|Tuesday's NBA Capsules|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 17 April 2007 19:14|
PHOENIX (AP) -The Los Angeles Clippers had to beat the best of the Phoenix Suns, if not the Suns at their best, to keep their playoff hopes alive with one game to go.|
Elton Brand scored 21 points to lead six Clippers in double figures and Los Angeles beat the Suns 103-99 on Tuesday night.
Jason Hart made two free throws with 7.8 seconds left to seal the win and deprive the Suns of a 62nd victory, which would have tied the franchise record.
Los Angeles needs 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.
While Dallas, with the No. 1 playoff seed locked up, rested its stars in a game at Golden State on Tuesday night, Suns coach Mike D'Antoni stuck with his regular rotation, despite being assured the West's No. 2 slot.
Still, the Clippers pulled away to win in the fourth period.
Warriors 111, Mavericks 82
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - The Warriors have waited nearly 13 years to get back in the playoffs - and despite yet another win, they must wait one last night.
Mickael Pietrus scored 22 points, Matt Barnes had 19 and the Warriors moved to the brink of their first postseason berth since 1994. The Warriors took a 28-point lead in the first half as they roared to their fifth straight win over the Mavericks, sweeping the three-game season series from the NBA's best team, which also is their potential first-round playoff opponent.
Dallas kept Dirk Nowitzki, Josh Howard, Jerry Stackhouse and Erick Dampier out of a meaningless game - for them - in preparation for the postseason.
Golden State has won eight of the last nine games.
Cavaliers 98, 76ers 92
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Larry Hughes scored 22 points and LeBron James had 18 to lead Cleveland, keeping the Cavaliers alive for the second seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Cavaliers could move up to No. 2 if they beat Milwaukee on Wednesday night and New Jersey beats Chicago, also on Wednesday. If they play like this against the Bucks, they'll surely be counting on the Nets to win and bump them up in the playoff race.
James added six assists in an all-around solid game and led a well-balanced Cavaliers attack that had six players score in double figures.
Joe Smith had 17 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for the Sixers. Willie Green scored 24 points, and Samuel Dalembert added 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Magic 95, Wizards 89
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Magic overcame Antawn Jamison's 48 points and kept up a last-minute push to improve their playoff seeding.
Hedo Turkoglu scored 26 points to lead the Magic, who are sitting in eighth place in the Eastern Conference, but could move as high as seventh if they beat Miami on Wednesday, the last day of the regular season.
If they do move up, it will be largely at the expense of the Wizards, who have lost eight of nine and six straight at home - most of them without their two injured All-Stars, Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler. Jamison tried to carry his team with a season-high performance, but he got scant help from his teammates.
Jamison went 14-for-26 from the field. The non-Jamison Wizards went 14-for-54. But Washington's biggest problem on Tuesday had nothing to do with the absences of Arenas and Butler - the team went 25-for-44 from the free-throw line, including Jamison's 15-for-24.
Pistons 100, Raptors 84
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) - Richard Hamilton scored 10 first-half points in a glorified exhibition game for both teams.
Neither team had anything to play for - the Pistons are locked into the Eastern Conference's top seed and the Raptors will be No. 3 - but Detroit coach Flip Saunders didn't want a repeat of his team's feeble loss to Philadelphia.
So, while Toronto's Chris Bosh and Anthony Parker spent the night in street clothes, Detroit played its normal rotation until the game got out of hand.
Unfortunately for the Raptors, Morris Peterson was still on the floor in the final minutes when he appeared to hyperextend his right knee. He limped off the floor, and was helped back to the locker room.
Hawks 118, Pacers 102
ATLANTA (AP) - The Hawks set season highs for points in a quarter and a half as they finished another disappointing season by beating the Pacers. The Hawks missed the playoffs for the eighth straight season, but reached 30 wins for the first time since the 2002-03 season.
Tyronn Lue and Josh Smith each scored 25 points to lead four Hawks with more than 20. Marvin Williams added 23 and rookie Shelden Williams set a career high with 21.
Backup forward Ike Diogu led Indiana with 20 points.
Indiana, eliminated from playoff contention on Sunday for the first time in 10 years, held out forward Jermaine O'Neal with a sore left knee.
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