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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Magic whip Pacers for 5th straight

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) The Orlando Magic are finishing the regular season with a kick.

News photo
On target: Indiana's Danny Granger shoots over Orlando's Matt Barnes in the second half on Monday night. The Magic beat the Pacers 118-98. AP PHOTO

Vince Carter scored 21 points to help Orlando beat the Indiana Pacers 118-98 on Monday night for their fifth straight win.

Jameer Nelson had 15 points, eight assists and seven rebounds and Rashard Lewis scored 14 points for the Magic. Matt Barnes had 13 points and 11 rebounds and Dwight Howard added 12 points and 11 rebounds for Orlando, which will play Charlotte in the first round of the playoffs.

Indiana coach Jim O'Brien, whose Pacers have played their best ball of the season over the past few weeks, saw his team get overwhelmed by a squad he thinks could return to the NBA Finals for a second straight season.

"Orlando is a superior basketball team in every sense of the word," he said. "They'll be a tough out for anybody in the playoffs. They will possibly be there at the end this year."

A.J. Price scored 19 points and Danny Granger and Mike Dunleavy added 18 for the Pacers in their home finale. Indiana had won four straight and 10 of 12 overall.

Perhaps the worst part of Indiana's recent success was that it got Orlando's attention.

"We know that they are a very tough team at home, and that they have been playing very well here of late," Barnes said. "They are a very talented scoring team that can shoot the ball and present a lot of matchup problems."

Blazers 103, Thunder 95

In Portland, Marcus Camby scored a season-high 30 points and pulled down 13 rebounds, and the Blazers beat Oklahoma City without injured guard Brandon Roy.

Roy announced shortly before the game that he had a torn meniscus in his right knee that will also keep him out of Portland's regular-season finale Wednesday night against Golden State. Beyond that, the three-time All-Star's status for the playoffs is uncertain.

Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 30 points.

Heat 107, 76ers 105

In Philadelphia, Dwyane Wade scored 30 points and made the big assist to Udonis Haslem for the go-ahead basket with 1.3 seconds left, lifting Miami over the 76ers.

Quentin Richardson had 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Heat.

Hawks 104, Bucks 96

In Milwaukee, Joe Johnson scored 31 points to help Atlanta beat the Bucks in a matchup between potential first-round playoff opponents.

Marvin Williams added 18 points for the Hawks, who had six players score in double figures and continued to solidify their spot as the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference.

John Salmons scored 28 and Brandon Jennings added 21 in the regular-season home finale for Milwaukee.

Raptors 111, Pistons 97

In Auburn Hills, Mich., Andrea Bargnani had 33 points, Amir Johnson scored a career-high 26 and Toronto improved its playoff prospects by beating Detroit to snap a five-game losing streak.

Bobcats 105, Nets 95

In East Rutherford, N.J., Stephen Jackson had 17 points and nine rebounds as Charlotte beat New Jersey in the Nets' final game at the Izod Center in the Meadowlands.

Devin Harris had 22 points for the Nets, who will play the next two seasons at the Prudential Center in Newark before moving into a new arena in Brooklyn in 2012.

Nuggets 123, Grizzlies 101

In Denver, J.R. Smith scored 26 points and the Nuggets broke out of their offensive funk with a victory over Memphis.

Knicks 114, Wizards 103

In New York, Danilo Gallinari scored all of his 24 points in the second half, David Lee had 26 and the Knicks rallied past Washington in their final home game of the season.

Mike Miller scored 23 points for the Wizards.

Spurs 133, T-Wolves 111

In San Antonio, Keith Bogans scored 17 points and the Spurs kept control of their playoff future with a win over Minnesota.

Sasha Pavlovic led the Timberwolves with 16 points.

Rockets 117, Kings 107

In Sacramento, Kevin Martin scored 39 points for Houston in a triumphant return to Sacramento.

The final home game of the season was not a complete loss for the Kings, who got to see rookie Tyreke Evans reach an exclusive milestone.

By scoring 24 points, Evans assured himself of joining Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan and LeBron James as the only rookies in NBA history to average at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists a game.

Mavericks 117, Clippers 94

In Los Angeles, Dirk Nowitzki scored 25 points in 22 minutes, Shawn Marion added 21 points in his return from an injury and Dallas kept a firm grip on the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs by beating Los Angeles.

Chris Kaman had 17 points and seven rebounds for the Clippers, who played without starting guards Baron Davis and Eric Gordon. Los Angeles has lost eight of nine and 18 of 21 at the close of their 17th losing season in 18 years.

Westphal rewarded

SACRAMENTO , Calif. (AP) The Sacramento Kings picked up the option on first-year coach Paul Westphal on Monday, keeping him under contract through the 2011-12 season.

"It's very gratifying," Westphal said before the Kings played their final home game of the season against Houston. "It shows that the ownership and management and coaching staff and players have taken a step in the direction that everybody wants this franchise to go. It's rare in this league when you can have all those entities pretty much on the same page. It's very nice."

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