Vince Carter had 24 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, and the New Jersey Nets beat Chicago 106-97 on Wednesday, costing the Bulls the No. 2 seed in the NBA's Eastern Conference playoffs.
Mikki Moore had 22 points and Jason Kidd added 11 assists and 11 rebounds as the Nets clinched the No. 6 seed in the East and dropped the Bulls to No. 5, where they face a tough matchup with the defending champion Miami Heat.
The Cleveland Cavaliers were the beneficiary of only the Bulls' third loss in 13 games. They get the No. 2 spot and will face Washington in the opening round. New Jersey will face the Atlantic Division champion Toronto Raptors.
Cavaliers 109, Bucks 96
At Cleveland, LeBron James scored 24 points and capped a decisive run to open the fourth quarter with one of his powerhouse dunks, sending Cleveland over Milwaukee in its regular-season finale.
The Cavaliers pulled away by outscoring the Bucks 12-3 to open the final period, giving Cleveland its second straight 50-win season and more momentum heading into this weekend's NBA playoffs.
They left the confetti-littered floor of Quicken Loans Arena not knowing who their opponent would be in the opening round. But a little more than an hour later, New Jersey beat Chicago, giving the Cavaliers the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference and a first-round matchup with Washington, the seventh seed.
Magic 94, Heat 68
At Orlando, Florida, Grant Hill scored 17 points, Hedo Turkoglu added 15 and Orlando beat undermanned Miami for its sixth victory in seven games.
The Magic will open the playoffs at Detroit this weekend. They are 0-4 against the Pistons this season.
Orlando certainly got a break in the finale, playing the Heat without stars Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade.
Nuggets 100, Spurs 77
At San Antonio, Reggie Evans had 19 points and 20 rebounds to help Denver beat San Antonio in a game that was more of a tuneup than a playoff preview.
Denver and San Antonio will meet again in the first round of the playoffs, beginning this weekend.
For the regular season finale, both teams rested their top players.
Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Fabricio Oberto didn't play for the Spurs, while Allen Iverson, Carmelo Anthony, Nene and Marcus Camby sat out for Denver.
Wizards 98, Pacers 95
At Indianapolis, Antawn Jamison had 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Washington beat Indiana to clinch the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
In other NBA action it was:
* 76ers 122, Raptors 119
* Pistons 91, Celtics 89
* Grizzlies 116, T'wolves 94
* Knicks 94, Bobcats 93
* Lakers 117, Kings 104
* Jazz 101, Rockets 91
* Mavericks 106, Sonics 75
* Warriors 120, Trail Blazers 98
* Hornets 86, Clippers 83
‘CRIMINAL ACT’: The UCI said it ‘strongly condemns’ Dylan Groenewegen’s ‘dangerous behavior,’ which left Jakobsen in critical condition and injured other cyclists Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen was in a coma on Wednesday, in “serious” condition, after he was thrown into and over a barrier at 80kph in the conclusion to the opening stage of the Tour de Pologne. Footage showed 23-year-old Jakobsen, of the Deceuninck-Quick-Step, racing elbow-to-elbow with fellow Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen of Jumbo-Visma as both men frantically tussled in a tight sprint to the line in Katowice. However, Jakobsen came off worst, somersaulting over the barriers before colliding with a photographer after Groenewegen had veered suddenly to the right, squeezing his rival into the security wall. “His condition is very serious. His life is
Taiwan Steel on Sunday grabbed three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Hang Yuan FC, to move into the No. 2 spot on the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) log, while Taipower FC beat NTUS 2-0 to maintain first place. Taking advantage early in the match of opposition defenders who had not yet settled down, Taiwan Steel’s attacking trio of Wu Chun-ching, Marc Fenelus from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Benchy Astama from Haiti pushed forward with good passes. After only one minute of play, Fenelus dribbled from the right flank, feeding a short pass inside the penalty area to
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational
STAYING COOL: Hamilton said that his ‘heart nearly stopped’ when he noticed the puncture, but he kept going to beat Alain Prost’s total of six home wins in France Lewis Hamilton said he feared he might not make it home when a last lap puncture almost derailed his charge to a record seventh British Grand Prix victory on Sunday. “I didn’t think I would make it round the last two corners,” the world champion said. The front left tire of his Mercedes had delaminated and deflated on his final lap, leaving the six-time world champion to nurse his vehicle to the finish as second-placed Max Verstappen hunted him down. “I just can’t believe it,” Hamilton said. “It was heart-stopping. I backed off and stayed chilled and was so glad it happened on