|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 15 April 2008 19:02|
The Hornets will have at least the No. 2 seed in the playoffs in the rugged Western Conference.
Hornets coach Byron Scott earned his 300th career victory. The Hornets finished 30-11 at home for the third time in franchise history. The club record is 32-9, set in 1997-98.
After losing three of its last four, New Orleans struggled for a half against the reeling Clippers before putting them away with 26-6 spurt in the third quarter. The Clippers have lost six in a row and are 4-25 in their last 29 games.
Paul finished with 22 points and 12 assists, while Tyson Chandler added 11 points and 11 rebounds. Rookie Julian Wright scored all 14 of his points in the fourth quarter.
Rookie Al Thornton led the Clippers with 26 points.
Pistons 115, Timberwolves 103
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) - Jarvis Hayes scored 20 points and Richard Hamilton added 18 as the Pistons clinched the NBA's second-best record behind Boston.
With the victory, Detroit will have home-court advantage over any Western Conference opponent if it makes the NBA Finals.
The loss, which ended Minnesota's two-game winning streak, was its 60th of the season.
Chauncey Billups added 17 points and six assists against his former team, while Al Jefferson led Minnesota with 30 points.
Nets 112, Bobcats 108, OT
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - Richard Jefferson scored 28 points and hit a go-ahead jumper as the Nets rallied from a 20-point first-half deficit.
Vince Carter added 18 points, Devin Harris had 17 and eight assists and the Nets limited the Bobcats to 47 points in the final 29 minutes after giving up 61 in the first half.
Jason Richardson had 31 points to lead Charlotte in the meaningless game between two non playoff teams. Nazr Mohammed added 19 points, Raymond Felton had 18 and Emeka Okafor had 15 rebounds.
The Bobcats scored 15 straight points in a 29-7 run that gave them a 33-18 lead after the first quarter. Charlotte increased its margin to 20 points in the second quarter and went to the locker room ahead 61-44.
Magic 121, Hawks 105
ATLANTA (AP) - Maurice Evans scored a career-high 27 points and six of his Orlando teammates also scored in double figures.
Evans had 23 points in the second half as both playoff-bound teams substituted liberally, knowing the game had no impact on their postseason positioning. The fourth-year guard, who wasn't drafted out of college, eclipsed his previous high of 26 points against Golden State on Feb. 25.
Orlando already clinched the Southeast Division and will be the No. 3 seed in the East against Philadelphia. The Hawks are headed to the playoffs for the first time since 1999 as the eighth-seeded team and will play Boston.
The Hawks, who won only 13 games four years ago, locked up the final spot in the East when Indiana lost Monday night.
Trail Blazers 113, Grizzlies 91
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - James Jones hit six 3-pointers and had 20 points to give the Trail Blazers a shot at a winning record.Brandon Roy had 16 points and 11 rebounds for Portland (41-40), back over .500 with one game left this season, Wednesday night at Phoenix. The Blazers have not finished with a winning record since the 2002-03 season.
Jarrett Jack scored 18 points and Channing Frye had 16 for Portland. Travis Outlaw punctuated the game with a pair of alley-oop dunks for the final margin.
Hakim Warrick led Memphis with 17 points and 14 rebounds.
The Grizzlies were without veteran guard Mike Miller because of back spasms, and guard Javaris Crittenton, who has a sprained right thumb.
The Blazers decided on Monday to sit forward Martell Webster for the final two games. Webster was hospitalized briefly last week because of an irregular heartbeat, but had been cleared to play.