|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 18 April 2007 18:08|
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, which won eight of 11 to finish at .500, will now face the Atlantic Division champion Toronto Raptors.
Cavaliers 109, Bucks 96
CLEVELAND (AP) - 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 (50-32) 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
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Grant Hill scored 17 points, Hedo Turkoglu added 15 and Orlando beat undermanned Miami for its sixth victory in seven games.
The Magic could have moved up to the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs and avoided a first-round matchup against Detroit. But Washington beat Indiana later Wednesday, securing Orlando as the No. 8 seed.
The Magic will open 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
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - 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 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
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Antawn Jamison had 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Washington beat Indiana to clinch the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Mike Dunleavy led short-handed Indiana with 17 points. Forward Jermaine O'Neal sat out with a sore left knee and guard Jamaal Tinsley was active but did not play because of a sore right elbow.
76ers 122, Raptors 119
TORONTO (AP) - Willie Green had a career-high 37 points to lead Philadelphia over Toronto in the final regular-season game for both teams.
Andre Miller had 29 points and Joe Smith added 26 points for the rebuilding 76ers, who finished 35-47.
Luke Jackson had a career-high 30 points for the Raptors, who failed to set a franchise record for wins in a season. Toronto, 47-35, unfurled their Atlantic Division championship banner from the rafters of the Air Canada Centre before the game.
Pistons 91, Celtics 89
BOSTON (AP) - Flip Murray hit the winning shot and Amir Johnson set career highs with 20 points and 12 rebounds, leading Detroit over Boston.
Murray finished with 16 points for the Pistons, who closed out the regular season with two straight wins. Antonio McDyess and Jason Maxiell each had 11 for Detroit.
Rajon Rondo and Ryan Gomes led Boston with 19 apiece. Allan Ray scored 18 and Al Jefferson added 17 for the Celtics (24-58), who lost eight of nine to finish with the worst record in the Eastern Conference and second worst in the NBA.
Grizzlies 116, Timberwolves 94
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Pau Gasol had 25 points and 16 rebounds and Tarence Kinsey added 22 points to lead Memphis to a victory that assured that Minnesota will keep its lottery pick.
Randy Foye had 26 points and eight rebounds and Ricky Davis scored 23 for the Wolves, who dropped their final seven games of the season in an effort to keep their pick.
Knicks 94, Bobcats 93
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Eddy Curry scored 28 points and tipped in a miss with 0.6 seconds left to give New York a victory over Charlotte, spoiling the final game for Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff.
Steve Francis added 24 points for the Knicks, who snapped a five-game losing streak and avoided their second straight 50-loss season.
Walter Herrmann scored 22 points and Raymond Felton added 19 for the Bobcats, who failed to let Bickerstaff go out a winner.