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Plumlee blocks Lebron’s dunk for Nets sweep

Brooklyn forward Mason Plumlee blocks a shot by Miami’s LeBron James in the final seconds to preserve an 88-87 win over the Heat. (Associated Press)
Brooklyn forward Mason Plumlee blocks a shot by Miami’s LeBron James in the final seconds to preserve an 88-87 win over the Heat. (Associated Press)

NBA: Joe Johnson scored 19 points, Mason Plumlee was credited with a block on LeBron James’ dunk attempt in the final seconds, and the Brooklyn Nets finished off a four-game season sweep of Miami by beating the Heat 88-87 on Tuesday night.

It was the third time Brooklyn beat Miami by a single point; the other win came in double-overtime.

Marcus Thornton scored 16 points and Paul Pierce added 14 for the Nets, who became the first team in the last two years to sweep the Heat. Miami was the only team in the league to beat every team last season and would have repeated that feat with a win Tuesday.

Nowitzki leads Dallas to fifth straight win: Dirk Nowitzki scored 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting, and the visiting Dallas Mavericks beat the Utah Jazz 95-83 for their fifth consecutive victory.

Timberwolves rout Spurs: Ricky Rubio scored 23 points and Gorgui Dieng had 12 points and 15 rebounds, leading the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 110-91 victory over the San Antonio Spurs at Minneapolis.

Kevin Love had 19 points and 12 rebounds and Corey Brewer scored 14 points and the Timberwolves, who have beaten Miami and San Antonio in two of their last three games.

Stuckey scores 29 for Pistons: Rodney Stuckey scored 29 points, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond each had a double-double and the Detroit Pistons snapped a 10-game skid in Atlanta with a 102-95 victory over the Hawks.

With four games remaining in the regular season, the Hawks hold a two-game lead over New York for the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

Rockets roll: Terrence Jones and James Harden scored 33 points apiece, and the visiting Houston Rockets kept up their playoff push with their third straight victory, 145-130 over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Steve Nash moved into third place on the NBA’s career assists list for the miserable Lakers (25-53), who tied the franchise record for losses in a single season with their worst defensive performance of the year.

Butler sparks Thunder: Caron Butler made all six of his 3-point attempts to finish with 23 points, and the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder started the fourth quarter on a 16-0 run to pull away for a 107-92 victory over the Sacramento Kings.

Cunningham back after second arrest: Minnesota Timberwolves forward Dante Cunningham says his two arrests in three days stemming from a domestic dispute with his girlfriend “have unintentionally placed my teammates and the organization in a challenging position.”

Cunningham was in uniform for Tuesday night’s game against San Antonio.

Wild earns playoffs with shootout victory

NHL: Mikko Koivu scored for Minnesota and Ilya Bryzgalov denied all three Boston shots in the shootout, lifting the Wild to a 4-3 victory over the Bruins at St. Paul, Minn., that clinched a wild-card spot in the Western Conference playoffs.

The Wild will be the seventh seed and face the division winner with the fewest points.

Ovechkin reaches 50 goals again: Alex Ovechkin became the 11th player in NHL history to score 50 or more goals in a season five times, and the visiting Washington Capitals kept their slim playoff hopes alive by beating the slumping St. Louis Blues 4-1.

Tampa Bay eliminates Toronto: Ondrej Palat had two goals, Anders Lindback came off the bench to make 25 saves, and the Tampa Bay Lightning ended visiting Toronto’s playoff hopes by beating the Maple Leafs 3-0.

Flyers clinch berth: Claude Giroux scored two goals and the Philadelphia Flyers clinched a Stanley Cup playoff berth by beating the Florida Panthers 5-2 at Sunrise, Fla.

Blue Jackets match win record: Ryan Johansen took a stretch pass from James Wisniewski and scored on a wrist shot at 3:33 of overtime to lead the host Columbus Blue Jackets to a 4-3 win over the Phoenix Coyotes, tying a franchise record for wins.

It was their 41st victory to match their most in their 13 seasons.

Red Wings near playoffs: Darren Helm scored the go-ahead goal 3:33 into the third period to inch the visiting Detroit Red Wings closer to clinching a playoff berth with a 4-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres.

Detroit moved within a point of securing one of the Eastern Conference’s two wild-card playoff spots.

Richards scores twice for Rangers: Brad Richards scored two power-play goals, and the playoff-bound New York Rangers improved their chances for home-ice advantage in the first round with a 4-1 victory over the visiting Carolina Hurricanes.

Avalanche bury Oilers: Erik Johnson had a goal and an assist and the Colorado Avalanche earned a 4-1 victory over the host Edmonton Oilers.

The win gave Colorado a four-point cushion over the idle Chicago Blackhawks for second place in the Central Division and two points up on the San Jose Sharks for third in the Western Conference.

Nashville eliminated: Tyler Seguin scored in the fourth round of a shootout and the playoff-chasing Dallas Stars eliminated the visiting Nashville Predators from postseason contention with a 3-2 victory.

Canucks fire general manager: The Vancouver Canucks have fired president and general manager Mike Gillis a day after being eliminated from playoff contention.

Gillis took over the general manager position from the fired Dave Nonis after the 2007-08 season. The Canucks advanced to the 2011 Stanley Cup final under Gillis before losing to Boston, and have been in a steady decline since.

N.C. State’s Warren entering NBA draft

College basketball: North Carolina State sophomore T.J. Warren is entering the NBA draft.

The Atlantic Coast Conference’s player of the year said he had “a fun ride” but was ready for the NBA.

The 6-foot-8 forward led the league at 24.9 points per game while shooting a league-best 52.5 percent.

Fox hired at Appalachian State: Appalachian State has hired Davidson assistant Jim Fox to coach its men’s basketball team.

Fox replaces Jason Capel, who was fired last month.

Ba leads Chelsea into Champion semis

Soccer: Demba Ba scored in the 87th minute to cap a comeback from a two-goal aggregate deficit, and Chelsea defeated Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 at London, to reach the Champions League semifinals on away goals.

After a 3-1 Chelsea loss in the French capital last Wednesday, Andre Schuerrle began Chelsea’s comeback with a 32nd-minute goal. Ba entered in the 66th, and the only Parisian on the field stunned his hometown club by evening the aggregate 3-3 in the total-goals series.

In the night’s other match, Real Madrid reached the semifinals for the fourth consecutive season with a 3-2 aggregate win following a 2-0 defeat at Borussia Dortmund.

MLS nearing deal for Atlanta franchise: Major League Soccer is closing in on a deal with Falcons owner Arthur Blank to bring an expansion franchise to Atlanta’s new downtown stadium.

A top official from Blank’s parent company, Kim Schreckengost, said negotiations continue and “we hope to complete an agreement soon.