Source: Agencies | 2012-4-8 | ONLINE EDITION
THE Boston Celtics held onto top spot in the NBA's Atlantic Division with an impressive 86-72 win over the Indiana Pacers yesterday.
Paul Pierce scored 24 points while Ray Allen added 19 for the Celtics, who remained ahead of Philadelphia in the division.
Danny Granger scored 20 points for the Pacers, who had won four in a row and scored more than 100 points in five consecutive games, but were held in check by Boston.
SUNS 125, LAKERS 105
In Phoenix, the hosts recorded a comfortable win over a Los Angeles team missing Kobe Bryant for the first time in two seasons.
An injured shin ended Bryant's string of 138 consecutive regular-season games played. The NBA's leading scorer watched the Suns' reserves dominate the second quarter, then Shannon Brown go off against his former team in the third, scoring 20 of his 24 points for the Suns.
Michael Redd scored 17 of his 20 points in the second quarter for Phoenix in its highest-scoring game of the season.
Pau Gasol had 30 points and 13 rebounds for the Lakers, who surrendered the most points they have allowed this season.
GRIZZLIES 94, MAVERICKS 89
In Memphis, the hosts built a big early lead and hung on to beat Dallas.
Rudy Gay scored 25 points and Zach Randolph added 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Grizzlies.
Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 17 points and eight rebounds.
Memphis moved two games ahead of Dallas for fifth place in the Western Conference.
MAGIC 88, 76ERS 82
In Philadelphia, Dwight Howard had 20 points and 22 rebounds as Orlando snapped its five-game losing streak and beat Philadelphia.
Glen Davis had 23 points and 12 rebounds as the Magic pushed aside the lingering rift between Howard and coach Stan Van Gundy.
Orlando outrebounded the Sixers 53-41. Howard had 13 defensive boards.
Thaddeus Young scored 20 points for the Sixers, who are in serious danger of missing a playoff spot after leading the Atlantic Division for most of the season.
BUCKS 116, TRAIL BLAZERS 94
In Milwaukee, the hosts beat Portland to tighten the race for the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.
Beno Udrih scored a season-high 21 points and Brandon Jennings added the same amount for the Bucks, who moved within half a game of idle New York with its fourth straight victory. The Bucks are .500 for the first time since game four of the season.
LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 21 points for Portland.
CLIPPERS 109, KINGS 94
In Los Angeles, Blake Griffin had 27 points and 14 rebounds as surging Los Angeles moved within half a game of the Pacific Division lead.
Randy Foye scored 25 points while hitting seven 3-pointers for the Clippers, who have won eight of nine and closed in on division and city rival, the Lakers.
Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins had 15 points and 20 rebounds after stoking a feud with pointedly critical comments about Griffin this week.
WARRIORS 112, NUGGETS 97
In Oakland, Golden State got a big lift from its reserves to put a dent in Denver's playoff hopes.
David Lee had 17 points and nine rebounds while reserves Brandon Rush added 20 points for the Warriors.
Denver could have moved into the sixth spot in the Western Conference with a win, but instead dropped into the No. 8 seed, half a game behind Houston and Dallas.
Ty Lawson had 21 points and six assists for the Nuggets, who were outrebounded and gave up 58 points in the paint.
HAWKS 116, BOBCATS 96
In Charlotte, Joe Johnson scored 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting, and eight Atlanta players scored in double digits in the win over Charlotte.
The Hawks broke open the game in the third quarter by shooting 17 of 23 from the field while scoring a season-high 38 points. They won their third straight and remained in second place in the Southeast Division, ahead of struggling Orlando.
Zaza Pachulia had 12 points and 16 rebounds for the Hawks.