The Brooklyn Nets clinched a playoff berth by beating the Houston Rockets for the first time in eight years in a 105-96 victory a game that saw Joe Johnson score 32 points on Tuesday.
Shaun Livingston added 17 points for the Nets, who extended their home winning streak to 14 — the longest in their NBA history and topping the league this season — and pulled within 1.5 games of Toronto and Chicago for the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference.
The triumph broke the Nets’ 14-game skid against Houston stretching back to their last victory in March 13, 2006. The Nets had not defeated the Rockets at home since March 31, 2003, when they were still playing in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
James Harden scored 26 points for Houston.
Elsewhere in the league, Golden State’s Stephen Curry made a tiebreaking jump shot in the final second of overtime to help lift the Warriors to a 122-120 win over the Dallas Mavericks.
Curry finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds, while Klay Thompson led Golden State with 27 points as Jermaine O’Neal added 20.
Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas with 33 points and 11 rebounds, scoring 16 in the Mavericks’ 41-point second quarter.
Dallas dropped from seventh in the Western Conference to ninth, a half-game behind Memphis and Phoenix in the final two playoff positions.
In Los Angeles, Damian Lillard scored 34 points, while LaMarcus Aldridge had 31 points and 15 rebounds as the Portland Trail Blazers overpowered the Lakers 124-112.
The Blazers’ fourth straight victory, coupled with Houston’s loss at Brooklyn, moved Portland within 1.5 games of the Rockets for fourth place in the Western Conference and home-court advantage in the opening round of the playoffs. The Rockets have three games in hand.
Nick Young, the fifth and last player off the Los Angeles bench, made his first eight shots and finished 15 for 26 with a season-high 40 points. However, it was not enough to prevent the Lakers’ 10th defeat in 14 games and they slipped to 25-49 — the most losses by the club since they finished 33-49 in the 1993-1994 season. The franchise has not lost 50 games in a season since the 1974-1975 (30-52) season.