With their highest-
scoring half of the season, the Hawks were up 72-42 at the break in the first of five consecutive home games to close the regular season. Atlanta is battling with Boston and Orlando to be the final Eastern Conference team with home-court advantage.
The Hawks sure played like it mattered in this one, getting contributions from everyone in what was essentially a mirror image of the 116-77 beatdown that the Pistons handed Cleveland the previous night.
HEAT 96, RAPTORS 72
In Miami, LeBron James scored 28 points before taking the fourth quarter off, Mike Miller added 13 points and the Heat continued tuning up for the postseason by pulling away in the second half to beat Toronto.
BULLS 100, BOBCATS 68
In Charlotte, N.C., Richard Hamilton scored 22 points in just 24 minutes as Chicago took a step closer to wrapping up the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs with a rout of the dreadful Bobcats
Charlotte has lost a
franchise-record 18 in a row.
CELTICS 102, MAGIC 98
In Boston, Paul Pierce had 29 points and a career-high 14 assists and the Celtics clinched at least a tie for the Atlantic Division title as they held off a late charge by Orlando.
KNICKS 104, NETS 95
In Newark, N.J., Carmelo Anthony scored 21 of his 33 points in the first quarter, and New York beat the Nets in its last trip to New Jersey.
Anthony hit his first six shots in front of the usual pro-New York crowd that will become an all-New York crowd next season, when the Nets move to Brooklyn.
76ERS 103, CAVALIERS 87
In Cleveland, Jrue Holiday made five 3-pointers
and scored 19 of his 24 points in the third quarter as Philadelphia kept its hold on a playoff spot.
Cavaliers rookie Kyrie Irving scored 9 points in his first game back after missing nine in a row with a sprained shoulder.
WIZARDS 121, BUCKS 112
In Washington, Jordan Crawford equaled a season-high with 32 points, and John Wall had 14 points and 10 assists as the Wizards dealt the Milwaukee Bucks a crucial defeat in their attempt for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
GRIZZLIES 103, HORNETS 91
In Memphis, Tenn., Rudy Gay scored 26 points and Mike Conley added 20 as the Grizzlies clinched a playoff berth for the second consecutive season.