Boston’s Sasha Pavlovic scored 12 of his of his season-high 16 points in the fourth quarter, leading a group of Celtics reserves to a 78-66 win over the Miami Heat on Tuesday as both teams rested their top players with NBA playoffs looming.
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were out for the Heat. Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo did not play for the Celtics, with each team unable to improve their playoff seeding.
Dexter Pittman had 12 points for the Heat, whose 25 turnovers were a season high.
Boston’s Paul Pierce started the game, but sat out the fourth quarter.
HAWKS 109, CLIPPERS 102
In Atlanta, Joe Johnson scored 28 points, including a wild 3-pointer in the final minute, as Atlanta held on for a victory over Los Angeles, moving a step closer to wrapping up home-court in the first round of the playoffs.
Blake Griffin scored a season-high 36 points for the Clippers in a back-and-forth game whose margin was never in double figures until the Hawks went on a 15-2 run at the end of the third quarter.
Johnson clinched it with a pair of 3s, knocking down a desperation shot with 38 seconds remaining and the shot clock running down. He threw up a two-handed heave that somehow banked in, giving the Hawks a 103-96 lead.
THUNDER 118, KINGS 110
In Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant scored 32 points to lead Oklahoma City past Sacramento.
Durant extended his lead in a tight NBA scoring race with the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, despite sitting out the entire fourth quarter in a close game. Durant is averaging 27.97 points per game to Bryant’s 27.86, with each having one game left.
Reserve Daequan Cook had all 19 of his points in the fourth quarter. He scored all of the Thunder’s first 14 points of the final period to put the hosts ahead for the first time since the first quarter.
DeMarcus Cousins, who was allowed to play only after his 13th technical foul was rescinded earlier in the day, led Sacramento with 32 points.
JAZZ 100, SUNS 88
In Salt Lake City, Utah clinched a Western Conference playoff spot by beating Phoenix.
Paul Millsap scored 26 points and Al Jefferson went on a personal 8-0 fourth-quarter run for the Jazz, who had not beaten the Suns since 2010.
Jared Dudley and Michael Redd scored 15 apiece for the Suns, who were without forward Channing Frye because of a shoulder injury.
Utah can still claim the No. 7 seed if Denver loses its final two games.
HORNETS 83, WARRIORS 81
In Oakland, Golden State’s Chris Wright was called for goaltending on Marco Belinelli’s layup with 1.5 seconds remaining, giving New Orleans the win.
In the final seconds, Greivis Vazquez blocked Charles Jenkins’ layup to start a fast break. He pushed the ball ahead to a wide-open Belinelli, whose layup touched the backboard and was on its way down before Wright hustled over for the illegal swat.
Many Warriors fans were actually happy about the defeat. Golden State has to finish in the bottom seven of the league after the draft lottery to keep its protected first-round pick.
The Warriors are eighth worst in the league entering today’s season finale at home against San Antonio.