Rockets eliminated from playoffs as Mavericks win in overtime 147-136


Kyrie Irving scored a season-high 48 points, Dante Exum forced overtime with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer and the Dallas Mavericks rallied from 22 points down for a 147-136 victory over the Houston Rockets on Sunday.

Luka Doncic had 37 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds as the Mavericks took another step toward the fifth seed in the Western Conference playoffs.

Dillon Brooks scored a season-high 29 points, and Fred VanVleet had 24 points and 12 assists for the Rockets, who were eliminated from postseason contention after not trailing until the final three minutes of regulation.

It was a fifth consecutive loss for Houston following an 11-game winning streak that is tied for the longest in the NBA this season.

With Houston leading by three with 8.3 seconds to go in regulation, Jabari Smith Jr. missed two free throws. Dallas was out of timeouts, and Exum scrambled up the court and passed to Doncic. The Dallas superstar dribbled toward midcourt and faked a shot before passing to Exum, whose 3 over Smith beat the buzzer.

Irving, who scored 25 points in fourth quarter and overtime, put Dallas ahead for good in the extra period at 133-131 with two free throws.


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Paul George scored 23 of his 39 points in the fourth quarter, James Harden added 22 and Los Angeles rallied to beat Cleveland for their 50th victory.

Los Angeles overcame a 26-point deficit for the third-largest comeback victory in franchise history.

Terance Mann hit a tying 3-pointer and Amir Coffey followed with a 3 to give the Clippers their first lead since late in the first quarter, 118-115.

Jarrett Allen completed a three-point play to tie it at 118. After a timeout, George hit a jumper for a 120-118 lead with seven seconds left.

Darius Garland drove the lane and got blocked by Paul, but the Cavs got the offensive rebound. Max Strus put up a desperation shot from the right corner, falling down by the Clippers bench as it missed with time expired.

The Clippers reached the 50-win mark for the first time since 2016-17 when they had 51.


BOSTON (AP) — Jaylen Brown scored 26 points and reached 10,000 in his NBA career, leading Boston past Portland for their 13th straight home victory.

Kristaps Porzingis had his third straight double-double with 12 points and 10 boards in just 27 minutes for NBA-leading Boston.

Payton Pritchard scored 20 points, Derrick White had 15 and Jrue Holiday 12 for the Celtics, who have won 14 of their last 16 overall.

Dalano Banton led Portland with 28 points and Deandre Ayton had 22 points and 14 rebounds. Jabari Walker added 14 points and 18 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who finished 2-5 on their seven-game road trip.

Celtics star Jayson Tatum sat out because of a right knee contusion. It was the sixth game missed for the team’s leading scorer (27.0 points per game).

PACERS 117, HEAT 115

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Myles Turner finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds, T.J. McConnell added 22 points and Indiana hung on to strengthen their playoff prospects with a victory over Miami.

The Pacers have won four of five to take a 1 1/2-game lead over the Heat for the Eastern Conference’s sixth and final guaranteed playoff spot.

Jimmy Butler had 27 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for the Heat. Tyler Herro scored 21 points but had a made free throw erased because of a lane violation on Kevin Love with 3.6 seconds to go and the Heat down two.

Bam Adebayo and Caleb Martin each scored 20 and Adebayo had 12 rebounds for Miami, which lost for just the second time in six games as it tries to avoid staying in the league’s Play-In tournament.

Indiana never trailed over the final 45 1/2 minutes, but Miami certainly made it difficult late. The Heat cut the deficit to one twice in the final 3 1/2 minutes, but the Pacers answered both times on a festive day for Pacers fans.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Josh Giddey had 20 points, 13 assists and 13 rebounds for his 11th career triple-double, Isaiah Joe had two key 3-pointers in the final 1:30 and Oklahoma City beat Charlotte to snap a three-game losing streak.

The Thunder had lost their previous three games — their longest skid of the season — with stars Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jalen Williams out with injuries.

But Aaron Wiggins stepped up with 26 points and Chet Holmgren had 20 points and 10 rebounds as the Thunder escaped with a win when the cold-shooting Brandon Miller missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have sent it to overtime.

Grant Williams led the Hornets with 19 points, and Vasa Micic had 17 points and 10 assists.

Oklahoma City entered the game third in the Western Conference, 1 1/2 games behind first-place Denver.


ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Paolo Banchero scored 24 points, Jalen Suggs added 19 and Orlando kept up a playoff push that could land them as high as second in the Eastern Conference with a win over Chicago.

The Magic (46-32) moved into at least a tie for third place in the East by completing a four-game sweep of the Bulls.

DeMar DeRozan had 30 points for the Bulls and Javonte Green, starting for the first time this season in place of injured forward Alex Caruso, added 15 points and eight rebounds.

The Bulls, locked into the bottom half of the Eastern Conference play-in bracket with four games left to play, shot 50.7% from the field but had 21 turnovers.

Green, coming off a career-high 25 points in a win over New York on Friday night after spending most of the season in the G League, shot 6 for 7 in 22 minutes.


PHOENIX (AP) — C.J. McCollum scored 31 points, Zion Williamson had 29 and New Orleans beat Phoenix, leaving the teams tied for the sixth and final guaranteed Western Conference playoff spot.

Both teams are 46-32 with four games remaining, two games behind fifth-place Dallas. The Suns own the tiebreaker, having won the season series 2-1.

Williamson, who sat out Friday night in a loss at San Antonio because of a finger injury, also had 10 rebounds and seven assists as the Pelicans snapped a four-game losing streak and moved to 25-14 on the road. Their next three games are also away from home before finishing at home next Sunday against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Devin Booker scored 25 points for Phoenix, but was 0 for 6 from 3-point range. In his previous three games against the Pelicans, he scored 50 or more points, including a 52-point game Monday night in New Orleans.

