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Wednesday, 16 April 2008 00:02
NBA Headline News

 SCOREBOARD
Wednesday, April 16
Utah at San Antonio (9:30 p.m. EDT). The Jazz can clinch home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs with a win over the Spurs.

STARS
Tuesday
-Richard Jefferson, Nets, scored 28 points as New Jersey completed its seventh straight winning season at home with a 112-108 overtime victory over Charlotte.
-Maurice Evans, Magic, scored a career-high 27 points on 11-for-16 shooting as Orlando routed Atlanta 121-105.

BACK ON TOP
Pau Gasol had 22 points, Kobe Bryant added 20, and the Lakers beat short-handed Sacramento 124-101 Tuesday night to clinch the No. 1 seed in the West and home-court advantage throughout the conference playoffs. Los Angeles (57-25) won eight of its last nine games.

CLINCHED
David West scored 32 points and Chris Paul added 22 points and 12 assists as New Orleans clinched the Southwest Division by beating the Los Angeles Clippers 114-92 on Tuesday night. The Hornets, who won the first division championship in their 20-year history, will be the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.

STANDINGS
Detroit clinched the NBA's second-best record with a 115-103 victory over Minnesota on Tuesday night. The Pistons (58-23) will have home-court advantage over any Western Conference opponent if they make the NBA Finals, and will open the postseason against No. 7 seeded Philadelphia.

IMPROVING
James Jones hit six 3-pointers and had 20 points as Portland improved to 41-40 with a 113-91 victory Tuesday night over Memphis. The Blazers have not finished with a winning record since the 2002-03 season.

SLUMPS
Minnesota finished 1-14 in road games against Eastern Conference opponents this season following a 115-103 loss at Detroit on Tuesday night. ... The Clippers have not beaten a team with a winning record since Feb. 22 and are 0-16 on the road against Western Conference teams with winning records after a 114-92 loss at New Orleans.

CHARGED
Denver All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony said Tuesday he was ``truly sorry'' for his arrest on DUI charges Monday, and police denied giving him special treatment, even though one officer gave him a lift after his arrest and another drove his car to a city lot.

SIDELINED
Cleveland swingman Sasha Pavlovic will miss at least the first round of the playoffs with a sprained ankle. Pavlovic averaged 7.4 points and shot 36 percent from the floor in 51 games, including 45 starts. ... Houston point guard Rafer Alston will miss at least a week with a strained right hamstring. Alston started 74 of the Rockets' 81 games this season, averaging 13.1 points and 5.3 assists.

SPEAKING
``I think we thought we had them buried in the books, and you can't do that to any NBA team. You have a team down, you have to kick them. In the NBA, if you don't kick them, they are going to kick you. That's what they did. They got a lot of energy, they got their fans into it, they wanted to win their last home game.'' - Forward Jason Richardson after Charlotte blew a 20-point lead in a 112-108 overtime loss at New Jersey on Tuesday night.
 

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