Raptors beat Celtics to close in on top seed in East
TORONTO (AP) DeMar DeRozan scored 16 points, Fred VanVleet and Serge Ibaka each had 15 and the Toronto Raptors moved closer to clinching the top seed in the Eastern Conference by beating the Boston Celtics 96-78 on Wednesday night.
Toronto increased its lead over second-place Boston to three games. Both teams have four games left.
Kyle Lowry scored 13 points for the Raptors, who earned a split in the season series with the Celtics and clinched the tiebreaker over Boston, based on each team’s record in conference play. Toronto is 37-11 against the East, while Boston is 31-17.
With its 56th win of the season, Toronto matched the franchise record set in 2015-16.
Marcus Morris scored 21 points for Boston in its lowest-scoring game of the season.
The Celtics shot 3 for 22 from 3-point range.
DETROIT (AP) – JJ Redick scored 25 points, and Philadelphia won its 12th straight game, eliminating Detroit from playoff contention.
Anthony Tolliver scored 25 points for the Pistons and went 7 of 8 from 3-point range. Detroit was without star forward Blake Griffin (bruised right ankle) and the 76ers were missing center Joel Embiid (concussion, orbital fracture).
Kuzma is the first rookie in NBA history with 1,200 points, 450 rebounds and 150 3-pointers in a season. He made a 3-pointer and a sky hook to start overtime and give the Lakers a lead they would not relinquish. Los Angeles outscored the Spurs 14-4 in the period.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 28 points for the Spurs, who lost on back-to-back nights at Staples Center and are tied with Oklahoma City for fifth place in the Western Conference, a half-game behind Utah. The Spurs and Thunder both have three games remaining.
ATLANTA (AP) – Kelly Olynyk scored 19 points, including 15 on five 3-pointers when Miami took the lead for good in the second period, and the Heat beat Atlanta, capping a sweep of back-to-back games between Southeast Division rivals.
Miami rested Dwyane Wade, Goran Dragic and James Johnson one day after clinching a playoff berth by beating the Hawks in Miami. Josh Richardson also had 19 points, and Justise Winslow had 18 for Miami.
Taurean Prince led Atlanta with 20 points.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – E’Twaun Moore scored 30 points, and Anthony Davis had 28 points and 12 rebounds in a return to form to help New Orleans rout Memphis.
Davis struggled in the previous two games after twisting an ankle in a loss to Portland on March 27. He made 8 of 13 field goals, 11 of 13 free throws and had three blocks and two steals.
MarShon Brooks scored 25 points for the Grizzlies.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – Rookie Jamel Artis had 18 points for his second straight career high for Orlando.
Jalen Jones led Dallas with 15 points. The Mavericks listed seven players out with injuries including Dirk Nowitzki, the 19-year veteran who missed only his second game of the season.