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DeRozan, Raptors hold off Magic

DeRozan, Raptors hold off Magic ORLANDO, Fla. -- Helping the Toronto Raptors make the playoffs for the first time since 2008 isn't enough to satisfy guard DeMar DeRozan. He already wants more. DeRozan made his intentions clear Sunday night when he scored a game-high 28 points, leading the Raptors to a tougher-than-expected, 98-93 victory over the lowly Orlando Magic.

Preview: Raptors at Magic

With their first playoff appearance in six years officially locked in, the Toronto Raptors can now focus on where they'll end up in the Eastern Conference standings. The Atlantic Division-leading Raptors enjoy a 2 1/2-game edge over the Brooklyn Nets as they head to Orlando on Sunday evening for a date with the Magic. Toronto secured its first postseason berth since the 2007-08 season Friday night with a 105-103 triumph over the Boston Celtics.

Preview: Suns at Lakers

The red-hot Phoenix Suns seek to stretch their season-long winning streak to seven games and also strive to complete a four-game season sweep of Los Angeles when they visit the Lakers on Sunday. Phoenix is in the midst of its longest winning streak since a 10-game run late in the 2009-10 season and has taken possession of seventh place in the Western Conference. The surge has moved the Suns within 1 1/2 games of the sixth-place Golden State Warriors.

Spurs tie franchise mark with 17th straight win

Spurs tie franchise mark with 17th straight win SAN ANTONIO -- San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Friday that losing a basketball game might not be the worst thing for his team as the NBA playoffs approach. He theorized that it might be the best way to get players to work on any deficiencies they might have developed while stockpiling some easy victories.

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.
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