NEW ORLEANS (AP) -Chris Paul had 33 points and 15 assists, and the New Orleans Hornets became the first Western Conference team to clinch a playoff berth by beating the New York Knicks 118-110 on Friday night.
New Orleans (53-22), which never has been better than a No. 4 seed in the playoffs, increased its lead on the top of the West to 1 1/2 games over the San Antonio Spurs, who lost to Utah.
Jamal Crawford had 29 points for the Knicks, who have lost 17 of 19 but stayed competitive into the fourth quarter. The Hornets trailed 95-91 with 10:20 left before putting away the game with a 26-9 run, getting 12 points from Peja Stojakovic during that spurt.
Stojakovic finished with 22 points and David West added 17 for the Hornets, who won their 10th in a row at home. They were coming off a season-high, six-game road trip in which they went 5-1.
Lakers 112, Mavericks 108
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Lamar Odom scored a season-high 31 points, Kobe Bryant added 25 points and 10 rebounds, and Los Angeles clinched a playoff berth by beating Dallas.
The Lakers have qualified for the playoffs in 55 of their 60 seasons as a franchise, winning 14 NBA championships and 27 division titles - hoping for a 28th with a magic number of five.
Jazz 90, Spurs 64
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Mehmet Okur had 17 points and 16 rebounds, and Utah ended San Antonio's eight-game winning streak.
San Antonio matched its lowest point total in franchise history, set in a loss to Cleveland in March 1997. The Jazz held the defending NBA champion Spurs without a point for almost the first 4 minutes of the fourth quarter.
Deron Williams had his 50th double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 assists, opening the fourth quarter with a high alley-oop to Andrei Kirilenko to start a 13-0 run for the Jazz. Kirilenko finished with 10 points and six assists, and Carlos Boozer added 16 points and flustered Spurs star Tim Duncan all night.
Suns 117, Timberwolves 88
PHOENIX (AP) - Steve Nash had 14 points and 11 assists, then sat out the final quarter while Phoenix completed a rout of Minnesota.
Amare Stoudemire had 24 points in 28 minutes as five Suns reached double figures. Grant Hill, out for the previous three games with a strained right groin, had 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Al Jefferson scored 20 points on 11-of-26 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who fell to an NBA-worst 5-32 on the road.
Wizards 109, Heat 95
WASHINGTON (AP) - Caron Butler scored 29 points and Washington beat Miami to clinch a playoff spot for the fourth straight season.
The woeful Heat set a franchise record with 19 3-pointers and still couldn't beat the Wizards, who were without Antawn Jamison for the first time this season. Jamison, who averages 21.5 points and a team-leading 10.2 rebounds, was sidelined with a sprained right shoulder.
Ricky Davis had a season-high 33 points and Chris Quinn finished with 24 for the Heat, who must win two of their final six games to avoid tying the worst record in their 20-year history. Miami, an NBA-worst 13-63, went 15-67 in 1988-89, its first season.
76ers 109, Hawks 104
ATLANTA (AP) - Andre Iguodala scored 30 points and Andre Miller had 23 to help Philadelphia wrap up its first playoff spot in three years.
Philadelphia stopped the Hawks' five-game winning streak and has won two straight and 21 of 28.
Joe Johnson led Atlanta with 32 points. The teams will play again Saturday in Philadelphia, where the Sixers are 13-2 in the second game of back-to-backs.
Rockets 79, SuperSonics 66
SEATTLE (AP) - Tracy McGrady scored 18 of his 25 points in the third quarter, and Houston kept pace in the wild Western Conference playoff race by beating Seattle.
Bobby Jackson added 13 points, playing well in place of injured starter Rafer Alston, who missed his second straight game with a sore hamstring.
Nick Collison had 15 points and 11 rebounds, but the Sonics lost for the 20th time in 22 games and assured themselves of at least matching the worst record in franchise history. Rookie Kevin Durant slogged through the worst shooting night of his young career, missing his first eight attempts and finishing 2-of-17 with a season-low four points.
Bobcats 105, Raptors 100
TORONTO (AP) - Jason Richardson scored 27 points and Earl Boykins converted a three-point play after stealing the ball from T.J. Ford in the final minute of Charlotte's victory over Toronto.
Chris Bosh had 23 points for the Raptors, who clinched a playoff spot after New Jersey lost to Detroit. Toronto has lost three of four and 14 of 20.
Warriors 117, Grizzlies 86
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Andris Biedrins had 21 points and 17 rebounds, and Golden State climbed within a half-game of eighth-place Denver in the Western Conference.
Golden State, which snapped a two-game losing streak, had six players in double figures. Biedrins shot 8-of-11 from the field and grabbed five offensive rebounds.
Rudy Gay led Memphis with 23 points, while Hakim Warrick finished with 13 and Kyle Lowry had 12.
Pistons 106, Nets 87
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) - Antonio McDyess scored 19 points, Rasheed Wallace added 17 points and eight rebounds, and Detroit beat New Jersey for their fourth straight victory.
The victory moved Detroit to the verge of clinching the second seed in the Eastern Conference. The Pistons will lock up the No. 2 spot with one win or an Orlando loss.
New Jersey trails Atlanta by four games with six games left in the race for the East's last playoff spot.
Pacers 105, Bucks 101
MILWAUKEE (AP) - Mike Dunleavy had 27 points and 11 rebounds, and Indiana pulled within three games of Atlanta for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Troy Murphy scored 17 points and Danny Granger added 13 for Indiana, which has missed the playoffs the last two seasons. Jermaine O'Neal had 11 points and six turnovers in his third game back after missing 33 with a sore left knee.

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