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Nuggets clinch playoff spot with win over Celtics
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BOSTON (AP) — Nikola Jokic had 21 points and 13 rebounds and the Denver Nuggets rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the Boston Celtics 114-105 on Monday night.

Will Barton added 20 points for the Nuggets, who clinched a playoff spot for the first time since 2012-13. They have won four straight.

Kyrie Irving led the Celtics with 30 points. Al Horford finished with 20 points, six rebounds and six assists.

Both teams came into the night trying to improve their playoff position.


PELICANS 129,

 MAVERICKS 125, OT

DALLAS (AP) — Dirk Nowitzki passed Wilt Chamberlain for sixth place on the NBA’s career scoring list, but Elfrid Payton had his fifth straight triple-double to help New Orleans beat Dallas.

Payton finished with 19 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. Dallas rookie Luka Doncic had a triple-double of his own with 29 points, 13 boards and 10 assists.


TRAIL BLAZERS 106, PACERS 98

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Damian Lillard had 30 points and 15 assists as Portland beat Indiana without starting guard CJ McCollum.

Jusuf Nurkic added 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who led by as many as 21. Portland has won four of five and is holding onto fourth place in the Western Conference.


JAZZ 116, 

WIZARDS 95

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rudy Gobert had 14 points and 14 rebounds, Donovan Mitchell scored 19 and Utah won its fourth straight by beating Washington.

Gobert, the reigning Western Conference Player of the Week, was perfect from the field (6 of 6) for Utah, which started the night seventh in the West, one-half game behind San Antonio.


HEAT 116,

 THUNDER 107

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Goran Dragic had 26 points and 11 assists, Dwyane Wade added 25 points and Miami took advantage of Russell Westbrook’s absence to beat Oklahoma City.

Kelly Olynyk added 18 points and nine rebounds for Miami, which entered the game in eighth place in the Eastern Conference. The Heat snapped a six-game losing streak against Oklahoma City, which has lost nine of its past 13 games to fall to sixth in the Western Conference.


RAPTORS 128, KNICKS 92

TORONTO (AP) — Jeremy Lin scored 20 points, Fred VanVleet had 13 points and 12 assists, and Toronto beat New York.

The victory came at a cost to the Raptors, who saw guard Kyle Lowry leave in the third quarter after suffering an injured right ankle. Lowry, who had 15 points and eight assists in 26 minutes, was back in the lineup after missing the previous two games because of a sore left ankle.


CAVALIERS 126, PISTONS 119

CLEVELAND (AP) — Collin Sexton scored 27 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with just under two minutes to play, and Cleveland defeated Detroit.

Both teams were missing star players. Blake Griffin (rest) sat out for Detroit, while Kevin Love was out with a sore back for Cleveland after taking a hard fall in Saturday’s loss to Dallas.


BULLS 116, SUNS 101

PHOENIX (AP) — Robin Lopez scored 24 points to help Chicago beat Phoenix and snap a five-game losing streak.

Zach LaVine had 17 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, and Lauri Markkanen added 17 points and nine boards for Chicago.