Raptors 114, Celtics 90
After an emotional few days, Boston got back to basketball Wednesday night. Next up will be preparing for the playoffs.
DeMar DeRozan scored 24 points, Rudy Gay had 19 points and nine rebounds, and Toronto routed the Celtics to finish its season with five straight wins.
Wearing a black stripe on their jerseys, the Celtics played for the first time since Monday's bomb attack near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Players from both teams gathered at midcourt before tip-off to observe a moment of silence.
Neil Diamond's classic hit "Sweet Caroline," long associated with Boston's beloved Red Sox, played as the Celtics' starters were introduced, and a message on stadium scoreboards read, "Tonight we are all Boston fans." In the stands opposite the Toronto bench, three female fans held up a sign that read, "Send Boston Love."
"I thought it was sensational," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "I thought it was really neat. I wish the fans had known the lyrics to 'Sweet Caroline' a little bit better. Other than that, it was terrific."
Celtics forward Jeff Green said he was touched by the tribute.
"It was lovely," Green said. "The city of Boston has been through so much in the past 72 hours so I think it was great to see Toronto show respect. I think the whole city appreciated it. They're dealing with a lot right now."
The Celtics had not played since Saturday night at Orlando and their game Tuesday night at home against Indiana was canceled following the bombings.
Jonas Valanciunas scored 18 points, Alan Anderson had 16 and Kyle Lowry had nine points and eight assists as the Raptors matched their longest winning streak of the season.
Acquired from Memphis in a three-team trade Jan. 30, Gay stood at midcourt to deliver a brief speech before the game, thanking fans for their support and urging them to "Get ready for next year."
"This team has great bones, I've seen it," Gay said. "We have a lot of potential and have a lot of good pieces."
Jordan Crawford scored 16 points, Terrence Williams had 12 and Avery Bradley 11 for the Celtics, who wrapped up the regular season by losing for the sixth time in their final nine games.
"I thought a couple of our guys didn't handle the minutes well but at least they got to play and that's good," Rivers said.
Kevin Garnett (left ankle) and Jason Terry (sore leg) did not play for Boston, which is locked into the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference and will meet the Atlantic division-rival New York Knicks in the first round of the playoffs.
"Our first focus is defense and I believe we are ready," Green said. "Today we tried to act like (the Raptors) were New York but obviously we didn't have all of our guys."
Forward Paul Pierce, who missed Monday's practice due to illness, started for Boston but did not play in the second half. He scored 11 points in 14 minutes, going 5-for-7 from the field.
Rivers said the Celtics won't practice Thursday but will hold a walkthrough at their Toronto hotel before an evening flight to New York, where their playoff series begins Saturday afternoon.
Gay scored 12 points in the first and Valanciunas added nine, but Crawford banked in a 3 at the buzzer to pull Boston to 31-30 after one quarter.
Anderson score five points as Toronto widened its lead with a 10-0 run early in the second. The Raptors led 59-49 at the half.
Knicks 98, Hawks 92
A patchwork lineup was good enough against an opponent that chose sitting over seeding.
Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and the rest of New York will be back Saturday against a team that will bring its best.
Chris Copeland scored 33 points on a night that belonged to the benches, and the Knicks wrapped up their winningest season in 16 years by beating Atlanta.
With Anthony, the NBA scoring champion, and just about every important player on either side sitting, the Knicks finished 54-28, their most victories since going 57-25 in 1996-97.
"A good team effort," coach Mike Woodson said. "I thought they fought all the way to the end and were able to come out with a 'W' and now we have to get ready for Saturday."
New York is the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference and will host the No. 7 Boston Celtics on Saturday afternoon.
Atlanta would have earned the No. 5 seed in the East with a victory and a Chicago loss but apparently had no interest, resting Josh Smith, Al Horford, Jeff Teague, Devin Harris and Kyle Korver.
The Bulls beat Washington anyway, and the Hawks settled for sixth and will face No. 3 Indiana in the first round.
Anthony finished with 28.7 points per game to end Kevin Durant's three-year run as scoring champion. Durant also sat out Wednesday and stayed at 28.1 per game, making Anthony the first Knicks player since newly elected Hall of Famer Bernard King in 1984-85 to lead the league.
J.R. Smith, Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd also sat, while Chandler and Kenyon Martin remained out with injuries, but are expected to be ready for the playoff opener.
But it was an otherwise bad day in a strong regular season for the Knicks, as Rasheed Wallace retired again earlier Wednesday because of continued pain in his left foot.
Sidelined since December, Wallace came back Monday against Charlotte but lasted just 4 minutes before pulling himself out.
He had quickly become a key contributor on the court and an important leader in the locker room after ending a two-year retirement to join the Knicks. He was at the game sitting behind the bench, and coach Mike Woodson said he hopes the 38-year-old forward will hang around.
