"B-squad" helps Heat clinch home-court advantage

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WASHINGTON — Ray Allen scored 23 points, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade chilled at the end of the bench, and the Miami Heat’s “B-squad” gave the resting A-team the gift of home-court advantage throughout the playoffs Wednesday night, clinching the best record in the NBA with a 103-98 victory over the Washington Wizards.

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Miami's Ray Allen drives past Washington's Jan Vesely. Allen led the "B-squad" with 23 points as the Heat clinched home-court advantage throughout the postseason.  EVAN VUCCI/ASSOCIATED PRESS
EVAN VUCCI/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Miami's Ray Allen drives past Washington's Jan Vesely. Allen led the "B-squad" with 23 points as the Heat clinched home-court advantage throughout the postseason.

With James (right hamstring) and Wade (sprained ankle and bruised knee) looking like two guys sitting at a bus stop, and Chris Bosh at home with flu-like symptoms, plus Udonis Haslem getting the night off because of a sore right ankle, the what-was-left-over of the Heat committed 25 turnovers but still managed the win that assured they’ll finish better than the Western Conference-leading San Antonio Spurs.

The Heat, who have won four in a row, also set a franchise record for victories with 62, moving one ahead of the 1996-97 team. They also improved to 14-1 on the second night of back-to-backs.

A.J. Price tied a career high with 23 points and John Wall had 17 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds for the Wizards.


NETS 101, CELTICS 93

In Boston, Deron Williams had 29 points and 12 assists to lead Brooklyn over the Celtics.

Brook Lopez scored 21 points and Joe Johnson added 20 for the Nets, who won for the 12 time in 18 games overall and beat the Celtics for the third time in four meetings this season.

The Nets moved closer to wrapping up fourth place in the Eastern Conference and clinching homecourt advantage in the first round. Brooklyn owns a 3 1/2-game edge over idle Chicago with four games left to play in the regular season.

Paul Pierce led Boston with 23 points.

MAGIC 113, BUCKS 103 (OT)

In Orlando, Fla., Nik Vucevic had 30 points and 20 rebounds, Tobias Harris added 30 points and 19 rebounds, and the Magic rallied for an overtime victory over Milwaukee.

Orlando overcame a five-point deficit in the final minute of regulation, sending it to OT on a 3-pointer by Harris with 1.9 seconds left. Vucevic and Harris combined for nine points in the extra period to help Orlando snap a five-game losing streak.

Monta Ellis led the Bucks with 21 points.

PISTONS 111, CAVALIERS 104

In Cleveland, Andre Drummond scored a career-high 29 points and Detroit won back-to-back games for the first time in two months.

Greg Monroe’s basket with 38.8 seconds remaining gave Detroit a 105-103 lead and the Pistons, who hadn’t won consecutive games since Feb. 8-9, swept the four-game season series from the Cavaliers.

Kyrie Irving scored 27 points, including 21 in the second half for Cleveland.

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