Basketball - Nuggets ease past Jazz

Danilo Gallinari scored 21 points and the Denver Nuggets shot 56.2 per cent in a convincing 113-96 win over the Utah Jazz.

Nuggets 113, Jazz 96

Danilo Gallinari scored 21 points and the Denver Nuggets shot 56.2 percent in a convincing 113-96 win over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday.

Seven Nuggets hit double figures in scoring, including Kenneth Faried (19 points) and Evan Fournier (18). Denver improved to 51-24, the third-best record in the Western Conference, with the rare blowout win in Utah.

Utah's Gordon Hayward scored 18 points while Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap each contributed 16, but the Jazz saw their season-high, five-game winning streak end.

The loss dropped the Jazz to 39-37, a half-game behind the idle Los Angeles Lakers (39-36) for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West.

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Warriors 98, Hornets 88

David Lee dominated his matchup with No. 1 overall draft pick Anthony Davis, and the Golden State Warriors overcame Stephen Curry's foul trouble to beat the New Orleans Hornets 98-88.

The Warriors (43-32) needed the win to retain a one-game advantage over Houston (42-33) for the sixth playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Lee led the Warriors with 23 points and 16 rebounds. Davis missed nine of his 11 shots and totaled just six points to go with nine rebounds.

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Rockets 112, Kings 102

Second year forward Chandler Parson continued his hot streak for Houston, scoring a game-high 29 points led the Rockets to a 112-102 victory over the Sacramento Kings.

Houston remained in the seventh spot in the Western Conference playoff race with the victory.

The game was played the same day that city officials traveled to the NBA offices in New York in an attempt to convince the league's owners to keep the team from being sold to a Seattle group and moving it to the Northwest city.

Tyreke Evans scored 16 of his 22 points in the third quarter to lead Sacramento.

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Clippers 126, Suns 101

The Los Angeles Clippers took off in the second half and blitzed the Phoenix Suns with a 126-101 win to claim their franchise-record 50th win.

After a solid if unspectacular first half, the Clippers waltzed over the Suns in the third quarter, using a 31-8 run to put Phoenix away.

DeAndre Jordan had 20 points to lead six Clippers in double figures.

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Grizzlies 94, Trail Blazers 76

Mike Conley scored 20 points as Memphis led wire-to-wire in a 94-76 thumping of Portland.

Zach Randolph added 17 points and eight assists for the Grizzlies (51-24), who won their fourth straight game.

The victory kept Memphis in a tie for third place with Denver in the Western Conference playoff race.

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Celtics 98, Pistons 93

The Boston Celtics, fighting their way through an injury-filled season that included losing Rajon Rondo and rookie Jared Sullinger for the season, clinched a playoff spot with a 98-93 victory over the staggering Detroit Pistons.

The Boston win, along with the Philadelphia 76ers' loss at Charlotte, sends the Celtics back to the playoffs. Boston is currently in seventh place in the Eastern Conference.

Boston forward Jeff Green scored 13 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter and had six rebounds and four blocked shots.

The Celtics used a 10-0, second-quarter run to take the lead for good.

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Spurs 98, Magic 84

With a litany of stars sitting out for both teams, Danny Green and Gary Neal supplied the San Antonio Spurs with a combined 36 points to lead their team to a 98-84 victory over the Orlando Magic.

Spurs starters Tony Parker (sore left ankle) and Kawhi Leonard (sore left knee) sat out. Tim Duncan played only 13 minutes, probably in anticipation of a big game Thursday against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Jameer Nelson, the Magic's second-leading scorer and starting point guard, was hoping to return from a sprained right ankle, but he did not play.

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Nets 113, Cavaliers 95

Guard MarShon Brooks made the most of his first start of the season with a career-high 27 points in New Jersey's 113-95 victory over the Cavaliers on Wednesday.

Brooks stepped in for the injured Joe Johnson and point guard Deron Williams was also highly effective with 24 points, three rebounds and a game-high eight assists.

The Nets are trying to hang onto the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.

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Knicks 95, Hawks 82

Carmelo Anthony scored inside, mid-range and outside while racking up 13 first-quarter points, 24 points by halftime and a grand total of 40 to lead the Knicks to a 95-82 win over the Atlanta Hawks.

Anthony finished with his seventh 40-point game this season, and the Knicks (48-26) extended their winning streak to 10 games.

Kyle Korver, left open repeatedly, kept the Hawks in the game, scoring a season-high 25 points.

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Raptors 88, Wizards 78

Despite seeing their playoff hopes for another season die just two days earlier, the Toronto Raptors came to life in the second half and pulled away from the Washington Wizards to pick up an 88-78 victory.

DeMar DeRozan led all scorers with 25 points while John Wall led the way for Washington with 20.

Trailing by nine points heading into the second half, the Raptors came to life in the third. Toronto erased the deficit and also scored the last nine points of the quarter to build a 68-62 lead.

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Timberwolves 107, Bucks 98

Ricky Rubio paced the Minnesota Timberwolves with five three pointers to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 107-98.

Rubio finished with 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting and 12 assists and center Nikola Pekovic led the way with 27 points and eight rebounds.

Ersan Illysavoa kept Milwaukee in the game with 29 points and 12 rebounds. Milwaukee has eight games left and owns a six-game cushion on the ninth-place Philadelphia for the eighth and final playoff spot.

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Bobcats 88, 76ers 83

Gerald Henderson scored 24 points, including two key baskets in the final minute, as the Charlotte Bobcats beat the Philadelphia 76ers 88-83.

Henderson hit a 17-footer to give the Bobcats the lead for good at 84-83 with 33.9 seconds left.

Philadelphia's Jrue Holiday struggled through a 2-for-24 shooting performance and finished with five points, as the Sixers shot just 35.1 percent from the field.