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Lakers hold onto playoff spot

Associated Press

Published: Friday, April 5 2013 11:42 p.m. MDT

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Kobe Bryant had 24 points and nine assists, Pau Gasol added 19 points, and the Los Angeles Lakers stayed in the final playoff position in the Western Conference with an 86-84 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night.

Dwight Howard hit a free throw with 4.1 seconds left for the Lakers, who have won three straight in the final weeks of their desperate push for a postseason spot. Los Angeles also avoided getting swept in its season series with the Grizzlies, whose four-game winning streak ended.

Mike Conley scored 21 points before missing a potential go-ahead jumper with 5 seconds left and another layup before the buzzer for playoff-bound Memphis, which fell one game behind Denver for the fourth seed in the West. The Grizzlies couldn't score in the final 21/2 minutes.

KNICKS 101, BUCKS 83: At New York, Carmelo Anthony scored 41 points, tying a franchise record with this third straight 40-point game, and the New York Knicks earned their 11th straight victory.

THUNDER 97, PACERS 75: At Indianapolis, Kevin Durant overcame a bruised left calf to score 34 points and Russell Westbrook added 24 points, leading Oklahoma City over Indiana.

HEAT 89, BOBCATS 79: At Charlotte, N.C., Mike Miller scored a season-high 26 points on seven 3-pointers, and injury-depleted Miami beat Charlotte.

CAVALIERS 97, CELTICS 91: At Boston, Tristan Thompson had career highs with 29 points and 17 rebounds and Cleveland ended a 10-game losing streak.

RAPTORS 95, TIMBERWOLVES 93: At Minneapolis, Rudy Gay had 26 points and five rebounds to lead Toronto to a rare road victory in the Western Conference. Andrei Kirilenko had 20 points and six rebounds for the Timberwolves, who led by as many as 11 in the second half.

BULLS 87, MAGIC 86: At Chicago, Nate Robinson scored 12 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, Luol Deng finished with 19 after a slow start, and Chicago beat Orlando.

76ERS 101, HAWKS 90: At Atlanta, Evan Turner had 24 points and 11 rebounds, and Philadelphia opened with its highest-scoring quarter of the season and beat Atlanta.

WARRIORS 111, SUNS 107: At Phoenix, Stephen Curry scored 18 points and matched his career high with 15 assists, sinking two late free throws to extend the Suns' losing streak to a season-worst eight games.

MAVERICKS 117, KINGS 108: At Sacramento, Calif., Shawn Marion had 25 points and 12 rebounds, and the Dallas Mavericks snapped a two-game losing streak.

ROCKETS 116, TRAIL BLAZERS 98: At Portland, Ore., James Harden and Jeremy Lin combined for 55 points and six of the Rockets' 12 3-pointers to earn a road victory. Damian Lillard had 11 points in the loss.

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