Nets edge Heat in 88-87 victory for four-game sweep

AP, MIAMI

Thu, Apr 10, 2014 - Page 20

Joe Johnson scored 19 points, while Mason Plumlee was credited with a block on LeBron James’ dunk attempt in the final seconds as the Brooklyn Nets finished off a four-game season sweep of Miami by beating the Heat 88-87 on Tuesday night.

It was the third time Brooklyn beat Miami by a single point; the other win came in double-overtime.

Marcus Thornton scored 16 points, while Paul Pierce added 14 for the Nets, who became the first team in the past two years to sweep the Heat. Miami were the only team in the league to beat every team last season and would have repeated that feat with a win on Tuesday.

James had 29 points, 10 rebounds and six assists for the Heat, who remained a half-game ahead of Indiana, and one in the loss column, in the race for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. Chris Bosh scored 12 and Norris Cole added 10 for Miami.

ROCKETS 145, LAKERS 130

In Los Angeles, Terrence Jones and James Harden scored 33 points apiece as the Houston Rockets kept up their playoff push with their third straight victory.

Chandler Parsons scored 19 points for the Rockets, who used a 49-point third quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers to solidify their hold on fourth place in the Western Conference standings, despite their second-worst defensive performance of the year. Houston won the opener of a three-game road trip without injured Dwight Howard and Patrick Beverley.

Steve Nash moved into third place on the NBA’s career assists list for the miserable Lakers (25-53), who tied the franchise record for losses in a single season with their worst defensive performance of the year.

THUNDER 107, KINGS 92

In Sacramento, California, Caron Butler made all six of his three-point attempts to finish with 23 points as Oklahoma City started the fourth quarter on a 16-0 run to pull away for the victory.

Kevin Durant scored 23 points, but was never needed in the final quarter, stopping his streak of scoring at least 25 points in 41 consecutive games. Serge Ibaka added 19 points and four rebounds for the Thunder, who rested Russell Westbrook ahead of last night’s game at the Los Angeles Clippers.

Oklahoma City (56-21) are 1.5 games ahead of the Clippers (55-23) for the Western Conference’s No. 2 playoff seed.

In other NBA action, it was:

‧ Timberwolves 110, Spurs 91

‧ Mavericks 95, Jazz 83

‧ Pistons 102, Hawks 95