Heat Rest James & Bosh, Fall to Wizards
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Miami Heat opted for rest for LeBron James and Chris Bosh over the pursuit of the Eastern Conference’s top seed, and the Washington Wizards capitalized in a 114-93 breeze of a game Monday night that clinched the No. 1 seed for the Indiana Pacers.
Trevor Ariza scored 25 points for the Wizards, who shot 59 percent and made 14 3-pointers and remained one game ahead of the Charlotte Bobcats in the race for the East’s No. 6 seed. Washington is trying to avoid dropping to seventh so that it can avoid the Heat in the first round of the playoffs – when LeBron and Co. will be back.
Michael Beasley scored 18 points for the Heat, who will be the No. 2 seed when the playoffs begin this weekend.
The Heat began the day still in contention for the top spot, but they would have needed to win their last two games and have Indiana lose to Orlando on Wednesday because the Pacers hold the head-to-head tiebreaker. Figuring it would be better to be fresh for the postseason, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra sat James and Bosh, saying they were dealing with “the residual of a long season.”
76ERS 113, Celtics 108
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Michael Carter-Williams had 21 points and 14 rebounds, Tony Wroten scored 20 points, and the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Boston Celtics.
Chris Johnson appeared to hit the tying 3-pointer with 0.9 seconds remaining, but stepped out of bounds before attempting the desperation shot. James Anderson made two free throws a half-second later to seal Philadelphia’s win.
Kelly Olynyk scored 28 points to lead the Celtics. Jeff Green had 27 points and Avery Bradley added 23. Rajon Rondo finished with eight points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds.
BOBCATS 95, HAWKS 93
ATLANTA (AP) – Chris Douglas-Roberts dribbled into the lane and sank a short jumper as time expired, and the Charlotte Bobcats overcame a 15-point deficit in the final period to beat the Atlanta Hawks.
Al Jefferson had 27 points and 15 rebounds for Charlotte, which remained one game behind Washington in the race for the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Gary Neal had 17. Jefferson’s turnaround jumper gave the Bobcats a 93-91 lead before Lou Williams answered with a tying jumper for Atlanta with 2.6 seconds remaining.
Following a timeout, Douglas-Roberts penetrated and lobbed the soft jumper as the buzzer sounded.
The Hawks rested starters Kyle Korver, Paul Millsap and DeMarre Carroll. Mike Scott led Atlanta with 20 points.
RAPTORS 110, BUCKS 100
TORONTO (AP) – Greivis Vasquez scored 25 points, Kyle Lowry had 24 and the Toronto Raptors set a franchise record with their 48th win, beating the Milwaukee Bucks.
Jonas Valanciunas had 14 points and 13 rebounds and Tyler Hansbrough had 12 points and 11 rebounds as the Raptors won for the sixth time in seven games and completed the first season sweep of Milwaukee in franchise history.
Toronto had dropped 11 consecutive games against the Bucks coming into this season, but has since won four straight.
Ramon Sessions scored 21 points, Jeff Adrien had 19 points and Brandon Knight 18 as the Bucks lost their 14th straight road game, matching a record for futility set in the 2004-05 season. Milwaukee has not won away from home since beating Philadelphia on Feb. 24.