Mon, Apr 06, 2009 - Page 19 News List

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers clinch playoff spot

FIRED UP The Pistons fell as Andre Iguodala scored 31 points and Andre Miller had a triple-double, while in Atlanta the Magic downed the Hawks to close in on the Celtics

AP , PHILADELPHIA

Washington Wizards center Brendan Haywood dunks the ball against the Miami Heat during their NBA game at the Verizon Center in Washington on Saturday.

PHOTO: EPA

The Philadelphia 76ers clinched an NBA playoffs spot by beating the Detroit Pistons 95-90 on Saturday.

Philadelphia will use their final seven games to determine their seeding in the Eastern Conference. The 76ers are fifth in the conference.

Andre Iguodala scored a season-high 31 points, while Andre Miller had a triple-double with 21 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.

Detroit led 88-87 with 2 minutes, 17 seconds left after Rodney Stuckey made two free throws. Miller made three free throws and Reggie Evans added two more with 39 seconds left for a 92-88 lead.

Stuckey scored 23 points for Detroit, who are a half-game behind New Jersey for the seventh spot.

MAGIC 88, HAWKS 82

In Atlanta, Georgia, Dwight Howard scored 21 points and tied a season high with 23 rebounds to help Orlando pull within a half-game of tying for second place in the East.

Howard’s performance marked the ninth time this season, and the 23rd time of his five-year career, that he’s had at least 20 points and 20 rebounds in a game.

The Magic are four games behind Cleveland and trail second-placed Boston by percentage points.

Joe Johnson scored 21 points for the Hawks, who have dropped three straight.

BULLS 103, NETS 94

In Chicago, Ben Gordon scored 12 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter and John Salmons added 17 as Chicago won for the eighth time in 11 games and held on to eighth and the final playoff spot in the East.

Gordon missed his first 10 shots and was just three-for-14 overall, but he hit a key three-pointer and two free throws during a game-ending 10-0 run.

HEAT 118, WIZARDS 104

In Washington, Dwyane Wade scored 33 points as Miami broke a franchise record with eight three-pointers in the fourth quarter to put away Washington.

Wade and James Jones each made three three-pointers in the final period, finally blowing open the game after the last of several Wizards comebacks. Miami made a season-high 14 three-pointers in 32 attempts, including going eight-for-13 in the fourth.

Miami completed a 4-0 season sweep of the Wizards, who finished 1-15 against the Southeast Division.

Caron Butler scored 27 points to lead the Wizards.

GRIZZLIES 107, BUCKS 102

In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Rudy Gay scored 26 points to help Memphis hold off Milwaukee.

Marc Gasol added 19 for Memphis.

Richard Jefferson scored 24 for the Bucks, who remain mathematically alive — just barely — for the playoffs, but now would need to win their final four games and wind up in an unlikely multi-team tie for the final spot to get in.

RAPTORS 102, KNICKS 95

In New York, Toronto’s won their sixth straight game to stay alive in the playoff race while eliminating New York.

Andrea Bargnani scored 23 points, Chris Bosh had 17 points and 13 rebounds, while Shawn Marion added 12 points and 13 boards for the Raptors, whose longest winning run since April 2007 was almost certain to be too little, too late. Toronto would have been eliminated with a loss and a victory by Chicago.

Instead, the Raptors eliminated the Knicks, who haven’t made the playoffs since 2004.

NUGGETS 120, CLIPPERS 104

In Denver, Colorado, the Nuggets had plenty of firepower and defense even without Kenyon Martin to beat the short-handed Los Angeles Clippers for their 11th win in 12 games.

J.R. Smith led the Nuggets in scoring for the second straight game with a scintillating 34-point performance off the bench, while Carmelo Anthony added 18 points.

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