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Friday, April 8, 2011

Spurs notch 60th victory

SAN ANTONIO (AP) Manu Ginobili knows fortunes can change quickly in the NBA.

News photo
Ice pack city: New York's Carmelo Anthony rests on the bench during the second half against Philadelphia on Wednesday night. The Knicks beat the 76ers 97-92. AP PHOTO

Last week, the Spurs were in jeopardy of losing the top seed in the Western Conference to the Los Angeles Lakers after dropping six straight games.

Now, San Antonio has home-court advantage throughout the West playoffs after Ginobili scored 25 points in a 124-92 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night.

The Spurs improved their NBA-best record to 60-19 and clinched home-court advantage throughout the West playoffs later Wednesday when the Lakers lost at Golden State.

"We knew we weren't going to lose every single game (the rest of the way)," Ginobili said. "We had a few good games we just couldn't win. We had a better schedule over the last three games. We won an important game in Atlanta and we got lucky that the Lakers lost to the Jazz."

Tyreke Evans led the Kings with 16 points and rookie DeMarcus Cousins added 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Bucks 90, Heat 85

In Miami, John Salmons scored 17 points, and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute added 14 points and 12 rebounds as already-eliminated Milwaukee beat the Heat.

The loss knocked Miami (54-24) a half-game back of Boston in the race for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.

LeBron James scored 29 points for the Heat, who played without injured guard Dwyane Wade, the NBA's No. 3 scorer.

Thunder 112, Clippers 108

In Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant scored 29 points and Russell Westbrook added 26 as the Thunder clinched the Northwest Division title.

Blake Griffin had 35 points and 11 rebounds in the second visit to his hometown in his NBA career.

Hornets 101, Rockets 93

In New Orleans, Chris Paul had 28 points and 10 assists as the Hornets clinched a playoff spot.

Trevor Ariza, acquired by New Orleans from Houston in an offseason trade, scored 19 for a second straight game and equaled a season high with six steals.

Kevin Martin scored 21 for the Rockets, who are now on the brink of elimination.

Pacers 136, Wizards 112

In Indianapolis, Danny Granger scored 25 points as Indiana clinched a playoff spot for the first time since 2006.

Jordan Crawford scored 29 points and John Wall had 19 points and nine rebounds for Washington.

Nuggets 104, Mavericks 96

In Dallas, J.R. Smith broke a tie in the final minutes with a layup and immediately followed with a jump shot, lifting Denver past the Mavericks.

Smith scored 23 points and Kenyon Martin added 18 as the Nuggets won for the seventh time in eight games.

Magic 111, Bobcats 102

In Charlotte, Gilbert Arenas scored 25 points as Orlando overcame Quentin Richardson's ejection and Dwight Howard's 18th technical foul to eliminate the Bobcats from playoff contention.

Gerald Henderson scored a career-high 32 points for the Charlotte.

Knicks 97, 76ers 92

In Philadelphia, Carmelo Anthony had 31 points and 11 rebounds and Amare Stoudemire scored 18 points as New York moved into sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

Toney Douglas bailed out the Knicks after they blew a 19-point lead and trailed by one late in the fourth.

Cavaliers 104, Raptors 96

In Toronto, J.J. Hickson scored 28 points to lead Cleveland past the Raptors.

Jerryd Bayless scored 28 points for Toronto.

Pistons 116, Nets 109

In Auburn Hills, Mich., Richard Hamilton scored 25 points and Rodney Stuckey added 22 to lead Detroit.

Brook Lopez scored a career-high 39 points for New Jersey, which was without star Deron Williams.

Suns 108, Timberwolves 98

In Minneapolis, Marcin Gortat scored 20 points and grabbed 16 rebounds as Phoenix dropped Minnesota into last place in the NBA.

Warriors 95, Lakers 87

In Oakland, Calif., Monta Ellis scored 26 points, David Lee had 22 points and 17 rebounds, and Golden State held on to beat Los Angeles.

Kobe Bryant had 25 points for the Lakers.

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