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Butler, West shoot down Heat, 93-87

RASUAL Butler hit a game-tying 3-pointer with no time remaining in regulation and David West hit the winning jump shot with 8.8 seconds left in overtime as the New Orleans Hornets stunned the Miami Heat 93-87 in the NBA yesterday.

Chris Paul finished with 26 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, and Peja Stojakovic added 24 points for the Hornets (48-29), who not only clinched a postseason berth but stayed thickly in the hunt for home-court advantage in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.

Dwyane Wade scored 32 points before getting ejected with 1.4 seconds remaining and Michael Beasley added 25 for Miami (41-37), which remained a half-game ahead of Philadelphia in the race for the No. 5 spot in the East postseason chase. The Heat fell three games behind Atlanta for the fourth seed in the East.

Bobcats 101, 76ers 98

At Charlotte, North Carolina, Gerald Wallace scored 29 points, including the final four of the game as Charlotte beat Philadelphia to snap a three-game losing streak.

Raymond Felton scored a career-high 32 points and the Bobcats recovered after blowing a 20-point lead to improve their faint playoff hopes.

Coming off their worst loss and offensive performance Sunday in New Jersey, the Sixers overcame one of their poorest starts, only to falter down the stretch.

Andre Iguodala and Willie Green missed tying 3-pointers in the closing seconds. Andre Miller had 23 points and Louis Williams scored 20 for Philadelphia.

Hawks 118, Raptors 110

At Toronto, Josh Smith had 25 points and seven rebounds as Atlanta used 11-for-22 shooting from 3-point range to beat Toronto.

The Hawks, trying to secure the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference, also got 25 points from Joe Johnson and 17 from Maurice Evans. Mike Bibby added 13 points and 10 assists, while Al Horford chipped in 15 points and 12 rebounds.

Chris Bosh had 21 points and 10 rebounds for his eighth consecutive double-double and 40th this season, but the Raptors lost their second in a row after winning six straight.

Spurs 99, Thunder 89

At Oklahoma City, Tim Duncan had 25 points and 15 rebounds, and Drew Gooden provided a needed lift off the bench for San Antonio in its first game since learning Manu Ginobili would miss the rest of the season.

Tony Parker added 21 points and 10 assists, while Gooden scored 20 points for his highest total since being picked up off waivers by the Spurs in early March.

Kevin Durant led Oklahoma City with 24 points. Jeff Green added 16 points and Thabo Sefolosha had 13 points and nine rebounds.

Trail Blazers 96, Grizzlies 93

At Memphis, Tennessee, Travis Outlaw sank a 14-foot shot with 13 seconds left to complete Portland's comeback from an 18-point second-quarter deficit against Memphis.

Brandon Roy, who scored 13 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter to key the Portland comeback, stole the ball from Memphis guard Mike Conley with 8 seconds left, then hit the ensuing two free throws to preserve the win.

Rudy Fernandez and LaMarcus Aldridge scored 15 each for the Trail Blazers. Outlaw finished with 11 points and Greg Oden scored 10.

Rockets 93, Magic 83

At Houston, Yao Ming had 20 points and 16 rebounds to outplay Dwight Howard and lead Houston past Orlando.

Ron Artest had 16 points and matched a season high with seven assists, and reserve Von Wafer scored 14 points for the Rockets, who stayed a half-game behind San Antonio in the Southwest Division.

Howard had 13 points and 10 rebounds, but went 3-for-9 from the free-throw line for the Magic, who slipped one game behind second-place Boston in the Eastern Conference standings.

Rafer Alston 15 points and three assists in his first game in Houston since he was traded to Orlando on Feb. 19.

Bulls 110, Knicks 103

At Chicago, Kirk Hinrich scored 25 points to lead five players in double figures for Chicago against New York.

Derrick Rose had 18 points and six assists, John Salmons scored 19, Tyrus Thomas 18 and Ben Gordon 17 for the Bulls' balanced scoring attack.

Wilson Chandler scored 26 points to lead the Knicks, who were trying to win consecutive games for the first time since taking three in a row March 10-13. Al Harrington had 23 points, and David Lee added 17 points and 13 rebounds.

Lakers 122, Kings 104

At Sacramento, California, Pau Gasol scored 26 points and Kobe Bryant added 22 as Los Angeles overcame a sluggish start to beat Sacramento and move within a half-game of Cleveland for the best record in the NBA.

Lamar Odom added 15 points and 11 rebounds, Trevor Ariza scored 14 points and Gasol had 12 rebounds to go with his 11-for-16 shooting against overmatched Sacramento. Los Angeles has won four straight since losing back-to-back games in Charlotte and Atlanta.

Spencer Hawes had 21 points and 15 rebounds, Jason Thompson added 18 points and 11 boards, and Francisco Garcia scored 19 for the Kings.

Timberwolves 87, Clippers 77

At Los Angeles, Ryan Gomes had 24 points and 13 rebounds, Craig Smith added 16 points, and Minnesota beat Los Angeles in a matchup of short-handed teams.

Eric Gordon scored 28 for the Clippers, who went without a basket for four-plus minutes to start the fourth quarter. Smith had seven consecutive points in the period to give the Timberwolves their biggest lead of the game, 78-62, with 10:18 remaining.


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