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Sports >  NBA

NBA Capsules: LeBron James scores 27 as Cavs down East-leading Raptors again

Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James, left, drives past Toronto Raptors’ OG Anunoby during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, April 3, 2018, in Cleveland. (Tony Dejak / Associated Press)
Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James, left, drives past Toronto Raptors’ OG Anunoby during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, April 3, 2018, in Cleveland. (Tony Dejak / Associated Press)
Associated Press

CLEVELAND – LeBron James scored 27 points, the last coming on a sensational layup, and the Cleveland Cavaliers gave the Toronto Raptors another reminder of what could lie ahead in the playoffs with a 112-106 victory on Tuesday night.

James added nine rebounds, six assists and helped put the Raptors away down the stretch with an artistic three-point play.

It was Cleveland’s second win in two weeks over the Eastern Conference’s top team, whose lead over second-place Boston continues to shrink. This time, the Cavaliers were much healthier than when they beat the Raptors on March 21 despite missing five rotational players and coach Tyronn Lue.

Jose Calderon added 19 points and Kevin Love had 18 points and 15 rebounds for the Cavs, who are 9-1 since March 17.

DeMar DeRozan scored 19 and Jonas Valanciunas 17 for Toronto, which will host Boston on Wednesday.

Heat 101, Hawks 98

MIAMI – Hassan Whiteside’s tip-in with a minute left put Miami up for good, Josh Richardson blocked a potential go-ahead shot in the final seconds and Heat clinched their 20th playoff spot in 30 seasons by rallying to beat Atlanta.

The Heat trailed 98-90 with less than 3 minutes left, then finished the game on an 11-0 run.

Tyler Johnson’s 3-pointer got Miami within one, and Whiteside tipped in Josh Richardson’s miss on the next possession. Atlanta had a chance to take the lead when Damion Lee got into the lane and tried a 10-footer with about 5 seconds left, but Richardson blocked it and the Heat controlled the rebound.

Richardson made a pair of free throws with 0.6 seconds left. The Hawks’ last-ditch 3-point try by John Collins was well short, wrapping up the postseason spot for the Heat.

Warriors 111, Thunder 107

OKLAHOMA CITY – Kevin Durant scored 34 points while being booed throughout the game, leading Golden State over Oklahoma City.

Klay Thompson added 20 points for the Warriors, who evened the season series at two wins apiece despite guard Stephen Curry missing his sixth straight game with a left MCL sprain.

Russell Westbrook had 44 points and 16 rebounds, and Paul George added 20 points and eight rebounds for the Thunder.

Golden State led 107-103 when a steal by Westbrook led to a dunk by Corey Brewer with 20 seconds left. Quinn Cook made two free throws at the other end with 18 seconds to play.

Westbrook quickly scored a layup to make it 109-107, but Golden State’s Draymond Green went to the line with 10 seconds left and made two free throws to put the game out of reach.

Rockets 120, Wizards 104

HOUSTON – James Harden had 38 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, leading Houston over the Washington

At 63-15, the Rockets already clinched home-court advantage throughout the playoffs, but weren’t interested in losing any momentum against Washington.

Clint Capela had 21 points and 10 rebounds for Houston, while Gerald Green had 16 points off the bench on 4-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc and one authoritative two-handed slam in the fourth.

Bradley Beal led Washington with 27 points, while Markieff Morris had 14 and Otto Porter, Jr. added 12.

76ers 121, Nets 95

PHILADELPHIA – J.J. Redick scored 19 points and Ben Simmons had 15 points and 12 rebounds to lead Philadelphia to its 11th straight victory.

Neither Simmons nor Redick played in the fourth quarter for Philadelphia, which won its third consecutive contest without All-Star center Joel Embiid. Embiid had surgery on Saturday after suffering an orbital fracture in his left eye in Wednesday’s 118-101 win over the Knicks. Embiid will be out for the remainder of the regular season and is slated to return for the playoffs, although his exact return date is not known.

The 76ers are headed to the postseason for the first time since 2012 and are vying for home-court advantage.

Marco Belinelli added 17 points for the 76ers.

Spencer Dinwiddie had 16 points for the Nets.

Bucks 106, Celtics 102

MILWAUKEE – Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 29 points and had a key block with 53 seconds left, Khris Middleton added 20 points and Milwaukee held off short-handed Boston.

Eric Bledsoe added 18 points on 8-of-9 shooting for the Bucks, who clinched their second straight winning season for the first time since back-to-back finishes over .500 in 1999-00 and 2000-01. One more win clinches a second consecutive postseason berth for Milwaukee.

