|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 24 April 2012 18:11|
ATLANTA (AP) - Joe Johnson scored 28 points, including a wild 3-pointer in the final minute, and the Atlanta Hawks held on for a 109-102 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night, moving a step closer to wrapping up home-court in the first round of the playoffs.|
Blake Griffin scored a season-high 36 points, while Chris Paul added 34 in a back-and-forth game that was never in double figures until the Hawks went on a 15-2 run at the end of the third quarter, sparked by Jeff Teague and Josh Smith.
Johnson clinched it with a pair of 3s, knocking down a desperation shot with 38 seconds remaining and the shot clock running down. He threw up a two-handed heave that somehow banked in, giving the Hawks a 103-96 lead.
THUNDER 118, KINGS 110
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Kevin Durant scored 32 points, reserve Daequan Cook had all 19 of his points in the fourth quarter and Oklahoma City won its first game since top James Harden took an elbow to the head.
Durant extended his lead in a tight NBA scoring race with the Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant despite sitting out the entire fourth quarter in a close game. Durant is averaging 27.97 points per game to Bryant's 27.86 with each having one game left.
Cook filled the scoring void, scoring Oklahoma City's first 14 points of the final period to put the Thunder ahead for the first time since the first quarter.
DeMarcus Cousins, who was allowed to play only after his 13th technical foul was rescinded earlier in the day, led Sacramento with 32 points.
CELTICS 78, HEAT 66
BOSTON (AP) - Sasha Pavlovic scored 12 of his of his season-high 16 points in the fourth quarter, leading a group of Boston reserves as both teams rested their top players.
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were out for the Heat. Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo didn't play for the Celtics.
Dexter Pittman had 12 points, James Jones scored 11 and Udonis Haslem grabbed 13 rebounds for the Heat, whose 25 turnovers were a season high.
Marquis Daniels finished with 13 points, Brandon Bass had eight points and eight rebounds for the Celtics. Boston's Paul Pierce finished with eight points. He started the game, but sat out the fourth quarter.
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