Kevin C. Cox, Getty Images
ATLANTA — Josh Smith swooped in to slam through Joe Johnson's missed shot just ahead of the buzzer and the Atlanta Hawks finally beat the Orlando Magic, clinching a third straight trip to the playoffs with an 86-84 victory Wednesday night.
Vince Carter led Orlando with 20 points, while Dwight Howard chipped in 19 points and a season-high 24 rebounds. Johnson led six Atlanta players in double figures with 17 points, while Smith scored 15.
NETS 93, KINGS 79: At East Rutherford, N.J., Brook Lopez had 26 points and 13 rebounds, and New Jersey moved a step closer to avoiding a dubious date with NBA history by beating Sacramento to snap an eight-game losing streak and a franchise-record, 14-game skid at home.
CELTICS 113, NUGGETS 99: At Boston, Paul Pierce scored 27 points, Kevin Garnett had 20 and Boston clinched a playoff berth with a victory over Denver.
Boston led by 21 points twice in the third quarter before Denver cut the lead to 87-80 going into the fourth. But the Celtics stayed ahead by seven to 16 the rest of the way for their fifth win in six games.
76ERS 101, BUCKS 86: At Milwaukee, rookie Jrue Holiday had 15 points and seven assists, and Philadelphia snapped Milwaukee's longest home winning streak in six years at eight games.
CAVALIERS 105, HORNETS 92: At New Orleans, LeBron James scored an efficient 38 points on 15-of-22 shooting to go with nine assists, and Cleveland won its eighth straight game.
J.J. Hickson scored 20 for the Cavs, who led by as many as 17 and never trailed after James' floater tied it at 10 in the first quarter.
THUNDER 122, ROCKETS 104: At Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant scored 25 points, James Harden added a spark with 23 points off the bench while returning from an injury.
BOBCATS 108, TIMBERWOLVES 95: At Charlotte, N.C., Stephen Jackson shook off a sore hand and busted out of his shooting slump with 37 points, leading Charlotte past Minnesota to send the reeling Timberwolves to their 14th straight loss.
PACERS 99, WIZARDS 82: At Indianapolis, Danny Granger scored 31 points to help Indiana beat Washington and extend the Wizards' losing streak to a franchise record-tying 13 games.
LAKERS 92, SPURS 83: At San Antonio, Kobe Bryant scored 24 points and Los Angeles extended its winning streak to seven games with a victory over San Antonio.
Lamar Odom scored 19 points.
WARRIORS 128, GRIZZLIES 110: At Oakland, rookie Stephen Curry scored 30 points and added 11 assists to lead Golden State past Memphis.
- So far, Dante Exum appears to be bigger and...
- Doug Robinson: When money speaks louder than...
- Dick Harmon: A more confident Robert Anae...
- Ranking the best college running backs...
- Jazz fan favorite Jeremy Evans' era in Utah...
- Jazz notes: Trey Lyles still not with team...
- Utah Jazz: Brazilian point guard Raul Neto...
- Class of 2015: Utah high school athletes with...
- Morning links: Reviewing BYU's case to... 105
- U. cornerback Hatfield arrested for... 103
- Morning links: Damian Lillard, Paul... 32
- Mendenhall's coaching tenure at BYU: A... 28
- Brad Rock: Hatfield, Natson incidents... 28
- Doug Robinson: When money speaks louder... 28
- Utah football player Dominique Hatfield... 27
- BYU Cougars finish year with five... 24