March 5 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Wednesday's National Basketball Association games.
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Bobcats 109, Pacers 87
Al Jefferson scored 34 points, including 20 in the first half, and the Charlotte Bobcats snapped a three-game losing streak with a victory over the Indiana Pacers.
The Bobcats (28-33) raced to a 28-8 lead after one quarter and never trailed the rest of the way, although the Pacers got as close as three at one point late in the second quarter.
Jefferson, who had 38 points and 19 rebounds in Monday's loss at Miami, finished 16-for-25 from the field.
Trade deadline acquisition Evan Turner scored 22 points for the Pacers (46-15) but they lost a second straight game to see their Eastern Conference lead trimmed to 1.5 games over Miami.
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Rockets 101, Magic 89
The Rockets have the best record (21-6) in the NBA since Jan. 1, determined to secure home court for the first round of the playoffs. After a slow start, they dominated the second half when Harden scored 25 of his points.
The Magic were led by guard Arron Afflalo, who had 18 points in his first game back after missing five with a sprained ankle.
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Warriors 108, Celtics 88
Putting on a clinic against a weak opponent, the Warriors never trailed and capped a 4-2 road trip with a blowout of the Boston Celtics.
Golden State forward David Lee scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and guard Klay Thompson also had 18 points as the Warriors (38-24), who led by as many as 31 points, removed their starters before the end of the third quarter.
The Celtics (20-41) lost for the sixth time in their past seven games.
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Knicks 118, Timberwolves 106
Carmelo Anthony scored 33 points, 20 of them in the first half, and the New York Knicks rolled past Minnesota.
Kevin Love scored just one point after halftime on a 19-point night for the Timberwolves, who had their playoffs hopes damaged.
Minnesota (30-30) entered the night 4.5 games behind Phoenix for the West's eighth and final playoff spot and fell further behind.
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Nuggets 115, Mavericks 110
Wilson Chandler scored 21 points, guard Ty Lawson had 20 and the Denver Nuggets used a fast start and strong finish to beat the Dallas Mavericks.
The Nuggets (26-34) had an 11-0 run in the second quarter to take control, then added a 16-2 spurt in the fourth to end a six-game losing streak.
The Mavericks (36-26) are now tied for eighth in the Western Conference, one game ahead of Memphis.
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Nets 103, Grizzlies 94
Marcus Thornton came off the bench to score a game-high 20 points and lead the Brooklyn Nets to a win that moved them above .500 for the first time this season.
Brooklyn improved to 30-29 with their seventh wire-to-wire victory of the season.
Jon Leuer scored 19 points and center Marc Gasol had 18 points and seven rebounds for the Grizzlies (34-26), who had 21 turnovers.
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Bulls 105, Pistons 94
D.J. Augustin scored 26 points off the bench and center Joakim Noah recorded his second triple-double in three games, leading the Chicago Bulls to a win over the Detroit Pistons.
Noah had 10 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists for his sixth career triple-double for the Bulls (34-27), who have won 10 of their last 12 games.
Greg Monroe's 27 points led the Pistons (24-37), who lost five of their last six games.
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Kings 117, Bucks 102
Sacramento guard Isaiah Thomas was ejected late in the game but scored 25 points to lead the Kings to a victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Thomas got the boot after drawing a pair of technical fouls while tied up with Bucks forward Khris Middleton with 4:19 left.
Center DeMarcus Cousins finished with 21 and forward Rudy Gay added 20 for the Kings (22-39).
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Wizards 104, Jazz 91
Trevor Ariza scored 26 points and guard Bradley Beal had 22 as the Washington Wizards won for the seventh time in eight games with a victory over the Utah Jazz.
Guard John Wall had 14 points, 10 assists and two blocks for the Wizards (32-29).
Alec Burks had 19 points and fellow guard Trey Burke scored 14 for the Jazz (21-40), who fell to 7-24 on the road this season.
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Trail Blazers 102, Hawks 78
Nicolas Batum scored 14 points and grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds as the Portland Trail Blazers put away the Atlanta Hawks early in a romp.
Five other players scored in double figures for the Trail Blazers (42-19), who won for the sixth time in seven games. Porland led by as many as 29 points.
Cartier Martin came off the bench to score 16 points for Atlanta (26-33), which lost for the 12th time in 13 games. (Editing by Peter Rutherford/John O'Brien)