Bradley Beal led Phoenix with 33 points, making 7 of 8 3-pointers — the rest of the Suns combined for seven. Kevin Durant scored 23 points and Grayson Allen finished with 11. Jusuf Nurkic had 10 rebounds.


MILWAUKEE (AP) — Jalen Brunson scored 43 points and New York surged in the second half to win and Milwaukee their fourth consecutive loss.

The Bucks are facing their longest losing streak of the season and also have dropped six of their last seven. Milwaukee is a game ahead of the Knicks and Orlando Magic in the race for the Eastern Conference’s No. 2 playoff seed behind the Boston Celtics.

At least this loss came to a team with a winning record. The Bucks’ current slide started with losses to the Washington Wizards, Memphis Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors, who are all well below .500.

Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo had 28 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists in his return to action after missing the Bucks’ 117-111 loss to the Raptors on Friday due to an issue with his left hamstring. This marked just the fourth time in the last 29 games that the Bucks’ top three players – Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard and Khris Middleton – were all available.

KINGS 107, NETS 77

NEW YORK (AP) — Domantas Sabonis had 18 points and 20 rebounds to extend his streak of double-doubles to 61 games, and Sacramento routed Brooklyn.

De’Aaron Fox scored 20 points for the Kings, who improved to 45-33 and stopped a two-game slide that had dropped them into ninth in the Western Conference.

Sabonis owns the seventh-longest streak of double-doubles in NBA history, having moved past Elvin Hayes’ stretch of 60 straight rom Oct. 30, 1968, to Feb. 22, 1969.

Keegan Murray added 19 points for the Kings, while Trey Lyles had 14 and Davion Mitchell chipped in 12 off the bench.

Cam Thomas scored 21 points for the Nets, who had won two straight. Trendon Watford had 16 and Jalen Wilson finished with 11.

76ERS 133, SPURS 126, 2OT

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Tyrese Maxey had a career-high 52 points and injury-depleted Philadelphia overcame Victor Wembanyama and San Antonio in double overtime for their fifth straight victory.

Wembanyama had 33 points, 18 rebounds and seven blocks.

Philadelphia star Joel Embiid sat out the second night of a back-to-back. He had played three straight after missing 29 games because of a torn meniscus in his left knee.

Maxey reached 50 or more for the third time this season, joining Embiid, Allen Iverson and Wilt Chamberlain as the only players in franchise history to accomplish the feat.

Maxey had 50 points against Indiana on Nov. 12, and 51 at Utah on Feb. 1. On Sunday, he was 19 for 41 from the field, 2 of 10 on 3-pointers and made 10 free throws without a mess.

After San Antonio took a 126-123 lead, the 76ers finished the game on a 10-0 run.


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Klay Thompson scored 32 points and Golden State ran away from Utah early on the way to a win.

The Warriors clinched at least a spot in the four-team play-in tournament before the game when Houston lost 147-136 in overtime to Dallas.

From the opening tip, Thompson came out looking for his shot to handle the bulk of the scoring load on a night Stephen Curry was held out for rest and Chris Paul started in his place.

Coach Steve Kerr utilized his 26th starting lineup combination of the season. The break gave Curry several days between games. He has played in 71 already, his most since 2016-17.

Reserve Johnny Juzang scored a career-high 27 points with seven 3s to lead the Jazz in their 12th straight defeat and 15th loss in 16. They haven’t won at Golden State since Feb. 9, 2022. Keyonte George added 25 points.


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Naz Reid hit six 3-pointers while scoring 31 points, and Minnesota capitalized on LeBron James’ absence and Anthony Davis’ early exit with an eye injury for a victory over Los Angeles.

Anthony Edwards added 26 points for the Timberwolves, who moved even with Denver atop the Western Conference at 54-24 with their seventh win in nine games. Minnesota didn’t waste its golden opportunity to beat the surging Lakers, who played most of the night without their two superstars.

James stayed home with flu-like symptoms, missing his 11th game of his 21st NBA season. Davis then went to the locker room after getting hit in the face by Kyle Anderson while scoring a tip-in basket late in the first quarter.

The nine-time All-Star didn’t return to the game. Davis’ left eye already was injured from a hit taken last month in a game against Golden State.

Minnesota blew open a tight game without Davis patrolling the middle, putting up a 46-point second quarter. Los Angeles’ supporting cast kept it close in the third, but Rudy Gobert scored six of his 18 points in the fourth quarter while Minnesota comfortably held on. Gobert also had 16 rebounds.


TORONTO (AP) — Immanuel Quickley had a season-high 31 points and 13 assists, RJ Barrett scored 22 points, and Toronto beat Washington, handing the slumping Wizards their franchise-worst 64th loss of the season.

Kelly Olynyk scored 21 points and Gary Trent Jr. had 20 as the Raptors snapped an eight-game home losing streak and got consecutive wins for the first time since a three-game streak Feb. 22-26.

Quickley went 10 for 10 at the free-throw line for the Raptors, who stopped a 15-game losing streak on Thursday by winning 117-111 at Milwaukee.

Deni Avdija had 32 points and 10 rebounds, and Jordan Poole added 20 points and 12 assists for Washington. Corey Kispert scored 21 points and Patrick Baldwin had a season-best 16 points and a career-high 11 rebounds, but the Wizards lost for the sixth time in seven.

Washington lost 63 games in 2000-01 and again in 2008-09. The Wizards have three games remaining.

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