by Peter Walsh

Hawks 124 (43-36), Sixers 101 (31-47)

Atlanta ended their three-game losing streak with a 23-point drubbing of the Sixers in Philly. Josh Smith led the way with 28 points and 12 boards while John Jenkins finished with 21 points and 6 dimes. ATL shot just under 54 percent from the field and beat up the Sixers inside, outscoring them 52-40 in the paint and winning the battle on the boards 44-41. The Hawks opened the second half with an 18-6 run that pushed their lead to twenty and they cruised to the finish. Thad Young led the Sixers with 28 points and 8 boards and Nick Young scored 19 off the bench.

Heat 103 (62-16), Wizards 98 (29-50)

With Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and LeBron all on the bench with the night off, Ray Allen scored 23 points, grabbed 6 boards and dropped 4 dimes to lead Miami to the win and home court advantage in the playoffs. With the win, the Heat also clinched the best record in the NBA and set the franchise record for wins with 62. Clap for ‘em. John Wall scored 17 points and dished out 11 assists while A.J. Price scored 23 off the bench.

Magic 113 (20-59), Bucks 103 (37-41) F/OT

The Bucks had the Magic dead-to-rights up five in the final minute of regulation when the wheels fell off. Poor free throw shooting doomed the Bucks (they shot 65 percent from the stripe for the game) and allowed the Magic to hang around late in the game. With 1.9 seconds left, former Buck Tobias Harris sent the game to overtime with a 3-pointer from the top of the key. In the extra session, the Magic took over as Vucevic and Harris combined for nine points to help Orlando snap their five-game losing streak. Harris finished with 30 points, 19 boards and 5 assists while Vucevic scored 30 and grabbed 20 boards. Brandon Jennings and Larry Sanders both left the game with minor injuries. Monta Ellis scored 21 points and dropped 11 dimes to lead the Bucks.

Pistons 111 (27-52), Cavs 104 (24-54)

No defense, lots of fouling and horrible 3-point shooting sums up this mess of a game. Andre Drummond scored 29 points and grabbed 11 boards and Greg Monroe scored 23 and grabbed 8 boards to lead the Pistons.

Nets 101 (46-32), Celtics 93 (40-38)

With last night’s win over the Celtics, the Nets moved one game closer to fourth place in the Eastern Conference and home court advantage in their extremely successful first season in BK. The Nets took a ten point lead into the fourth quarter and the slumping Celtics couldn’t come from behind for the win. The Nets’ 8-0 fourth quarter run put this one on ice. Boston has lost four of their last six. Deron Williams paced Brooklyn with 29 points and 12 dimes, Brook Lopez scored 21 and Joe Johnson dropped 20. Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 23 points.

Suns 102 (24-55) Mavs 91 (38-40)

Last night’s loss against the Suns may go down as one of the worst losses in Mavericks franchise history. The Suns are terrible and for a Mavericks team that was fighting for their lives, a loss was unacceptable. Unfortunately for Dallas, the Lakers win over Portland means they are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs so they won’t even have a chance to make up for it. Goran Dragic led Phoenix with 21 points and 13 dimes while Wesley Johnson scored 17. Shawn Marion scored 22 points and grabbed 9 boards and Dirk finished with 21 points and 8 boards.

Kings 121 (28-50), Hornets 110 (27-52)

John Salmons scored 22 points, Jason Thompson scored 20 and grabbed 8 boards and Marcus Thornton scored 20 points off the bench. Nothing else to see here.

Lakers 113 (42-37), Blazers 106 (33-45)

Kobe Bryant is determined to get the Lakers to the playoffs and is doing everything in his power to get the team there. Kobe dropped a season-high 47 points on 14-27 shooting (18-18 from the stripe), grabbed 8 boards, dished out 5 assists and had 3 steals to lead the Lakers to a win over the Blazers in Portland. As tremendous as Bean was, he didn’t do it himself. Pau Gasol played one of the best games of the season, finishing with 23 points, 7 boards and 9 dimes while frontcourt mate Dwight Howard scored 20 and grabbed 10 boards. With the win, LA is now one game ahead of the Jazz for the final playoff spot as the Western Conference race comes down to the wire. Dame Lillard was fantastic and finished with a career-high 38 points (12-25 shooting, 9-9 from the striped) and 9 dimes. Portland has lost nine straight.

Nuggets 96 (54-24), Spurs 86 (57-21)

The Spurs came out of the gate on fire and jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead. After a timeout by George Karl, Denver calmed down and got back to their gameplan. The Nuggets outscored the Spurs 27-19 in the second quarter and 31-26 in the third to take control of the game and hold on down the stretch. Wilson Chandler played 40 minutes and scored 29 points to go along with 8 boards and 4 dimes. Andre Iguodala finished with a 12-point, 13-rebound, 10-assist triple-double and Corey Brewer scored 28 off the bench as he and Chandler will see an increase in their minutes with Gallo done for the season. Tim Duncan led the Spurs with 17 points. Denver hasn’t lost at home since January.

Clippers 111 (52-26), Timberwolves 95 (29-49)

Chris Paul scored 19 points, dropped 11 dimes, grabbed 7 boards, came up with 4 steals and had 2 blocks to lead the Clippers to an easy dub over the T’Wolves. Six other Clippers scored in double-figures, including, Blake Griffin (19 and 8), Matt Barnes (14) and Willie Green (15). Nik Pekovic scored 20 points and Derrick Williams dropped 13 and grabbed 10 boards in the loss.