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April 4, 2015

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Warriors pinch thrilling win against Suns

GOLDEN State’s Harrison Barnes hit a running shot in the lane with less than a second remaining, lifting the NBA-leading Warriors to a thrilling 107-106 win over Phoenix on Thursday.

Elsewhere, Houston notched a critical win over Texan rival Dallas, while Miami lost Dwyane Wade to injury in a bad loss to Cleveland.

Phoenix went ahead against Golden State when Eric Bledsoe broke free for a reverse layup with 4.5 seconds to play, shortly after Stephen Curry had hit a 3-pointer to put the Warriors in front.

There was still time for Barnes to hit the dramatic winner and extend Golden State’s winning streak to 11 games.

The Suns are now 4-1/2 games behind Oklahoma City, which is eighth in the Western Conference.

Houston won 108-101 at Dallas to move half a game ahead of Memphis in the fight for the No.2 seed in the West behind Golden State.

James Harden scored 24 points and former Dallas guard Jason Terry hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer for the Rockets.

Dirk Nowitzki’s 21 points led the Mavericks, who seem destined for seventh in the West, leading Oklahoma City by 3-1/2 games.

LeBron James scored 23 points to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 114-88 victory over the Miami Heat that dimmed his former team’s playoff hopes.

James passed former Knicks center Patrick Ewing for 20th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list with a hook shot in the first quarter. His 23 points in the game gave him 24,837 for his career.

He also handed out seven assists and pulled down eight rebounds in the win over his former team, which turned even more damaging for the Heat with the departure of Dwyane Wade with a left knee injury in the second quarter.

The Cavs’ young star Kyrie Irving scored 23 points also, while Iman Shumpert added 17 points off the bench.

Tristan Thompson pulled down 15 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who moved three and a half games ahead of idle Toronto for the second seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Luol Deng and Hassan Whiteside scored 17 points apiece for Miami, which is now in a virtual tie with Boston for the eighth and final playoff berth in the East with seven games left in the regular season.

The Heat scored seven straight points early in the first quarter to take an early lead, but the Cavaliers took the lead for good on James’s jump shot with 5:27 left in the quarter. Miami shot 54.5 percent from the field in the first half but still trailed 50-61 at the break.

The Heat led 91-72 after three quarters and were never threatened in the fourth. But the biggest blow to the Heat could be the loss of Wade, who was dribbling near the baseline in the second quarter when his right foot slipped and his left knee buckled.

Wade slipped to the ground in pain, eventually rising and walking off the court to the locker room. The Heat said the injury was a bruised left knee.


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