Sun, Apr 13, 2014 - Page 19 News List

Heat beat Pacers to top conference

OUTPACED:The 98-86 win came courtesy of 36 points from LeBron James, while the Knicks beat the Raptors, but Toronto clinched the Atlantic title when the Nets lost

AP, MIAMI

Miami Heat forward LeBron James, right, is pressured by Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert during the first half in Miami, Florida, on Friday.

Photo: USA TODAY

LeBron James scored 36 points as the Miami Heat moved back atop the Eastern Conference standings by running past the Indiana Pacers 98-86 on Friday night.

The Heat scored the first 16 points of the second half and were not in trouble again. Miami (54-25) leads the Pacers (54-26) by a half-game in the East race.

Mario Chalmers scored 13, Udonis Haslem added 11 and Chris Bosh and Ray Allen each scored 10 for the Heat.

Paul George scored 22 for Indiana, who received 18 from David West, 12 from Luis Scola and 11 from Lance Stephenson. Pacers center Roy Hibbert had only five points and one rebound, grabbing it with just over 2 minutes left in the game.

Miami has games against Atlanta, Washington and Philadelphia left. Win them all, and the Heat would have home-court advantage through at least the East finals.

KNICKS 108, RAPTORS 100

In Toronto, Carmelo Anthony scored 30 points, while Amare Stoudemore had 24 points and 11 rebounds as New York preserved their slim playoff hopes.

J.R. Smith had 15 points, Raymond Felton 12 and Iman Shumpert scored eight of his 11 in the fourth quarter as the Knicks won for the first time in three games.

DeMar DeRozan scored 26 points and Kyle Lowry had 25, but the Raptors failed to match the franchise record for victories in a season (47) and disappointed a sellout crowd that had hoped to watch them clinch the Atlantic Division title for the second time in franchise history.

Toronto later clinched the division when the Nets lost to Atlanta.

SPURS 112, SUNS 104

In San Antonio, Danny Green had a career-high 33 points as San Antonio rallied from a 21-point deficit to clinch the league’s best record.

Kawhi Leonard scored 18 points and Tony Parker added 18 points and three assists in his return from a two-game absence due to a back injury.

Green was seven-for-10 on three-pointers in pushing San Antonio (62-18) to victory without Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, who both sat out the second game of a back-to-back for rest.

Eric Bledsoe had 30 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists to lead Phoenix (47-32), who fell into a tie with Memphis for the West’s eighth seed. Gerald Green scored 27 points, Markieff Morris added 20 points and Channing Frye had 13.

HAWKS 93, NETS 88

In New York, Paul Millsap had 27 points and 10 rebounds to help Atlanta move to the verge of a playoff spot.

The Hawks could have clinched the final Eastern Conference berth had the Knicks lost in Toronto. Instead, Atlanta remained two games up with three to play, needing just one more win or New York loss to secure their post-season place.

Jeff Teague added 22 points for the Hawks, who won for just the fifth time in 13 games and are only 36-43, but that might be good enough in the East. He frequently took advantage of a matchup with little brother Marquis, forced to play extended minutes while the Nets rested some regulars.

WIZARDS 96, MAGIC 86

In Orlando, Florida, Nene scored 17 points, while Bradley Beal added 16 as Washington overcame a sluggish offense.

John Wall had 10 points and 12 assists for the Wizards, who ended a two-game losing streak. Trevor Booker finished with 14 points and Marcin Gortat had 12.

Arron Afflalo led Orlando with 19 points, but the Magic shot just four-for-15 in the fourth quarter and saw their two-game winning streak end. Jameer Nelson had 12 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds for Orlando, while Kyle O’Quinn added 13 points and nine rebounds.

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