NBA Roundup 3-30
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. ó Amare Stoudemire had 33 points and 15 rebounds and the Phoenix Suns moved into a first-place tie with the Los Angeles Lakers in the Pacific Division with a 110-104 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Saturday night.
Leandro Barbosa added 21 points, Shaquille O’Neal had 17 points and seven rebounds and Steve Nash chipped in with 10 points and 11 assists as the Suns won their second game in two nights and their ninth in 11 games.
The Suns and idle Lakers each have nine games left in the regular season. Los Angeles has the tiebreaker should they finish tied.
Vince Carter had 30 points to lead the Nets, who lost for the second straight night to fall two games behind Atlanta in the race for the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.
Pistons 85, Cavaliers 71
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. ó Richard Hamilton returned to the lineup and scored 14 points, leading the Detroit Pistons to an 85-71 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night.
The Cavs did, however, clinch a spot in the playoffs because the New Jersey Nets lost to the Phoenix Suns.
LeBron James had a lackluster night with 13 points on 4-of-17 shooting with five assists and five turnovers.
Nuggets 119, Warriors 112
DENVER ó Kenyon Martin scored a season-high 30 points and the Denver Nuggets surged past the Golden State Warriors in the wild Western Conference playoff race with a 119-112 win.
Martin also pulled down 11 rebounds, and J.R. Smith added 20 points off the bench, helping the Nuggets stave off a furious rally by the Warriors in the closing minutes.
Bulls 114, Bucks 111
CHICAGO ó Rookie Joakim Noah scored a season-high 18 points and had 15 rebounds to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 114-111 victory over Milwaukee after nearly squandering a 21-point lead in the fourth quarter.