ATLANTA (AP) — Joe Johnson scored 28 points, including a wild 3-pointer in the final minute, and the Atlanta Hawks held on for a 109-102 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night, moving a step closer to wrapping up home-court in the first round of the playoffs.
Blake Griffin scored a season-high 36 points, while Chris Paul added 34 in a back-and-forth game that was never in double figures until the Hawks went on a 15-2 run at the end of the third quarter, sparked by Jeff Teague and Josh Smith.
Johnson clinched it with a pair of 3s, knocking down a desperation shot with 38 seconds remaining and the shot clock running down. He threw up a two-handed heave that somehow banked in, giving the Hawks a 103-96 lead.
CELTICS 78, HEAT 66
BOSTON (AP) — Sasha Pavlovic scored 12 of his of his season-high 16 points in the fourth quarter, leading a group of Boston reserves as both teams rested their top players.
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were out for the Heat. Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo didn't play for the Celtics.
Dexter Pittman had 12 points, James Jones scored 11 and Udonis Haslem grabbed 13 rebounds for the Heat, whose 25 turnovers were a season high.
Marquis Daniels finished with 13 points, Brandon Bass had eight points and eight rebounds for the Celtics. Boston's Paul Pierce finished with eight points. He started the game, but sat out the fourth quarter.
Miami's loss gave the Chicago Bulls the No. 1 seed in the East.
JAZZ 100, SUNS 88
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Paul Millsap scored 26 points and Al Jefferson went on a personal 8-0 fourth-quarter run as Utah clinched a Western Conference playoff spot.
The victory halted Utah's seven-game losing streak to the Suns, dating to March 2010.
Jared Dudley and Michael Redd scored 15 apiece for Phoenix, and Hakim Warrick had 12 for the Suns, who were without forward Channing Frye because of a shoulder injury.
The Suns won the season series but can't catch the Jazz with just one game remaining. Utah can still claim the No. 7 seed if Denver loses its final two games.
The Suns trailed 85-80 when Jefferson scored eight straight to put the game out of reach.
Jefferson finished with 18 points and 16 rebounds.