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POSTED April 19, 2012 10:43 p.m.

MIAMI (AP) — LeBron James had 27 points and 11 rebounds, Dwyane Wade scored 18 points and Miami tightened up the race in the Eastern Conference by beating Chicago 83-72 in a scuffle-filled game Thursday night.

Mario Chalmers scored 16 points and Udonis Haslem grabbed 10 rebounds for Miami, which held the Bulls to a season-low point total and moved within 1½ games of Chicago.

John Lucas scored 16 points for Chicago, which was again without reigning MVP Derrick Rose because of injuries. Joakim Noah scored 15 points, Luol Deng added 11 and Carlos Boozer had 10 for the Bulls, who split four games with Miami this season.

The teams combined for four technicals, two flagrant fouls and Miami reserve James Jones was ejected.

Chicago (47-16) has games with Dallas, Indiana and Cleveland left, while Miami (45-17) still has matchups with Washington (twice), Houston and Boston.

SUNS 93, CLIPPERS 90

PHOENIX (AP) — Steve Nash hit a crucial driving layup, then made two free throws for the deciding points and Phoenix bolstered its playoff hopes.

There were 24 lead changes in the Suns' 10th straight win over the Clippers in Phoenix.

Chris Paul scored 19 points and Blake Griffin added 16 — only two after the first quarter — in just the third loss in 16 games for the Clippers.

Chris Dudley scored 18 points and Channing Frye had 16 for the Suns, who moved into a tie with Utah for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

PACERS 118, BUCKS 109

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Danny Granger scored 29 points to help Indiana clinch homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

George Hill had 22 points and eight assists and David West added 21 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists for the Pacers, who won their seventh straight and 11th of 12. The Pacers have scored at least 100 points in 12 of their last 13 games.

Brandon Jennings scored 27 points and Mike Dunleavy added 23 for the Bucks. Monta Ellis, one of Milwaukee's top scorers, finished with 12 points on 5-for-14 shooting. Milwaukee lost its third straight and is running out of time to catch Philadelphia for the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference standings.

HORNETS 105, ROCKETS 99, OT

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Eric Gordon scored 27 points and Carl Landry had 20 points and 10 rebounds as New Orleans dealt a blow to Houston's playoff hopes by handing the Rockets their sixth straight loss.

Goran Dragic scored 23 points and Chase Budinger tied a season-high with 22 points for Houston (32-31), which dropped one game behind Utah (33-30) for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with three games left.

Al-Farouq Aminu scored 17 points, Marco Belinelli had 13 points, and Gustavo Ayon had nine points and 10 rebounds for New Orleans, which went ahead for good in the overtime with a 9-0 run.

The Hornets have won seven of their last 10 games.

Gordon missed a step-back jumper in the final seconds of regulation.

TIMBERWOLVES 91, PISTONS 80

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Nikola Pekovic scored 23 points and Minnesota ended an 11-game losing streak.

The Timberwolves never trailed and took a 49-31 halftime lead after shooting 57 percent (21 of 37) from the field. An 8-0 run pushed the lead to over 20 points midway through the third quarter.

Tayshaun Prince had 18 points to lead to lead Detroit, which lost for the second time in as many nights.

Anthony Randolph added 15 points and 10 rebounds for Minnesota, while Michael Beasley and J.J. Barea had 13 points each. Barea had 12 assists and six rebounds.

Pekovic made 5 of his first six shots to start the game and had 13 points in the first half to pace the Wolves, who hadn't won since March 28 at Charlotte. He finished with nine rebounds.

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