Wed, Apr 14, 2010 - Page 20 News List

Raptors win to keep playoff hopes alive

CLOSE ENCOUNTERSThe Toronto Raptors, who close the season today at home against New York, will make the playoffs if they end the season tied with Chicago

REUTERS AND AP , DETROIT, MICHIGAN

The Toronto Raptors kept their playoff hopes alive with an 111-97 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Monday, pulling within half a game of Chicago for the Eastern Conference’s final postseason spot.

Andrea Bargnani scored a game-high 33 points and added seven rebounds, while Amir Johnson scored a career-high 26 points to help snap a five-game losing streak for the Raptors, who have struggled without injured All Star Chris Bosh.

Toronto (39-42) own the tie-breaker over the Bulls because they won two of their three meetings this season, but they must win their final game and hope Chicago lose at least one of their remaining two to claim the East’s eighth seed for the postseason.

“We control a bit of our destiny,” Raptors guard Jose Calderon told reporters. “We’ve got to win one and Chicago’s got Boston and Charlotte. Those are no easy games. They’ve got the pressure now.”

Bargnani scored 17 points in the second quarter to propel the Raptors to a 12-point lead at halftime. The loss was the Pistons’ (26-55) second in a row.

After losing to the Bulls a day earlier to fall one game behind in the playoff race, Toronto shot 60 percent from the field and the three-point line.

With Bosh sidelined for the rest of the regular season with a facial fracture, the Raptors needed a team effort to escape their slump and got it with 15 points and 12 assists off the bench from Jarrett Jack along with 11 assists from Calderon.

“It’s been difficult at times [without Bosh],” Jack said. “Typically when the game gets rough we’re able to go to our horse down low and with him not here it leaves us searching at the tough point in the game.”

Ben Gordon led Detroit with 24 points, but the home team went scoreless for about three-and-a-half minutes in the third, where they fell behind by 22.

HAWKS 104, BUCKS 96

Joe Johnson scored 31 points to help the Atlanta Hawks beat the Milwaukee Bucks in a matchup between potential first-round playoff opponents.

Marvin Williams added 18 points for the Hawks, who had six players score in double figures and continued to solidify their spot as the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference.

John Salmons scored 28 and Brandon Jennings added 21 in the regular-season home finale for the Bucks. Jennings was 2 for 11 from 3-point range.

HEAT 107, 76ERS 105

At Philadelphia, Dwyane Wade scored 30 points and assisted on Udonis Haslem’s go-ahead basket with 1.3 seconds left as Miami beat Philadelphia.

Andre Iguodala tied it at 105-105 for the Sixers on a 3-pointer with 20 seconds left. But the Heat, playing for fifth place in the East, weren’t about to go down against one of the worst teams in the NBA.

Wade scored several baskets late in the fourth, but it was his assist to Haslem in the corner that was the difference.

Quentin Richardson had 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Heat.

MAGIC 118, PACERS 98

At Indianapolis, Vince Carter scored 21 points to help Orlando beat Indiana for its fifth straight win.

Jameer Nelson had 15 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, and Rashard Lewis scored 14 points for the Magic. Matt Barnes had 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Dwight Howard added 12 points and 11 boards.

A.J. Price scored 19 points, and Danny Granger and Mike Dunleavy added 18 for the Pacers in their home finale. Indiana had won four straight and 10 of 12 overall.

BOBCATS 105, NETS 95

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