NBA Roundup: Kidd dishes Mavericks past Suns
The NBA roundup …
DALLAS ó The Phoenix Suns might as well get started on their offseason plans. Jason Kidd made sure of it.
Kidd had 19 points, a season-high 20 assists and a major career milestone ó all in just three quarters ó sending Dallas to a 140-116 victory over Phoenix on Sunday, virtually assuring the Mavericks of grabbing no worse than the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Dallas owns a four-game lead with five games left. Because the Mavs won the season series, they hold the tiebreaker over the Suns, so Phoenix must finish 5-0 and Dallas 0-5 for the teams to trade places in the standings.
Kidd’s 14th assist gave him 10,142 for his career, passing Magic Johnson for No. 3 on the NBA’s career list. Among those who gave him a standing ovation was broadcaster Mark Jackson, who is second with 10,334.
Cavaliers 101, Spurs 81
CLEVELAND ó LeBron James scored 38 points, Mo Williams and Delonte West added 22 apiece and the NBA’s best home team avoided its first three-game losing streak.
Embarrassed in a 29-point loss in Orlando, Cleveland played with purpose at both ends and improved to 37-1 at home.
Knicks 112, Raptors 103
TORONTOó Wilson Chandler scored 17 points, David Lee added 16 points and 10 rebounds and the New York Knicks beat the Raptors, eliminating Toronto from the playoffs.
Jazz 108, Hornets 94
NEW ORLEANS ó Ronnie Brewer scored 23 points and the Utah Jazz clinched a playoff spot after completing a convincing season sweep of the New Orleans Hornets.
Deron Williams had 21 points and 11 assists for Utah, which led by 30 in the second quarter and snapped a three-game skid.
Nuggets 110, Timberwolves 87
MINNEAPOLIS ó Carmelo Anthony scored 23 points and the Denver Nuggets easily won their seventh in a row, beating the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Rockets 102, Trail Blazers 88
HOUSTON ó Yao Ming had 21 points and 12 rebounds to lead Houston past Portland, just hours after the Trail Blazers got their first playoff berth since 2003 when Dallas beat Phoenix 140-116.
Nets 96, 76ers 67
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. ó Vince Carter scored 15 points and the New Jersey Nets kept their playoff hopes alive for a couple more days by handing the Philadelphia 76ers their worst loss of the season.
Pacers 117, Thunder 99
OKLAHOMA CITY ó Danny Granger scored 24 points, Troy Murphy added 22 points and nine rebounds, and the Indiana Pacers kept their slim playoff hopes alive.
Roy Hibbert added 17 points, Jarrett Jack scored 14 and Brandon Rush had 13 points for Indiana.