Tue, Apr 14, 2015 - Page 18 News List

Indiana overpower Oklahoma 116-104

INSUFFICIENT:The Pacers held off an assault by the Thunder’s Russell Westbrook, who nearly achieved a triple-double while scoring a career-high 54 points

AP, INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana

Russell Westbrook scored a career-high 54 points on Sunday, but Indiana fended off his late charge for a critical 116-104 victory over Oklahoma City.

C.J. Miles matched his season high with 30 points to lead Indiana (37-43) to their fifth straight win and into a tie with Brooklyn for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East. The Nets own the tiebreaker.

The Thunder (43-37) lost for the fifth time in six games despite a near triple-double from Westbrook, who had nine rebounds and eight assists. Oklahoma City is tied with New Orleans for the No. 8 seed in the West.

After posting a triple-double in the first game against the Pacers this season, Westbrook nearly did it again. He was 21 of 43 from the field, five of 15 on threes and seven of 11 from the free-throw line. He had 22 points and four assists just in the first quarter.

PISTONS 116, HORNETS 77

In Auburn Hills, Michigan, Andre Drummond had 15 points and 19 rebounds as the Detroit Pistons turned their home finale into a rout over Charlotte.

Greg Monroe scored 17 points in what might have been his final home game at the Palace. Monroe is set to become an unrestricted free agent after the season.

Noah Vonleh led Charlotte with 16 points.

ROCKETS 121, PELICANS 114

In Houston, Texas, James Harden scored 30 points as Houston used a big run at the beginning of the fourth quarter to take the lead against New Orleans.

The Rockets ended a two-game skid behind the NBA-leading 35th 30-point game for Harden, who leads the league in scoring.

Corey Brewer and Dwight Howard carried Houston in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, combining for all of the Rockets’ points in a 14-5 run that put them on top 100-91. Howard finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Brewer added 20 points.

Anthony Davis had 27 points for the Pelicans.

BUCKS 96, NETS 73

In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Ersan Ilyasova scored 21 points as Milwaukee clinched a playoff spot with their blowout victory over Brooklyn.

Milwaukee also secured the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, a year after a franchise-worst 67-loss season. O.J. Mayo added 17 points for the Bucks.

Bucks coach Jason Kidd led his team to the clinching victory over the team he coached last season. According to STATS, Kidd is the first coach in NBA history to lead two franchises to the playoffs in his first two years as a head coach.

Brook Lopez had his 17th double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Nets.

CELTICS 117, CAVALIERS 78

In Boston, Isaiah Thomas scored 17 points as Boston moved closer to a playoff berth with a victory over a Cleveland team without LeBron James and three other starters.

Coach David Blatt rested James, Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving and J.R. Smith, because the Cavaliers have already clinched the No. 2 post-season spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Celtics magic number for reaching the post-season dropped to one. They would clinch a berth if Indiana lose to Oklahoma City on Sunday night. If the Celtics remain in seventh place in the East, they would face the Cavaliers in the first round.

SPURS 107, SUNS 91

In San Antonio, Texas, Tim Duncan had 22 points and 10 rebounds to lead San Antonio to their 11th straight victory.

San Antonio moved into second place in the Western Conference and took a half-game lead over idle Memphis in the Southwest Division. The defending champion Spurs have won 21 of 24.

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