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Tuesday, 17 April 2007 22:23
NBA Headline News

 SCOREBOARD
Wednesday, April 18
New Orleans at L.A. Clippers (10:30 p.m. EDT). The Clippers are in competition with Golden State for the final Western Conference playoff spot as the regular season ends.

STARS
Tuesday
-Josh Smith, Hawks, had 25 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and four blocked shots, leading Atlanta to a 118-102 victory over Indiana.
-Elton Brand, Clippers, had 21 points, nine rebounds and three blocks as Los Angeles defeated Phoenix 103-99.
-

STILL ALIVE
The Clippers need to win Wednesday night at home against New Orleans and have Golden State lose at Portland to get the No. 8 seed in the West and a first-round playoff date with Dallas. Los Angeles remained in the race with a 103-99 win at Phoenix on Tuesday night.

STANDINGS
Cleveland stayed alive for the second seed in the Eastern Conference with a 98-92 victory at Philadelphia on Tuesday night. The Cavaliers could move up to No. 2 if they beat Milwaukee on Wednesday and New Jersey beats Chicago. ... Orlando's 95-89 victory over Washington left open the possibility that the eighth-seeded Magic could climb to sixth with a win and losses by New Jersey and Washington on Wednesday.

DOMINANT
Golden State's 111-82 victory on Tuesday night was its fifth straight over Dallas, a possible first-round playoff opponent if the Warriors can beat Portland on Wednesday night.

IMPROVING
Atlanta set season highs for points in a quarter (41) and a half (76), reaching 30 wins for the first time since the 2002-03 season by beating Indiana 118-102 Tuesday night.

SLUMPING
Washington's Antawn Jamison scored a season-high 48 points, but the Wizards lost for the eighth time in nine games and dropped to seventh in the Eastern Conference after being beaten by Orlando 95-89 Tuesday night. The Wizards (40-41) fell below .500 for the first time since they were 10-11 on Dec. 15, and have lost six straight at home for the first time since 2000-01.

SCORING
Slovenian rookie Uros Slokar, who came into the game with 20 career points, led Toronto with 18 in a 100-84 loss to Detroit on Tuesday night.

DURABLE
Amare Stoudemire was the only Phoenix player to appear in all 82 games this season.

CLANG
Washington's starting backcourt of DeShawn Stevenson (2-for-14) and Antonio Daniels (0-for-10) combined to shoot 2-for-24 in Tuesday night's 95-89 loss to Orlando.

SIDELINED
Orlando center Darko Milicic sprained his right ankle in the second quarter Tuesday night against Washington and could miss the start of the playoffs. Milicic is averaging 8.0 points and 5.5 rebounds this season.

SUSPENDED
NBA referee Joey Crawford was suspended indefinitely by commissioner David Stern on Tuesday for his conduct toward San Antonio's Tim Duncan, who contends the official challenged him to a fight during a game in Dallas on Sunday. Crawford's suspension will last at least through the NBA finals. He apparently will have to meet with Stern after that to discuss reinstatement.

SO LONG
Jerry West will leave as Memphis' director of basketball operations July 1, ending a five-year stint with the former expansion franchise. The Grizzlies (21-60) have the worst record in the league.

SPEAKING
``This is not what it should be about. We should be preparing for a playoff game. To sit at home and watch it on TV is not fun for anybody.'' - Atlanta coach Mike Woodson, who is now 69-177 through three seasons after the Hawks closed out the season with a 118-102 victory over Indiana on Tuesday night.
 

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