Raptors edge Boston, book play-off berth

March 30, 2014 - 1:17:25 am

Amar’e Stoudemire (1) of the New York Knicks puts up a shot over Miles Plumlee (22) and Channing Frye (8) of the Phoenix Suns during the second half of their NBA game at US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

 

NEW YORK: Guard DeMar DeRozan had a game-high 30 points as the Toronto Raptors clinched their first play-off berth since 2008 with a 105-103 win over the Boston Celtics.

With just 7.1 seconds remaining in the fourth, Raptors centre Amir Johnson had his off-balance put back drop sealing the Toronto victory.

Johnson finished with eight points in the win. Guard Terrence Ross had 17 points while guard Greivis Vasquez had 15 points off the bench as the Raptors snap a five year play-off absence.

Toronto (41-31), who lead Brooklyn by 2.5 games for the Atlantic Division lead, can win their first division title since 2007.

Boston (23-49) have lost nine straight on the road and are now 8-27 away from home this season.

Forward Kevin Durant scored 29 points on nine-of-11 shooting from the field to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 94-81 win over the Sacramento Kings.

Durant extended his streak to 37 straight games with at least 25 points and is now three games from tying Michael Jordan’s record of 40.

In the past, Oklahoma City allowed teams to get back into games but against the Kings (25-47), the Thunder (53-19) brought out the big bats and never stopped swinging.

Leading 54-38 to start the second half, Oklahoma City went 12-for-16 from the field in the third quarter but even more impressive was the Thunder holding the Kings to five field goals in 12 minutes from which the Kings never recovered.

Guard John Wall scored 20 points and centre Marcin Gortat had 17 points and 12 rebounds as the Washington Wizards picked up a rare victory over the Indiana Pacers, winning 91-78.

Forward Al Harrington had 12 points for the Wizards (37-35), who had lost two straight and four of five overall. 

Washington never trailed, and opened double-digit leads in both halves, including 77-56 midway through the second half.

The Wizards had lost 11 of 12 to the Pacers dating to 2008, including the first two matchups this season.

Forward Paul George scored 19 points for the Eastern Conference-leading Pacers (52-21). 

Forward LeBron James recorded his first triple-double of the season and 37th of his career with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists and the short-handed Miami Heat rolled to a 110-78 victory over the Detroit Pistons.

Centre Udonis Haslem scored a season-high 17 points for the Heat while power forward Chris Bosh added 15 points and nine rebounds.

The Heat (49-22) played without three starters, shooting guard Dwyane Wade (sore Achilles tendon and hamstring), point guard Mario Chalmers (thigh bruise) and centre Greg Oden (back spasms), as well as top reserve Ray Allen (stomach virus).

Power forward Greg Monroe and reserve point guard Will Bynum had 12 points each for Detroit (26-46).

The Brooklyn Nets continued their near-impeccable play at the Barclays Centre with a 108-97 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The victory was the Nets’ 12th straight at home and snapped a two-game losing streak after overtime losses in New Orleans and Charlotte.

REUTERS

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