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Celtics close in on Atlantic title

Posted: Wednesday, April 13, 2005

 

  Philadelphia 76ers' Allen Iverson ducks under Boston Celtics' Gary Payton as he drives to the basket in the second half Tuesday, April 12, 2005 in Philadelphia. AP Photo/Rusty Kennedy

Philadelphia 76ers' Allen Iverson ducks under Boston Celtics' Gary Payton as he drives to the basket in the second half Tuesday, April 12, 2005 in Philadelphia.

AP Photo/Rusty Kennedy

PHILADELPHIA — Paul Pierce scored 27 points, including the go-ahead basket in the final minute, and Boston moved closer toward clinching the Atlantic Division title with a 105-98 victory over second-place Philadelphia on Tuesday night.

Allen Iverson scored 28 points and Kyle Korver added 17 for the 76ers, who fell three games behind Boston with five games remaining.

Philadelphia holds the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, one game behind Cleveland and one game ahead of New Jersey.

Antoine Walker had 18 points for Boston, which saw a 5 1/2-game lead in the division slip to two games since March 19.

Raptors 105, Knicks 93

NEW YORK — Rafer Alston banked in a 3-pointer to start a 13-0 run midway through the fourth quarter, and Toronto sent New York to its 10th loss in 11 games. Chris Bosh scored 29 points and Jalen Rose added 25 for the Raptors, who trailed by as many as 19 points. The 13-0 run gave Toronto a 91-85 lead.

Spurs 95, Trail Blazers 89

SAN ANTONIO — Manu Ginobili scored 30 points in 34 minutes and Nazr Mohammed added 14 rebounds — 12 in the first half — as San Antonio clinched the Southwest Division title.

It's the fourth division title in the past five years for the Spurs.

Portland has lost 15 of its last 16 games and 21 of its past 23. The Trail Blazers are 3-19 under coach Kevin Pritchard who replaced the fired Maurice Cheeks on March 2.

Suns 99, Hornets 85

PHOENIX — Amare Stoudemire scored 27 points, including making 15 of 16 free throws, and Phoenix dominated the fourth quarter.

Jim Jackson, starting in place of injured Quentin Richardson and coming off a season-high 25 points at the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night, was 6-of-7 from 3-point range and scored 20 points. Shawn Marion added 18 points and 17 rebounds for the Suns, who at 59-19 stayed one game ahead of San Antonio for the best record in the NBA and homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs.

Clippers 94, Jazz 85

LOS ANGELES — Elton Brand had 25 points and 10 rebounds and Marko Jaric added 20 points for the Clippers, who beat Utah for only the fifth time in the last 27 meetings.

Shaun Livingston had 15 points and 10 assists, the first double-double in 26 NBA games for the Clippers' injury-plagued rookie point guard. Los Angeles assistant coach Jim Eyen ran the team while Mike Dunleavy was in New York on an indefinite leave of absence, due to a medical emergency involving his seriously ill father.

Matt Harpring had 18 points for the Jazz, who are missing the playoffs for the second straight year. They have lost 16 of their last 20 and are 24-53 in finishing up their first losing season since 1982-83.



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