Bobcats clinch playoff berth
April 7, 2014, 12:02 am TWN
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Al Jefferson scored 24 points, including seven in overtime, and the Charlotte Bobcats clinched a playoff spot with a 96-94 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night.
Charlotte is in the postseason for the second time in its 10-year history and the first time since 2010. The Bobcats (39-38) are over .500 for the second time this season and hold seventh place in the Eastern Conference.
Kyrie Irving scored a career-high 44 points for Cleveland. The Cavaliers (31-47) trail eighth-place Atlanta by 3 games for the final playoff spot in the East.
Irving was 16 of 31 from the field, including five 3-pointers. He added eight assists and seven rebounds.
Gerald Henderson's basket gave Charlotte a 90-89 lead with 1:08 remaining and the Bobcats made four free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
Nets 105, 76ers 101 Kevin Garnett scored 10 points in his first game in more than five weeks to help Brooklyn beat Philadelphia.
The 37-year-old Garnett missed 19 straight games since Feb. 27 because of back spasms. The Nets went 14-5 over that span.
Garnett was back in the starting lineup and was sharp from the start. He scored on an alley-oop in the first quarter, made his first four shots, and had a nasty block on Michael Carter-Williams' layup attempt that knocked the rookie guard to the ground.
Garnett also passed Alex English to move into 14th on the NBA's career scoring list.
The veteran center did not play in the fourth quarter.
Deron Williams had 19 points and Mason Plumlee 16 for the Nets.
Thaddeus Young led the Sixers with 20 points.
Raptors 102, Bucks 98 DeMar DeRozan scored 15 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and Toronto beat Milwaukee to keep pace in the hunt for playoff position.
Toronto and the Chicago Bulls, who beat Washington on Saturday night, are 45-32 and tied for the third seed in the Eastern Conference with five games to play.
Milwaukee fell to an NBA-worst 14-63, guaranteeing the team's worst record in its 45-year history.
Greivis Vasquez tied a season-high with 26 points for Toronto, which has won three consecutive games and six of seven. Vasquez, who averages 9.1 points, made up the scoring lost when starting point guard Kyle Lowry missed the game with a bruised left kneecap.
DeRozan made six free throws in the final 24 seconds to seal the victory.