Jaylen Brown scored 24 points for the Celtics, who had their six-game winning streak snapped.

Bulls 120, Hornets 114

CHICAGO – Lauri Markkanen scored 24 points and Sean Kilpatrick added 21 off the bench to lead Chicago over Charlotte.

Justin Holiday had 19 points and Bobby Portis added 16 for Chicago, which has won three straight.

Dwight Howard scored 23 points and Malik Monk had 21 for Charlotte, which has dropped four straight.

Mavericks 115, Trail Blazers 109

DALLAS – Dennis Smith Jr. scored 18 points, including a highlight-reel dunk to help keep lottery-bound Dallas ahead in a win over Portland, delaying the Trail Blazers’ hopes of clinching home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

A hodge-podge lineup kept the Mavericks in front in the fourth quarter, with Maxi Kleber giving them their biggest lead at 104-94 on a 3-pointer with 3:13 remaining.

But Smith, the rookie first-round pick Dallas hopes to build its future around, was back on the floor with the Blazers trailing by six when he beat Damian Lillard to a loose ball , poked it past the star Portland guard, ran it down and bounced it one more time before leaping for the slam.

Nuggets 107, Pacers 104

DENVER – Nikola Jokic scored 30 points, Jamal Murray hit a clutch 3-pointer late – his only one of the game – and Denver received a boost to its playoff hopes by holding off Indiana.

Denver pulled within a half-game of New Orleans for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

What’s more, the Nuggets now trail Minnesota by a game for the seventh spot and have two of their final four games against the Timberwolves.

Wilson Chandler donned a mask to protect a broken nose and struggled early with his shot, going 0 for 5 in the first half. Chandler finally found his touch in the third. He hit three 3-pointers to spark a run to open some breathing room.

Victor Oladipo had 25 points for the Pacers, who had their five-game winning streak snapped, but remain fifth in the Eastern Conference.

Jazz 117, Lakers 110

SALT LAKE CITY – Ricky Rubio scored 31 points on 10-of-15 shooting, added eight assists and six rebounds, and Utah beat Los Angeles.

Donovan Mitchell added 26 points while Rudy Gobert chipped in 12 points, 16 rebounds and five assists. Six players scored in double figures to lead the Jazz to their third straight win.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 28 points and Kyle Kuzma had 26 for the Lakers.

Suns 97, Kings 94

PHOENIX – Josh Jackson scored 18 of his 28 points in the first half and Phoenix ended a franchise-record, 15-game losing streak with a victory over Sacramento.

Alex Len added 17 points and 15 rebounds, and Tyler Ulis had 13 points and nine assists as the Suns held the cold-shooting Kings to 37 percent shooting.

The Kings trailed by as many as 12 in the fourth quarter but had a chance to tie after forcing a turnover with 7 seconds remaining. Bogdan Bogdanovic and Justin Jackson missed potential game-tying 3-pointers before the final buzzer.

Bogdanovic led the Kings with 22 points and Jackson added 19 points and eight rebounds. Sacramento has lost five of six.

Magic 97, Knicks 73

NEW YORK – Mario Hezonja scored 19 points, Jamel Artis added 16 off the bench, and Orlando beat New York.

Reserve Shelvin Mack had 12 points and Nikola Vucevic had 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Magic, who snapped a three-game losing streak.

Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 16 points and Kyle O’Quinn had 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Knicks, who lost their fourth straight.

The Magic limited the Knicks to 28 points in the second half and won the season series 3-1.

Clippers 113, Spurs 110

LOS ANGELES – Tobias Harris scored 31 points, Lou Williams added 22 and Los Angeles rallied for a victory over San Antonio.

Harris made 11 of 19 shots and Williams scored 15 points in the final quarter to spark the Clippers’ comeback. It was the 37th time this season Williams has scored 20 or more as a reserve.

Austin Rivers scored 18 points and Montrezl Harrell had 16 points for the Clippers. DeAndre Jordan scored 10 points and grabbed 17 rebounds.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 35 points for the Spurs. Patty Mills added 17 and Rudy Gay scored 13 points.

San Antonio is tied for 4th place in the Western Conference with Utah. The Spurs have four games remaining, two on the road and two at home.

The Clippers are 10th, 1 1/2 games behind New Orleans for the eighth and final playoff spot. They have four games remaining, three at home and one on the road.

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