Guard Pablo Prigioni, who had moved into the starting lineup late in the season, sprained his right ankle in the first quarter and didn't return. The Knicks said X-rays were negative and Woodson said he wasn't sure if Prigioni would be ready for Saturday's game.
James White scored 20 points for the Knicks and Shumpert had 18. Earl Barron, signed earlier Wednesday, finished with 11 points and 18 rebounds.
Mike Scott had 23 points and 14 rebounds for the Hawks, who lost their final two games. John Jenkins scored 20 points.
Nets 103, Pistons 99
Brook Lopez scored 20 points and reserve Andray Blatche added 15 as the playoff-bound Nets held off the Pistons.
Kris Humphries had 11 points and Joe Johnson added 10 for Brooklyn, winners of two straight. The Nets wrapped up their first regular season after leaving New Jersey and will open their first playoff series in six years at home against the Chicago Bulls on Saturday.
The Bulls clinched the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference when Atlanta lost to the New York Knicks.
Will Bynum had 23 points for the Pistons, who snapped a four-game winning streak. Andre Drummond scored 13 points and Greg Monroe added 12 points and 12 rebounds. Detroit will miss the playoffs for the fourth straight season, totaling 201 losses in that stretch.
Lakers 99, Rockets 95 (OT)
Steve Blake scored 24 points, Pau Gasol added his seventh career triple-double, and Los Angeles secured the seventh playoff seed in the Western Conference with an overtime victory over Houston.
Dwight Howard had 16 points and 18 rebounds, and the All-Star center blocked James Harden's shot in the final seconds of overtime for the Lakers, who only clinched a playoff berth about 10 minutes before tipoff in their season finale.
After winning once more without Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash, Los Angeles will face second-seeded San Antonio in the first round.
Chandler Parsons hit a tying 3-pointer from three steps behind the line at the regulation buzzer for the Rockets, who will face top-seeded Oklahoma City after losing four of six to end the regular season.
Bulls 95, Wizards 92
Carlos Boozer had 19 points and 15 rebounds to help the Bulls clinch the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference with a win over the Wizards in the regular-season finale.
Kirk Hinrich added 18 points and Nazr Mohammed had a season-high 17 for the Bulls, who will face the Brooklyn Nets in the opening round of the playoffs.
It sure wasn't easy.
A.J. Price scored a career-high 24 points and John Wall overcame a slow start to finish with 23 for the Wizards, who kept coming back every time it looked as though the Bulls were ready to put them away.
Grizzlies 86, Jazz 70
Zach Randolph had 25 points and 19 rebounds and Memphis ended Utah's playoff hopes.
The Grizzlies' victory meant the Los Angeles Lakers were assured of making the playoffs even before their late game against the Houston Rockets.
Mike Conley finished with 14 points for Memphis, which won its second straight and fifth in the past six. Darrell Arthur finished with 11 points for the Grizzlies, who took the West's fifth seed and will facec the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round.
Al Jefferson scored 22 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to lead Utah, the only Jazz player in double figures. The Jazz managed only 32 percent shooting and were outrebounded 57-47.
Heat 105, Magic 93
Dwyane Wade scored 21 points and handed out 10 assists, Mike Miller added 21 points and Miami wrapped up the regular season with a win over the Magic.
The Heat (66-16) became the 14th team in NBA history to finish with a winning percentage over .800, and did so with LeBron James away from the team for the day while tending to a personal matter.
Orlando finished with the NBA's worst record, 20-62.
Rashard Lewis scored 16 points, Juwan Howard added 12 and Ray Allen scored 10 for Miami. The Heat have home-court advantage throughout the playoffs, and will open against the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday.
Nik Vucevic had 20 points and 13 rebounds for Orlando. Only once have the Magic won fewer games in a season — their inaugural year, going 18-64 in 1989-90.
Warriors 99, Trail Blazers 88
Stephen Curry set a NBA single-season record for 3-pointers with 272 and Golden State defeated Portland in the teams' season finale.
It was the 13th straight loss for the Blazers, equaling the franchise record set in the 1971-72 season.
Curry surpassed Ray Allen's single-season 3-point total of 269 set in 2005-06. Needing two for the record, Curry opened the game with two straight misses from beyond the arc, but hit his first midway through the first quarter before making the record-breaker with 6:49 to go in the second.
His backcourt teammate Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 24 points. Golden State earned the Western Conference's sixth seed and will face Denver in the first round of the playoffs.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 30 points and a season-high 21 rebounds for Portland, which lost its eighth straight at home.
Timberwolves 108, Spurs 95
Derrick Williams had 21 points to help the Timberwolves beat the Spurs, ending a 16-game losing streak at San Antonio.
Chase Budinger added 15 points and Greg Stiemsma and Ricky Rubio had 12 points apiece for Minnesota, won on the Spurs' home court for the first time since Jan. 14, 2004.
