Boston’s Gordon Hayward scored a game-high 25 points and Kyrie Irving added 23 to lift the Celtics to a crucial 112-102 road victory over the Miami Heat on Wednesday night.
Jayson Tatum scored nine consecutive points in the fourth quarter to help Boston remain in a tie for fourth place in the Eastern Conference. Al Horford tallied 21 points, Tatum 16 and Aron Baynes 10, with a team-high 10 rebounds for the Celtics, who won their second straight game and fourth in their last five.
Dion Waiters had 21 points, Hassan Whiteside 18 points and 15 rebounds, Dwyane Wade 17 points, Bam Adebayo 12, Goran Dragic 11 and Kelly Olynyk 10 for the Heat, who lost their second straight and fell to ninth place in the East — out of a playoff position.
Last in the league in free-throw shooting, the Heat went just 12 of 20 (60 percent) at the stripe. They entered at 69.5 percent.
Magic 114, Knicks 100
Nikola Vucevic had 29 points and 13 rebounds for Orlando, which moved into a playoff spot after beating New York in Orlando.
Orlando began the night a half-game behind Miami for the eighth and final playoff position in the East, but with the victory and the Heat’s loss, the Magic moved into a tie with Brooklyn for seventh in the conference.
Mario Hezonja led the Knicks with 29 points while collecting nine rebounds and five assists against his former team. Hezonja was selected No. 5 overall by the Magic in the 2015 NBA Draft.
Rockets 135, Clippers 103
James Harden scored 31 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out seven assists, and Chris Paul added 29 points and seven assists to lead Houston to a blowout win at Los Angeles.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 20 points to pace the Clippers, who lost for just the third time in 16 games and fell 1 1/2 games behind Utah in the race for the fifth seed in the West. Danilo Gallinari added 16, and Lou Williams scored 14 off the bench.
Coming into Wednesday’s game, the Clippers had been the only team in the West not to have lost to the Rockets this season, having defeated Houston twice in October. The Rockets made sure that streak ended by grabbing the lead early and never giving it up. The Clippers led once, 2-0.
Trail Blazers 116, Grizzlies 89
Enes Kanter, Damian Lillard and Evan Turner led the way as Portland rolled over visiting Memphis to remain in fourth place in the Western Conference, a half-game behind Houston.
Kanter collected 21 points and 15 rebounds, and Lillard scored 20 points and dished out 10 assists for the Trail Blazers, who have won 11 of their past 13 games. Turner registered his second straight triple-double with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in 28 minutes off the bench.
Chandler Parsons scored 16 points for the Grizzlies, who have lost seven of their last 10 outings. Memphis suited up only 10 players due to numerous injuries.
Jazz 118, Suns 97
Donovan Mitchell scored 29 points, Joe Ingles added 27 and Rudy Gobert surpassed Karl Malone in the Utah record book to lead the visiting jazz past Phoenix.
Gobert scored 17 points, collected 13 rebounds and blocked five shots for the Jazz — his franchise-record 63rd point-rebound double-double of the season. Malone had 62 in the 1987-88 season.
Richaun Holmes tallied 16 points and nine rebounds to lead the Suns, and Elie Okobo scored 15 points. Phoenix’s Devin Booker played only eight minutes in the first quarter before sustaining a left ankle sprain. He finished with eight points on 3-of-4 shooting.
Pacers 108, Pistons 89
Thaddeus Young had 21 points, eight rebounds and four assists, and visiting Indiana defeated Detroit for the second time in three nights.
Bojan Bogdanovic and Myles Turner had 17 points apiece as the Pacers snapped the Pistons’ 11-game home winning streak. Indiana defeat Detroit 111-102 on Monday in Indianapolis.
Andre Drummond carried the Pistons with 28 points, 19 rebounds, three assists, three steals and three blocks. Wayne Ellington had 24 points for Detroit.
Hawks 130, 76ers 122
Trae Young and John Collins combined to score 58 points and Atlanta knocked off visiting Philadelphia for its third straight victory over the 76ers.
