nets 111 (OT)

Bobcats 116, Nets 111 (OT): Al Jefferson led the way with 35 points and 15 rebounds as Charlotte held off visiting Brooklyn. Kemba Walker added 20 points and 12 assists and Chris Douglas-Roberts hit the go-ahead 3-pointer in overtime and provided the dagger with a long jumper from the left side en route to 16 points as the Bobcats won for the second time in three games. Josh McRoberts scored 12 points but had a shot blocked in the final seconds of overtime that skipped out to Douglas-Roberts for the clinching shot.
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