Raptors get crucial win
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — The Toronto Raptors put the team first against Detroit and the result improved their playoff chances.
Andrea Bargnani had 33 points, Amir Johnson scored a career-high 26 and Toronto beat the Pistons, 111-97, last night to snap a five-game losing streak.
The Raptors moved within a half-game of the Bulls for the final postseason spot in the Eastern Conference.
Toronto, which closes the season tomorrow at home against New York, will earn a playoff berth if it ends the season tied with Chicago, which finishes against the Celtics and at Charlotte.
"We just have to pray on Boston now to beat Chicago," Johnson said.
The Raptors had assists on 21 of their first 22 field goals, finished with a season-high 37 assists, and made 60 percent of their shots overall.
Toronto fell a game behind the Bulls with a 104-88 loss to them Sunday at home, hurting its chances of making the postseason.
"We had a lot of guys trying to do too much and going 1-on-1, so we stressed the importance of trusting your teammates and sharing the ball," Raptors coach Jay Triano said.
Rockets 117, Kings 107: Kevin Martin scored 39 points as visiting Houston beat Sacramento. Kings rookie Tyreke Evans reached an exclusive milestone. By scoring 24 points, Evans assured himself of joining Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan and LeBron James as the only rookies in NBA history to average at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists a game.
Mavericks 117, Clippers 94: Dirk Nowitzki scored 25 points in 22 minutes, Shawn Marion added 21 points in his return from an injury, and visiting Dallas kept a firm grip on the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs. Jason Kidd had 12 points and 12 assists for the Mavericks, who blew out the lifeless Clippers with a 37-point first quarter.
Hawks 104, Bucks 96: Joe Johnson scored 31 points to help visiting Atlanta beat Milwaukee in a matchup between potential first-round playoff opponents. Marvin Williams added 16 points for the Hawks, who had six players in double figures.
Heat 107, 76ers 105: Dwyane Wade scored 30 points and made the assist to Udonis Haslem for the go-ahead basket with 1.3 seconds left, lifting visiting Miami over Philadelphia. Wade scored all the clutch baskets late, but it was his drive-and-dish to Haslem in the corner that was the difference.
Magic 118, Pacers 98: Vince Carter scored 21 points to help visiting Orlando beat Indiana for its fifth straight win. Jameer Nelson had 15 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, and Rashard Lewis scored 14 points for the Magic.
Knicks 114, Wizards 103: Danilo Gallinari scored all of his 24 points in the second half, David Lee had 26 and host New York beat Washington. Sergio Rodriguez added all of his 12 points in the fourth quarter for the Knicks.
Bobcats 105, Nets 95: Stephen Jackson had 17 points and nine rebounds and visiting Charlotte got a big game from its bench. Gerald Henderson led the bench crew with 14 points, while fellow reserves Tyrus Thomas and D.J. Augustin added 13 and 11.
Spurs 133, Timberwolves 111: Keith Bogans scored 17 points and host San Antonio kept control over its playoff future with a win over Minnesota. Tim Duncan had 16 points as the Spurs stayed on track to avoid the dreaded No. 8 seed in the Western Conference and a first-round meeting with the Lakers.
Nuggets 123, Grizzlies 101: J.R. Smith scored 26 points and host Denver beat Memphis. The Nuggets also got 21 points from Carmelo Anthony and 20 from Nene, both of whom sat out the fourth quarter. Aaron Afflalo added 22 points and pulled down 13 rebounds.
Trail Blazers 103, Thunder 95: Marcus Camby scored a season-high 30 points and pulled down 13 rebounds, and host Portland beat Oklahoma City. Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 30 points.
Lakers: Kobe Bryant won't play in the Los Angeles Lakers' last two regular-season games against Sacramento and the Clippers.
Team spokesman John Black said yesterday that Bryant would rest the broken bone in his index finger on his right shooting hand. He sat out games last week at Denver and Minnesota to rest his finger, along with a swollen right knee and a sprained ankle.
The Lakers are the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.
Blazers: Portland guard Brandon Roy has a torn meniscus in his right knee and his status for the playoffs is uncertain.
The three-time All-Star will miss tomorrow's regular-season finale against Golden State.
He will require surgery and will be out from four to six weeks. But he said he may try to play with the injury in the playoffs because doctors told him it cannot get worse.