Young scored 33 points, including a 3-pointer with 1:32 remaining that allowed Atlanta to stretch its dwindling lead back to eight points. Philadelphia missed a great opportunity with 32.5 seconds left when Jimmy Butler drew a flagrant-one foul. Butler missed both free throws and a 3-point try when play resumed as Philadelphia could not cut into Atlanta’s five-point lead.
Philadelphia, which has lost two straight and four of six, was led by JJ Redick with 30 points. He made six 3-pointers but uncharacteristically missed three free throws. The Sixers also got 21 points from Tobias Harris.
Raptors 115, Nets 105
Pascal Siakam scored 28 points and Kawhi Leonard added 26 as Toronto continued its preparation for the postseason with a victory over Brooklyn in New York.
The Raptors, who likely will be the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, won their fifth straight. Serge Ibaka tied a career high with five 3-pointers and contributed 23 points and 12 rebounds off the bench as the Raptors beat the Nets for the 15th time in the past 16 meetings.
The Nets lost for the seventh time in 10 games and missed a chance to move into sixth place past Detroit. Instead, the Nets are tied with Orlando for the final two playoff spots in the East. D’Angelo Russell led the Nets with 27 points, and Spencer Dinwiddie added 14.
Hornets 115, Pelicans 109
Kemba Walker scored 32 points as visiting Charlotte kept its playoff hopes mathematically alive with a victory over New Orleans. Walker helped the Hornets salvage the final game of a four-game road trip that began with losses against the Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors and Utah Jazz.
Frank Kaminsky added 21 points, including 18 in the second half, Devonte’ Graham had 13 and Jeremy Lamb 12 for Charlotte, which is in 10th place in the Eastern Conference.
Julius Randle had 34 points and 11 rebounds, his 22nd game this season with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds, to lead the Pelicans. New Orleans lost for the 11th time in 13 games as it concluded a 1-4 homestand.
Timberwolves 110, Mavericks 108
Karl-Anthony Towns had a monster night with 28 points and 13 rebounds, and Andrew Wiggins scored the winning basket with 19 seconds to go to lift Minnesota past host Dallas.
Towns was brilliant throughout, hitting 12 of his 15 shots, including his last two, a jumper to tie with 1:15 to go and then a sweet dribble-drive for a finger roll and a 108-106 lead with 48 seconds to play.
Dallas rookie guard Jalen Brunson tied it with 36 seconds to go, but after Wiggins reclaimed the lead for Minnesota, Brunson missed Dallas’ 32nd 3-point attempt of the game. Fellow Mavs rookie Luka Doncic finished with 27 points, 12 rebounds and six assists in his first back after sitting out two.
Nuggets 113, Spurs 85
Nikola Jokic had 20 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, Jamal Murray finished with 14 points, 11 assists and six rebounds, and host Denver beat San Antonio, which lost head coach Gregg Popovich to ejection just 63 seconds into the game.
Monte Morris and Malik Beasley scored 19 points apiece, and Gary Harris and Will Barton scored 11 each for Denver. The Nuggets moved closer to clinching home-court advantage for at least the first round of the playoffs.
Popovich called a timeout after Murray’s dunk gave Denver a 5-0 lead. He immediately started talking to official Mark Ayotte, who hit him with a technical. Popovich kept talking as he followed Ayotte and then was hit with a second technical. It was the second time in three games Popovich has been ejected. He also got tossed against Sacramento on Sunday.
Bulls 115, Wizards 114
Walt Lemon Jr. scored a game-high 24 points, the last two coming on free throws with 1.8 seconds left, giving Chicago a narrow victory at Washington.
The win snapped a five-game Chicago losing streak. The Bulls have had a tough time in the last several games as they were again missing some of their top scorers due to injuries. Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen, Otto Porter Jr. and Kris Dunn all were out again, and each has missed at least four consecutive games.
Thomas Bryant and Bobby Portis both led Washington with 20 points in a battle between two teams out of the playoff race.
—Field Level Media