Boston Celtics earn crucial win

Evan Turner scored 15 points as the Celtics won for the 10th time in the last 16 games. Jae Crowder and Marcus Smart each had 14 points.

Boston moved back into eighth place in the conference standings, a few percentage points ahead of Brooklyn in the battle for the East’s final playoff spot.

Kemba Walker led a furious fourth-quarter comeback that fell short, finishing with 28 points and 12 assists. Gerald Henderson added 17 points for Charlotte, which has dropped four of its last five games.

Charlotte’s loss clinched a second straight playoff berth for the Washington Wizards.

Elsewhere, DeMar DeRozan scored a career-high 42 points and tied his career best with 11 rebounds as the Toronto Raptors earned their eighth straight home victory over the Houston Rockets 99-96.
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DeRozan made a go-ahead turnaround bank shot with 1:27 left, and then closed out the win with a jumper over James Harden with 18 seconds to go. He made 14 of 27 attempts from the floor and 12 of 17 at the free-throw line.

Jonas Valanciunas scored 15 points for Toronto, and Lou Williams had 13.

In Portland, Damian Lillard scored 19 points before sitting the final quarter, and Portland Trail Blazers secured a playoff berth with a 109-86 win over the Phoenix Suns.

The Blazers have won four straight to edge closer to their first Northwest Division title since 2008-09.

LaMarcus Aldridge added 17 points and seven rebounds, and Portland led by as many as 31 points. The Blazers rested their starters in the fourth quarter after building a 92-65 lead.
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The Suns have lost four straight and while they are mathematically in the playoff picture, their chances are dwindling. Phoenix plays six of its last eight games on the road.
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DeMarre Carroll scored 23 points and Kyle Korver put on quite a shooting display in the third quarter, carrying Atlanta Hawks to a 101-88 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

Having clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference, the Hawks are trying to maintain their playing edge while staying healthy for the final two weeks of the regular season.??

In Tennesse, Mike Conley scored 18 points, Jeff Green had 16 and Memphis Grizzlies ended a three-game losing streak with a 97-83 win over the Sacramento Kings.

The Grizzlies moved back into the second spot in the Western Conference playoff race by a half-game over the Houston Rockets, who lost 99-96 at Toronto.?? ?? ?? ?? ??

In Philadelphia, Jordan Clarkson made the tiebreaking basket with 0.7 seconds left in overtime, lifting the Los Angeles??Lakers past the Philadelphia??76ers in a matchup of two of the NBA’s worst teams.

Gordon Hayward scored 22 points, reserve Trey Burke had 19 and the Utah Jazz got the road win over the Timberwolves, 104-84.

Trevor Booker had 17 points and 13 rebounds for Utah, which earned its second straight victory after a four-game losing streak. Rudy Gobert finished with 15 points and 12 boards.

The Jazz grabbed control with a 14-0 run at the start of the second half.?? Zach LaVine led Minnesota with 21 points, and Andrew Wiggins scored 17.??

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