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Spurs clinch Southwest Division with OT win

MICHAEL Finley forced overtime with a 3-pointer as time expired, then Tim Duncan dominated to lead the San Antonio Spurs to a division-clinching 105-98 win over the New Orleans Hornets yesterday.

Coupled with Houston's loss to Dallas, the Spurs clinched the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference. The Hornets fell to the seventh seed.

New Orleans led by five points with 47.6 seconds left in the fourth period, but missed free throws gave the Spurs a chance. Finley took advantage, draining a 3-pointer as the clock ran down to zero.

Mavericks 95, Rockets 84

At Dallas, Jason Kidd notched a triple-double and Jason Terry was superb in the fourth quarter, powering Dallas to a victory over Houston that started the dominoes tumbling in the Western Conference playoff chase.

Dallas will be the No. 6 seed and play the Spurs in the playoffs. The Rockets will be fifth and open at Portland.

Kidd had 11 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds. Terry scored 14 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter.

Yao Ming scored 23 points - none in the fourth quarter for Houston.

76ers 111, Cavaliers 110, OT

At Cleveland, the Cavaliers lost for just the second time on their home floor this season as star player LeBron James and other regulars rested for the playoffs.

Cleveland finished the regular season with 39 home wins - one short of tying the 1985-86 Boston Celtics' all-time home record of 40-1.

Andre Miller scored 30 points and Andre Iguodala 24 for Philadelphia, which earned the No. 6 spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs, where it will meet the Orlando Magic.

Daniel Gibson scored 28 for the Cavaliers, the No. 1 overall seed. Cleveland will play Detroit in the first round of the playoffs.

Raptors 109, Bulls 98

At Chicago, Shawn Marion scored a season-high 34 points, Chris Bosh set one with 19 rebounds while scoring 21, and Toronto ended Chicago's five-game winning streak.

The Bulls wound up with the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference and a first-round matchup with defending champion Boston.

Derrick Rose finished with 20 points and 11 assists, while Ben Gordon scored 23.

Celtics 115, Wizards 107

At Boston, Eddie House sank five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and Boston beat Washington without its three top players.

Caron Butler scored a season-high 39 points but couldn't keep the Wizards from matching their worst record for an 82-game season, 19-63, last in the Eastern Conference.

House had 20 points and set a single-season club record with a 44.4 percentage on 3-pointers.

Magic 98, Bobcats 73

At Orlando, Florida, Tony Battie had 21 points, Mickael Pietrus scored 19, and Orlando tuned up for the playoffs with a victory over Charlotte.

Dwight Howard had 10 points and 12 rebounds in limited minutes to help Orlando snap its season-longest three-game losing streak. The third-seeded Magic will face Philadelphia in the first round of the playoffs.

Raymond Felton had 13 points, and Nazr Mohammed added 12 for the Bobcats (35-47), who finished with the best record in franchise history.

Heat 102, Pistons 96

At Miami, Chris Quinn made a 3-pointer late in overtime to give Miami the lead and Dwyane Wade wrapped the NBA scoring title while sitting out of Miami's victory.

Quinn scored a career-best 26 points.

Michael Beasley scored 12 of his 22 points in the first quarter for Miami, but left midway through the third quarter after getting hit near the right eye by the Pistons' Amir Johnson and did not return.

Kwame Brown finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds for Detroit.

No. 5 Miami will start the playoffs at No. 4 Atlanta.

Grizzlies 98, Hawks 90

At Memphis, Tennessee, O.J. Mayo scored 26 points and Rudy Gay added 20 to lead the Memphis over a second-string Atlanta.

Marc Gasol finished with 19 points for Memphis, which snapped a two-game losing streak. Hakim Warrick added 15 points, and Mike Conley finished with 12 points and seven assists.

Flip Murray led the Hawks with 29 points, including 20 in the second half to keep Atlanta close. Maurice Evans chipped in 21 points.

Pacers 115, Bucks 108

At Indianapolis, Danny Granger scored 35 points as Indiana overcame a 17-point deficit to beat Milwaukee.

Granger scored 16 points in the fourth quarter in his 23rd 30-point game of the season. He also had nine rebounds, four assists and three blocks.

Richard Jefferson led the Bucks with 31 points.

Kings 97, Timberwolves 90

At Minneapolis, Ike Diogu had 28 points and 13 rebounds to help Sacramento finish a sorry season with a victory over Minnesota.

Diogu topped 20 points in two straight games for the first time in his career and Andres Nocioni scored 17 points for the Kings (17-65), who finished with the NBA's worst record.

Craig Smith scored 18 points in 18 minutes for the Wolves.

Knicks 102, Nets 73

At New York, David Lee had 12 points and 12 rebounds for his NBA-best 65th double-double as New York beat New Jersey.

Wilson Chandler scored 16 points for the Knicks, who finished coach Mike D'Antoni's first season with a 32-50 record.

New York completed its fifth straight season without a playoff appearance. The Knicks will enter next season tied with Minnesota for the longest playoff drought.

Chris Douglas-Roberts scored 18 for the Nets.

Trail Blazers 104, Nuggets 76

At Portland, Oregon, Travis Outlaw scored 21 points for Portland as they clinched home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Portland, which hasn't been to the postseason since 2002-03, will face the Rockets as the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference.

The Nuggets, who clinched the second seed in the Western Conference, will play New Orleans.

Chauncey Billups had 13 points for the Nuggets, who finished the regular season 54-28 and tied the franchise record for wins, set in 1987-88.

Suns 117, Warriors 113

At Phoenix, Grant Hill completed his most durable pro season by scoring 27 points and grabbing 10 rebounds for Phoenix.

Leandro Barbosa added 18 points for the Suns, who failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2004.

Anthony Morrow wrapped up his strong rookie season with 33 points and 12 rebounds for the Warriors, who had eight players in uniform and used only seven. C.J. Watson had 20 points and 12 assists.

Thunder 126, Clippers 85

At Los Angeles, Kevin Durant had 26 points and Jeff Green added 19 as Oklahoma City trounced the Los Angeles Clippers.

Oklahoma led by as many as 33 in the third quarter against the Clippers, who were booed continuously throughout.

The win came after the Thunder announced interim coach Scott Brooks as the team's head coach heading into next season.

Eric Gordon had 22 points to lead the Clippers, who lost nine of their last 10.


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