Bulls down Pacers, close in on top seed: NBA roundup

Bulls 92, Pacers 87

INDIANAPOLIS - Kyle Korver scored 20 points to help the Chicago Bulls defeat the Indiana Pacers 92-87 on Wednesday night and inch closer to claiming the top overall seed in the NBA playoffs.

The Bulls ended the game needing just a win over Cleveland on Thursday or a loss by the San Antonio Spurs to clinch the top seed.

Carlos Boozer had 16 points and Joakim Noah had 14 points and 14 rebounds for Chicago. Derrick Rose finished with 10 points on 3-for-11 shooting in 27 minutes. Chicago won the season series with the Pacers 2-1.

Lance Stephenson had a career-high 22 points in his first career start for the Pacers, who rested Danny Granger and Leandro Barbosa because they were locked into the No. 3 spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Wizards 96, Cavaliers 85

CLEVELAND - John Wall had 21 points and 13 assists as the Washington Wizards won their fifth straight to extend their longest winning streak since 2007, beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 96-85 on Wednesday night.

Wall had 12 points, six assists and four steals in the third quarter, when he accounted for 24 of Washington's 28 points and helped the Wizards open a 14-point lead. Wall added seven rebounds and seven steals.

While Washington's star guard put on a show, Cleveland's watched. Kyrie Irving, expected to be named the NBA's rookie of the year next month, played only 10 minutes -- all in the first quarter -- of the Cavs' home finale.

D.J. Kennedy led Cleveland with 12 points in his NBA debut. Washington rookie Jan Vesely had a season-high 12 rebounds.

Magic 102, Bobcats 95

ORLANDO, Fla. - J.J. Redick had six 3-pointers and scored a career-high 31 points as the Orlando Magic held off Charlotte 102-95 on Wednesday night, the Bobcats' 22nd consecutive loss.

Ryan Anderson added 24 points and 13 rebounds for the Magic, who snapped a three-game losing streak and secured the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference but lost forward Glen Davis to a sprained right ankle. He is the latest injury to strike the Magic's roster and drain an already shallow pool of Orlando big men following Dwight Howard's season-ending back surgery.

D.J. Augustin led the Bobcats with 23 points, while Gerald Henderson had 17 and Derrick Brown 16.

Charlotte (7-58) heads into its season finale on Thursday needing to beat New York to avoid the worst winning percentage in NBA history.

76ers 90, Bucks 85

MILWAUKEE - Evan Turner scored a career-high 29 points and the Philadelphia 76ers got a win while resting some key players for the playoffs, beating the Milwaukee Bucks 90-85 on Wednesday night.

Jodie Meeks added 27 points for the 76ers, who eliminated the Bucks from playoff contention with their victory over New Jersey on Monday.

The 76ers rested Elton Brand, Andre Iguodala, Lou Williams and Thaddeus Young.

Brandon Jennings scored 19 points for the Bucks, who were playing short-handed in their home finale.

The Bucks played only nine players Wednesday -- and Jennings was the only regular starter on the court. Monta Ellis, Drew Gooden, Ersan Ilyasova and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute all sat out.

Nuggets 106, Thunder 101

OKLAHOMA CITY - Ty Lawson scored 25 points, Kenneth Faried added 13 points and 10 rebounds, and the Denver Nuggets beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 106-101 on Wednesday night to ensure they won't be the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.

Kevin Durant scored 32 points to extend his lead in the NBA scoring race, leaving Kobe Bryant in need of 38 points in his season finale Thursday night against Sacramento to claim his third scoring title and prevent Durant from becoming the seventh player to win three in a row.

Lawson's free throw with 4:11 remaining put Denver up 96-95, and the Nuggets wouldn't trail again.

With a win Thursday at Minnesota, Denver would be the No. 6 seed and face the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the playoffs. Otherwise, the Nuggets could fall to No. 7 and have a rematch with Oklahoma City.

Knicks 99, Clippers 93

NEW YORK - JR Smith scored 21 points, including a rally-stopping jumper with 31 seconds left, and the New York Knicks held on to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 99-93 on Wednesday night and close in on the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Carmelo Anthony scored 17 points for the Knicks, but he was on the bench in the final minutes as the Knicks blew nearly all of an 18-point lead against a Clippers team that was fighting desperately for home-court advantage in the first round.

The Knicks will draw Miami in the first round with one more win or a loss by Philadelphia. New York closes its season Thursday at Charlotte, which has one of the worst records in NBA history, while the 76ers visit Detroit.

Spurs 110, Suns 106

PHOENIX — Patty Mills scored 27 points and the depleted San Antonio Spurs beat Phoenix 110-106 on Wednesday night in a game overshadowed by the fact it could have been Steve Nash's last in a Suns uniform.

The crowd stood and chanted "We want Nash" with about 5 minutes to go, leading coach Alvin Gentry to put the 38-year-old point guard in the game for a few plays before removing him to rousing cheers. Nash is a free agent after this season and plans to evaluate what options are open for him this summer.

The Spurs sent Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili — as well as coach Gregg Popovich — home earlier in the day. The four will also miss San Antonio's regular-season finale at Golden State on Thursday night.