76ers Hang On, Top Bulls
(Chicago, IL) — Dario Saric scored a career best 32 points and pulled down 10 boards to help lift the Sixers past the Bulls 117-107 in Chicago. Shawn Long, Sergio Rodriguez, and Gerald Henderson combined for 44 points off the Philly bench. The Sixers shot 55.4-percent as a team in the winning effort. Philadelphia improved to 27-and-45. Jimmy Butler scored a game-high 36 with 11 assists in defeat. The Bulls fell to 34-and-39, one and a half games out of the final playoff spot in the East.
Cavaliers Knock Off Hornets
(Charlotte, NC) — LeBron James fell a rebound shy of a triple-double as the Cavaliers knocked off the Hornets, 112-105, in Charlotte. James finished with 32 points, 11 assists and nine boards for Cleveland. Kyrie Irving added 26 points, seven assists and four steals as the Cavs bounced back a loss in Denver where they gave up 126 points. Cleveland moved to 47-and-24 on the season. Kemba Walker keyed the Hornets with 28 points. Charlotte’s three-game win streak is over.
Wizards Pound Out Victory Over Nets
(Washington, DC) — The Wizards locked up a spot in the postseason as they coasted past the Nets 129-108 in Washington. The Wizards led 63-42 at half and never looked back. John Wall scored 22 points and Bradley Beal added 19 in the winning effort. Washington is 8-and-4 in its last 12 games. Justin Hamilton led Brooklyn with 20 points off the bench. The Nets are 4-and-4 in their past eight games.
Booker Scores 70, Suns Fall In Boston
(Boston, MA) — The Celtics overcame a 70 point performance from Devin Booker to top the Suns 130-120 in Boston. Booker is the sixth player in NBA history to break the 70-point barrier in a game. Isaiah Thomas paced the Celtics with 34 points and seven assists. Al Horford and Jae Crowder contributed double-doubles. Horford had 15 points while Crowder scored 13 and each pulled down 10 boards. Boston has won six-of-seven. Phoenix has lost nine-of-ten and fell to 22-and-51 overall.
Bucks Win Again, Narrowly Beat Hawks
(Milwaukee, WI) — Giannis Antetokounmpo had 34 points and 13 boards as the Bucks nipped the Hawks 100-97 in Milwaukee. Malcolm Brogdon and Greg Monroe each contributed 14 points. Milwaukee has won 11 of its last 13. Dennis Schroder paced the Hawks with 28 points. Dwight Howard finished with 20 points and 12 boards. Atlanta has dropped six straight.
Rockets Holds Off Pelicans
(Houston, TX) — James Harden had 38 points and 17 assists as the Rockets defeated the Pelicans 117-107 in Houston. Clint Capela had a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds. Houston won its third straight and is 6-and-1 in its last seven games. The Pelicans’ Anthony Davis scored 33 points and hauled in 16 boards. DeMarcus Cousins had 29 points. New Orleans had its three-game winning streak snapped.
Lakers Clip Timberwolves In OT
(Los Angeles, CA) — Jordan Clarkson scored a career-high 35 points as the Lakers clipped the Timberwolves, 130-119 in overtime at the Staples Center. Clarkson nailed 8-of-10 three-pointers, and Julius Randle added 23 points and 12 rebounds. Seven Lakers scored in double-figures as they pull away in OT, ending a six-game slide. Andrew Wiggins led Minnesota with 36 points in defeat. Karl-Anthony Towns added 25 points and 13 rebounds as the T-Wolves fell to 28-and-43.
Warriors Hammer Kings
(Oakland, CA) — Stephen Curry posted 27 points and a dozen dimes as the Warriors hammered the Kings, 114-100, in Oakland. Curry also had six steals and Draymond Green added 23 points for Golden State, who improved to 58-and-14 overall and 30-and-4 at Oracle Arena. The Dubs are on a six-game win streak. Buddy Hield led Sacramento with 22 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Ty Lawson scored 20 in defeat.
Stars Cruise Past Sharks
(Dallas, TX) — Adam Cracknell’s first NHL hat trick led the way as the Stars cruised past the Sharks 6-1 in Dallas. Brett Ritchie, Jamie Benn and John Klingberg also found the back of the net in the winning effort. Kari Lehtonen stopped 20-of-21 shots sent his way. The Stars are 5-4-and-1 in their last 10 games. Joe Thornton scored the lone San Jose goal in defeat. The Sharks have lost five-straight in regulation and are now tied with Anaheim for the Pacific Division lead.
North Carolina Drills Butler, Advances To Elite Eight
(Memphis, TN) — North Carolina’s big first half held up as the Tar Heels drilled Butler, 92-80, in Sweet 16 action from FedEx Forum in Memphis. UNC led 52-36 at the break and kept up the pressure in the second half to advance to the Elite Eight. Joel Berry the Second finished with 26 points and Josh Jackson scored 24 for the top-seeded Tar Heels. Luke Maye put up 16 points and 12 rebounds for his first career double-double. North Carolina will face Kentucky in the Elite Eight on Sunday. Andrew Chrabascz keyed the Bulldogs with 21 points. Kelan Martin added 16 off the bench as Butler ends the year at 25-and-8.
South Carolina Spanks Baylor
(New York, NY) — South Carolina’s Cinderella season continues as the seven-seeded Gamecocks knocked off Baylor, 70-50, in New York. Sindarius Thornwell led the charge with 24 points. South Carolina took a 15-point lead at halftime and didn’t let off the gas in the second half. P.J. Dozier and Chris Silva added 12 points each as the Gamecocks advance to the Elite Eight for the first time in school history. They’ll face SEC-foe Florida, who they split a series with during the regular season. Jonathan Motley was the only Bear in double figures with 18 points and nine rebounds. Baylor shot just 30.4-percent from the field and fell to 27-and-8 to end the year.
Kentucky Blows Past UCLA
(Memphis, TN) — De’Aaron Fox piled up a career-high 39 points as two-seeded Kentucky blew past number-three UCLA, 86-75, in Sweet 16 action down in Memphis. Malik Monk added 21 points as the Wildcats pulled away in the second half. Kentucky avenged a December loss to UCLA and moves on to the Elite Eight where North Carolina waits. Isaac Hamilton and T.J. Leaf each scored 17 points for the Bruins. Lonzo Ball finished with 10 points and eight assists as UCLA ends the season at 31-and-5.
Florida Fights Off Wisconsin
(New York, NY) — Chris Chiozza’s three-point floater as time expired in overtime lifted Florida past Wisconsin, 84-83, in Sweet 16 action from New York. Kevaughn Allen keyed the Gators with 35 points. Florida led by 10 with 4:25 left in the regulation, but the Badgers battled back and Zak Showalter sent the game into overtime with a tying three-pointer with three seconds left. Chiozza finished with eight points, five assists, and four rebounds. Florida will face SEC-foe South Carolina in the Elite Eight on Sunday. Nigel Hayes led Wisconsin with 22 points, and Ethan Happ added 21 in defeat. Wisconsin ends the year at 27-and-9.