Thu, Apr 19, 2007 - Page 20 News List

Clippers' win keep playoff hopes alive

AP , PHOENIX

Elton Brand of the Los Angeles Clippers, center, is fouled on the way to the basket by Kurt Thomas, right, of the Phoenix Suns during their NBA game at the US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona, on Tuesday.

PHOTO: AFP

The Los Angeles Clippers had to beat the best of the Phoenix Suns, if not the Suns at their best, to keep their playoff hopes alive with one game to go.

Elton Brand scored 21 points to lead six Clippers in double figures and Los Angeles beat the Suns 103-99 on Tuesday night.

Jason Hart made two free throws with 7.8 seconds left to seal the win and deprive the Suns of a 62nd victory, which would have tied the franchise record.

Los Angeles needed to win yesterday at home against New Orleans and have Golden State lose at Portland to get the No. 8 seed in the West and a first-round playoff date with Dallas.

Warriors 111, Mavericks 82

At Oakland, California, Mickael Pietrus scored 22 points, Matt Barnes had 19 and Golden State beat Dallas to move to the brink of its first postseason berth since 1994.

The Warriors took a 28-point lead in the first half as they roared to their fifth straight win over the Mavericks, sweeping the three-game season series from the NBA's best team, which also is their potential first-round playoff opponent.

Dallas kept Dirk Nowitzki, Josh Howard, Jerry Stackhouse and Erick Dampier out of a meaningless game -- for them -- in preparation for the postseason.

Cavaliers 98, 76ers 92

At Philadelphia, Larry Hughes scored 22 points and LeBron James had 18 to lead Cleveland, keeping the Cavaliers alive for the second seed in the Eastern Conference.

James added six assists in an all-around solid game and led a well-balanced Cavaliers attack that had six players score in double figures.

Magic 95, Wizards 89

At Washington, the Magic overcame Antawn Jamison's 48 points and kept up a last-minute push to improve their playoff seeding.

Hedo Turkoglu scored 26 points to lead the Magic, who are sitting in eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

If they do move up, it will be largely at the expense of the Wizards, who have lost eight of nine and six straight at home -- most of them without their two injured All-Stars, Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler. Jamison tried to carry his team with a season-high performance, but he got scant help from his teammates.

Pistons 100, Raptors 84

At Auburn Hills, Michigan, Richard Hamilton scored 10 first-half points in a glorified exhibition game for both teams.

Neither team had anything to play for -- the Pistons are locked into the Eastern Conference's top seed and the Raptors will be No. 3 -- but Detroit coach Flip Saunders didn't want a repeat of his team's feeble loss to Philadelphia.

Hawks 118, Pacers 102

At Atlanta, the Hawks set season highs for points in a quarter and a half as they finished another disappointing season by beating the Pacers. The Hawks missed the playoffs for the eighth straight season, but reached 30 wins for the first time since the 2002-03 season.

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