Tyler Johnson on Monday night scored 24 points, including the game’s final four from the foul line, as the Miami Heat remained alive in the post-season chase by rallying to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 124-121.
Hassan Whiteside scored 23 points and grabbed 18 rebounds for Miami, who would have been eliminated with a loss. Josh Richardson scored 19 points, while James Johnson had 16 and Goran Dragic added 15.
Deron Williams had a season-high 35 points, along with nine assists and seven rebounds for the Cavaliers, who fell to 0-7 this season when LeBron James does not play.
The Cavs were also without Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson, and fell a game behind Boston in the race for No. 1 in the Eastern Conference. Kevin Love scored 25 points, Channing Frye had 21 and Kyle Korver had 18.
CELTICS 114, NETS 105
In Boston, Isaiah Thomas scored 27 points to help Boston beat back a fourth-quarter charge and defeat Brooklyn to keep alive hopes of securing the Eastern Conference’s top seed.
The Celtics clinched the Atlantic Division title and can finish with no worse than the No. 2 seed.
With Cleveland’s overtime loss at Miami, a Boston win in their regular-season finale against Milwaukee today would give the Celtics the No. 1 seed.
However, if Boston lose to the Bucks and Cleveland win their finale against Toronto, the Cavs would own the tiebreaker by virtue of their 3-1 head-to-head record with Boston.
Al Horford added 19 points and eight rebounds, while Jeremy Lin led the Nets with 26 points and 12 rebounds.
TRAIL BLAZERS 99, SPURS 98
In Portland, Oregon, Noah Vonleh made a layup at the buzzer as Portland beat San Antonio, despite resting starters Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.
Shabazz Napier scored a career-high 32 points for Portland, who won their third straight a day after Denver’s loss to Oklahoma City gave the Blazers the eighth and final playoff spot in the West.
Kawhi Leonard led the Spurs with 18 points.
After Pat Connaughton’s long jumper for Portland, Jake Layman dunked to narrow the gap to 98-97 with 12 seconds to go. The Spurs threw an inbound out of bounds to give the ball back to Portland and Vonleh’s layup fell amid the scramble under the basket.
JAZZ 105, WARRIORS 99
In Oakland, California, Rudy Gobert had 17 points and 18 rebounds while Joe Johnson added a key three-pointer with 80 seconds remaining as Utah snapped Golden State’s 14-game winning streak.
Golden State coach Steve Kerr, his team already assured of the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, opted to rest most of his starters for the entire fourth quarter and the Jazz (50-31) took advantage to end a seven-game losing streak at Oracle Arena.
George Hill had 20 points and Johnson finished with 19, including five three-pointers, as Utah also kept alive their shot at moving past the Clippers for the No. 4 seed in the West.
Stephen Curry had 28 points in three quarters for the Warriors (66-15), while Kevin Durant added 16 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in his second game back from a knee injury.
CLIPPERS 125, ROCKETS 96
In Los Angeles, Chris Paul scored 19 points and Blake Griffin added 18 as Los Angeles routed Houston to remain tied with Utah in the race for the No. 4 playoff seed.
The Clippers earned their sixth consecutive victory shortly after the Jazz won at Golden State. Both teams are 50-31 with one game remaining before they meet in the playoffs with only home court yet to be decided.
Former Clipper Eric Gordon led the Rockets with 17 points. James Harden shot two of nine for 14 points, well less than his 29.3 average. He missed five of six three-pointers.
Neither team led by more than eight points in the first half before the Clippers broke the game open in the third. They outscored the Rockets 36-12 to take a 97-69 lead.
In other results, it was:
‧ Pacers 120, 76ers 111
‧ Bucks 89, Hornets 79
‧ Bulls 122, Magic 75
‧ Wizards 105, Pistons 101
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
KEY GOAL: Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei is now free to focus on taking her fourth doubles title of the year with Barbora Strycova; they are due to face Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya Taiwanese No. 1 Hsieh Su-wei on Monday returned to the court for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the WTA Tour, falling to a 6-3, 6-1 defeat to US Open quarter-finalist Elise Mertens, who made a solid transition from the hard courts in New York to the clay at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. “I’m not sure how well I adapted, to be honest,” Mertens told the WTA Web site. “I just feel like I might still be struggling a little. It was also [Hsieh’s] first match of the week, so that was a bit of an
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
‘FUN TIME’: Denver’s Nikola Jokic said that his team would not accept that anyone else is better than them and the opposition need to play much better than they do Just about everyone had LA versus LA written in for the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but the resilient Denver Nuggets have crashed the party. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is scheduled to be played tomorrow. This was no ordinary road. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz before bouncing back with three straight victories. Then they went down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round before winning in Game 7