Dewayne Dedmond, Hawks hand Pistons 2nd straight loss

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Dewayne Dedmond, Hawks hand Pistons 2nd straight loss

ATLANTA -- Dewayne Dedmon gave Atlanta the lead with a three-point play and then padded the margin with a 3-pointer, lifting the Hawks to a 118-115 win over Blake Griffin and Detroit Pistons on Sunday.

Dedmon matched his career high with 20 points and had 13 rebounds in his matchup with Andre Drummond, who had 25 points and 15 rebounds for Detroit.

Dennis Schroder had 23 points, including six free throws in the final 20 seconds, for Atlanta.

Dedmon's three-point play gave Atlanta a 109-107 lead with 1:34 remaining. Following a missed jumper by Jameer Nelson, Dedmon sank a 3-pointer from the corner to push the lead to five points.

Griffin, who had 23 points, answered with a 3-pointer for Detroit. Schroder made two free throws for a 114-110 lead. Griffin's layup cut the Atlanta lead to two points before Schroder added two more free throws with 9.2 seconds remaining for a 116-112 advantage.

Anthony Tolliver missed a 3-pointer for Detroit before Schroder iced the win with two more free throws. Griffin added a 3 as the final buzzer sounded.

The Pistons have lost two straight after winning five in a row, including four with the newly acquired Griffin (see full recap).

New-look Cavs roll Celtics on Pierce's day
BOSTON -- LeBron James quieted a Celtics crowd that came to celebrate Paul Pierce on Sunday, scoring 24 points with 10 assists and eight rebounds to give new-look Cleveland a 121-99 victory over Boston in an individual performance reminiscent of the rivalry's heyday.

And this time, Pierce was sitting courtside in street clothes, unable to do anything about it.

James shook off a first-quarter leg injury to score 13 in the second quarter -- eight of them during a 13-2 run that turned a one-point deficit into a double-digit lead. The Celtics made it 64-55 on the first basket of the third quarter but never got within 10 again.

As the Cavaliers opened a 27-point lead midway through the fourth, the crowd began chanting "We want Paul Pierce!" But he remained in his baseline seat, awaiting the postgame ceremony that would raise his No. 34 to the TD Garden rafters -- the 23rd person in the history of the NBA's most-decorated franchise to be so honored.

The current Celtics, who have spent much of the season in first place in the East, could have used him (see full recap).

Oladipo powers Pacers past Knicks
INDIANAPOLIS -- Victor Oladipo had 30 points, nine assists and eight rebounds, and the Indiana Pacers beat the New York Knicks 121-113 on Sunday.

Bojan Bogdanovic made four 3-pointers and finished with 20 points and Thaddeus Young added 18 points, 11 rebounds and five assists for the Pacers, who have won six of eight.

Enes Kanter and Tim Hardaway, Jr. each scored 17 points, and Michael Beasley had 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Knicks, whose losing streak reached six games.

The Pacers went on a 14-2 run in the second quarter and took a 53-45 lead on an alley-oop layup by Young with 5:45 remaining in the opening half.

Stephenson's 3-pointer with 3:44 to play in the second quarter put Indiana ahead 58-55, and the Pacers never trailed the rest of the way.

They led 68-62 at halftime and put together a 13-2 run in the third quarter to pull away. The Pacers led by as much as 20 when Domantas Sabonis scored to make it 90-70 with 4:10 left in the third (see full recap).

How Sixers can clinch a playoff spot

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How Sixers can clinch a playoff spot

The Sixers could lock in a playoff spot Saturday night, but their postseason berth does not hinge on whether or not they beat the visiting Timberwolves.

The 41-30 Sixers would clinch if the 32-40 Pistons lose to the 24-48 Bulls. This is a meeting of two struggling teams, both who are 3-7 in their last 10 games and the Bulls are on a four-game losing skid.

The Sixers will have to wait for the results, though. The Pistons and Bulls tip off one hour after the Sixers, who have an early 6 p.m. game.

The Sixers' goal of making the playoffs would not stop with clinching a berth. They have their eyes set on homecourt advantage, a battle that could come down to the final games.

The Sixers currently sit in the fourth spot in a heated competition with the Pacers and Wizards. Keep an eye on how John Wall's health (knee) impacts this race. He practiced five-on-five Saturday.

Who needs Kawhi? Aldridge drops 45 in Spurs' OT win

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Who needs Kawhi? Aldridge drops 45 in Spurs' OT win

SAN ANTONIO -- LaMarcus Aldridge had a career-high 45 points, helping San Antonio overcome Donovan Mitchell's 35-point performance for Utah in the Spurs' 124-120 overtime victory over the Jazz on Friday night.

The Spurs won their sixth straight and beat the Jazz for the first time in four meetings this season.

Utah's 12-game road winning streak came to an end, but only after Mitchell had 14 points in the fourth quarter, including three 3-pointers in the final two minutes to force overtime.

San Antonio remained sixth in the Western Conference with the same record as fifth-place New Orleans, a half-game behind Oklahoma City for fourth. Utah remained eighth in the West.

After free throws by Spurs guards Manu Ginobili and Patty Mills and a dunk by Jazz center Rudy Gobert put San Antonio up 114-111, Mitchell drained his third 3-pointer of the fourth with 3.6 seconds remaining to force overtime.

Mills, who finished with 23 points, had six points in overtime as the Spurs capped an undefeated six-game homestand.

Pacers use late run to edge Clippers
INDIANAPOLIS -- Bojan Bogdanovic scored 28 points and the Indiana Pacers used a late 9-0 run to hold on for a 109-104 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night, putting them on the precipice of clinching a playoff spot.

The Pacers won for only the second time in five games but can clinch a playoff berth with one more win or a Detroit loss.

Los Angeles' fading playoff aspirations were dealt another blow. The Clippers are now three games behind Utah for the final postseason spot in the Western Conference. Utah was playing later Friday.

Lou Williams led Los Angeles with 27 points and DeAndre Jordan finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds as the Clippers lost for the fifth time in six games (see full recap).

Jokic, Murray lift Nuggets over Wizards
WASHINGTON -- Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray each scored 25 points to keep the Denver Nuggets' playoff hopes alive by beating the Washington Wizards 108-100 on Friday night.

The one-two punch of Jokic and Murray plus outside shooting from Will Barton allowed the Nuggets to withstand a third-quarter charge from the Wizards and maintain their sights on one of the final two playoff spots in the Western Conference. Denver went into the night two games back of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Utah Jazz and shot 50 percent from 3-point territory to stay very much in the race with nine games remaining.

Bradley Beal led Washington with 24 points as it failed to gain ground in a competitive East where five teams are separated in the standings by four games (see full recap).