Gary Neal had 17 points, Tim Duncan had 17 points and 14 rebounds, Tony Parker had 15 points and eight assists for the Spurs, who had previously clinched the Western Conference's second seed.
Duncan, Parker and Manu Ginobili did not play in the final quarter of the regular season finale.
San Antonio opens the playoffs by hosting either the the Los Angeles Lakers, who took the seventh seed.
Bucks 95, Thunder 89
Rookie John Henson scored a career-high 28 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, Brandon Jennings had 17 points and the Bucks beat the Thunder in a regular-season finale lacking any postseason implications.
Needing to score 70 points to surpass New York's Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant conceded the NBA scoring title and joined starting center Kendrick Perkins and key reserves Kevin Martin and Nick Collison in suits on the Thunder bench.
Russell Westbrook extended the NBA's longest active consecutive games played streak to 394 by playing the first 7 minutes, helping the Thunder score the game's first seven points and build a 20-9 lead.
The Bucks didn't pull ahead until Henson's two-handed slam early in the fourth quarter, during a 27-6 run.
Reggie Jackson led Oklahoma City with a career-best 23 points.
Mavericks 99, Hornets 87
Darren Collison scored 25 points, Dirk Nowitzki added 16 and Dallas finished its worst season in 13 years on a winning note, beating New Orleans in its final game as the Hornets.
The Mavericks (41-41) avoided their first losing record since going 40-42 in 1999-2000 — also the last time they missed the playoffs.
Al-Farouq Amini had 16 points and a career-high 20 rebounds for New Orleans, which will become the Pelicans next season. Eric Gordon also scored 16 for the Hornets.
Nowitzki, who also had a team-high nine rebounds, scored nine points in the third quarter, including a three-point play on a jumper and his one-legged step-back shot at the buzzer for a 75-64 lead.
The Hornets got within six in the fourth quarter, but Collison scored eight straight points to key an 18-4 run that put the Mavs ahead by 20.
Bobcats 105, Cavaliers 98
Kemba Walker had 24 points and seven assists, and Charlotte defeated the Cavaliers to avoid finishing in the NBA cellar for a second consecutive season.
The Bobcats (21-61) finished one game ahead of the Orlando Magic, who lost their season finale to the Miami Heat.
Josh McRoberts added 20 points and eight rebounds as the Bobcats closed the season with three straight wins, matching a season high.
Gerald Henderson added 15 points.
Kyrie Irving had 24 points and 10 assists for the Cavaliers, who finished with the third-worst record in the league (24-58) after losing 16 of their last 18 games, including their last six.
With the win the Bobcats became the first team in NBA history to triple their win total from the previous season.
Charlotte finished last year's lockout-shortened season 7-59 and its .106 winning percentage was the worst ever.
76ers 105, Pacers 95
Dorell Wright scored 23 points and Evan Turner added 16, leading Philadelphia to a victory over short-handed Indiana in what was likely Doug Collins' final game as the 76ers coach.
The organization has already scheduled morning news conferences with the managing owner and Collins, who spent almost the entire game glued to his seat and spoke mostly with a hand covering his mouth.
Philadelphia (34-48) finished the season by winning three of its final four games but still out of the playoffs.
The Pacers (49-31) were led by Gerald Green who had a career-high 34 points. Lance Stephenson had 12 points, but the Pacers again failed to win their 50th game and head into the postseason with five losses in their last six games. Indiana rested four starters — Paul George, George Hill, Roy Hibbert and David West.
Nuggets 118, Suns 98
Denver secured the third seed in the Western Conference playoffs by routing the Suns behind 21 points from Wilson Chandler and 20 from Andre Iguodala.
They will face sixth-seeded Golden State in the first round, opening at home — where they've won a franchise-best 23 straight games to finish with the league's best home mark at 38-3, eclipsing the old record of 36-5 set in 1976-77, their first year in the NBA.
They also won an NBA franchise record 57 games overall, besting the 54-win seasons of 1987-88 and 2008-09.
Luis Scola's 17 points and 11 rebounds led the Suns, who wrapped up the second-worst season in franchise history with a mark of 25-57, the worst in the West. The only one that was worse for the Suns was their inaugural NBA season in 1968-69, when they went 16-66.
Clippers 112, Kings 108
Jamal Crawford scored 24 points, including several big shots down the stretch, and the Clippers locked up the No. 4 seed in the West and home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Chris Paul had 25 points and 11 assists for the Pacific Division champion Clippers (56-26), who will open against fifth-seeded Memphis (56-26) in Los Angeles. The Clippers won three of four games against the Grizzlies this season.
DeMarcus Cousins had a season-high 36 points and a career-best 22 rebounds, and Marcus Thornton scored 21 to rally Sacramento from an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter before the Clippers took control.
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