Thursday's NBA Capsules Print
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Thursday, 27 March 2008 20:03
NBA Headline News

 AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -Rookie Arron Afflalo had career highs of 15 points and seven rebounds as the Detroit Pistons clinched the Central Division title with a 85-69 victory over the Miami Heat on Thursday night.
Detroit came in having lost three of four, and struggled against the hapless Heat. The Pistons were missing All-Star guard Richard Hamilton (hip) for the third straight game.
Miami, which only dressed nine players, has lost 13 of 15.
Reserve Jason Maxiell had 15 points for Detroit, while Chauncey Billups added 13 points and 11 assists.
Rookie Blake Ahearn, who came into the game with seven career points, led Miami with 15, but only two other players reached double figures.
Nuggets 118, Mavericks 105
DENVER (AP) - Carmelo Anthony scored 32 points and sparked the decisive run in the third quarter of the Nuggets' win over the sliding Mavericks.
Allen Iverson added 31 points for the Nuggets, who won their fourth straight and moved one game behind the Mavericks in the Western Conference playoffs race.
The Nuggets' grand night was capped when forward Nene entered the game with 1:17 left, marking his return to the court 2 1/2 months after surgery to remove a malignant testicular tumor, and just over a month after undergoing chemotherapy.
The Nuggets also got 10 boards from Anthony and overcame a 30-point night by Josh Howard and 19 points and 15 assists from Jason Kidd.
The Mavericks are 10-9 since acquiring Kidd from New Jersey, but none of the wins was against teams with winning records. Six of their final 10 games are against teams above .500.
Dallas fell to 1-1 since losing MVP Dirk Nowitzki indefinitely with knee and ankle injuries.
Warriors 111, Trail Blazers 95
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Stephen Jackson scored 14 of his 24 points in the third quarter and the Warriors bolstered their playoff position against the short-handed Trail Blazers.
The Warriors caught a lucky break when Portland All-Star guard Brandon Roy stayed home to nurse a sore groin. Golden State maintained a half-game lead over Denver for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference and moved within a half-game of Dallas for seventh place.
Golden State's next two games are against those teams, beginning with a trip to Denver on Saturday, then a home game the following night against Dallas.
The Warriors fell behind by 14 points in the first quarter before finding their stride. That's nothing new: Golden State has rallied from double-digit deficits in 16 of its 44 wins this season.
Golden State broke open a close game with a dominant third quarter, where its aggressiveness on offense paid off with 20 free throw attempts in the quarter. The Warriors made 18 of them after not going to the line once in the first half. They also shot 9-for-13 from the field, turned the ball over only once and outscored the Blazers 40-20 to take a 91-72 lead into the fourth period.
 

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