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Friday, April 2, 2010

Cavaliers hold off surging Milwaukee

CLEVELAND (AP) The Milwaukee Bucks have climbed in the standings — and in stature.

News photo
Young guns: Cleveland's Mo Williams drives on Milwaukee's Brandon Jennings on Wednesday night. The Cavaliers beat the Bucks 101-98. AP PHOTO

In fact, they've risen so far, so fast that their confident coach felt as if his young squad handed a victory to the NBA's best team.

"We should have won that game," Scott Skiles said following a tough, 101-98 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night. "We gave them that game."

Mo Williams made four free throws in the final 12.8 seconds and teamed up with LeBron James on the game's defining play as the Cavaliers held on to beat the vastly improved Bucks, who are 17-6 since the All-Star break and could be a handful for any team in the playoffs.

James scored 23 and Williams 21 for the Cavs, who have won 10 of their past 11 and are closing in on the league's best record and home-court advantage throughout the postseason.

John Salmons scored 28 points and Andrew Bogut had 19 points and 12 rebounds for Milwaukee.

Hawks 109, Lakers 92

In Atlanta, Joe Johnson scored 25 points, Jamal Crawford got plenty of help off the bench and the Hawks handed the Lakers their second straight loss.

Suns 116, Nets 105

In East Rutherford, N.J., Steve Nash had 24 points and 14 assists, Jason Richardson scored 23 points, and the Suns ran their winning streak to nine games.

Thunder 109, Celtics 104

In Boston, Kevin Durant scored 37 points, and Jeff Green hit two 3-pointers in the last two minutes.

Wizards 96, Hornets 91

In New Orleans, Mike Miller scored a season-high 27 points and the Wizards snapped a franchise-record 16-game losing streak.

Timberwolves 108, Kings 99

In Minneapolis, Al Jefferson had 19 points and 12 rebounds and Darko Milicic also got a double-double to help the Timberwolves snapped a 16-game losing streak.

Bobcats 103, 76ers 84

In Charlotte, Gerald Wallace had 24 points and 12 rebounds, Tyson Chandler added a season-high 15 points, and the Bobcats moved a step closer to their first playoff berth.

Raptors 114, Clippers 92

In Toronto, Chris Bosh had 34 points and 11 rebounds, and Andrea Bargnani had 21 points and eight rebounds.

Heat 98, Pistons 81

In Auburn Hills, Mich., Michael Beasley snapped out of a slump with 28 points and nine rebounds as the Heat won their sixth straight.

Mavs 106, Grizzlies 102 (OT)

In Memphis, Dirk Nowitzki overcame a poor shooting night, scoring 28 points and leading a late rally as the Mavericks won their 50th game of the season.

Spurs 119, Rockets 102

In San Antonio, George Hill scored a career-high 30 points and led two second-half pushes for the Spurs.

Jazz 128, Warriors 104

In Salt Lake City, Carlos Boozer had 25 points and 13 rebounds, Deron Williams had a season-high 19 assists and the Jazz kept pace in a tight Western Conference playoff race.

Trail Blazers 118, Knicks 90

In Portland, LaMarcus Aldridge scored 21 points before sitting out the final quarter, and the Trail Blazers clinched a playoff spot.

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