Grizzlies end their losing streak with win over Rockets
Mike Conley scored 18 points and Jeff Green had 16 as the Memphis Grizzlies ended a three-game losing streak and moved back into the second spot in the Western Conference playoff race with a 97-83 win over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday.
The Grizzlies are now a halfgame ahead of the Houston Rockets, who lost 99-96 at Toronto.
Zach Randolph scored 15 points for Memphis, and Marc Gasol had eight points and 11 rebounds. Kosta Koufos grabbed a seasonhigh 12 boards as the Grizzlies outrebounded the Kings 45-41.
In Toronto, DeMar DeRozan scored a career-high 42 points and tied his career best with 11 rebounds as the Raptors earned their eighth straight home victory over the Rockets.
Jonas Valanciunas scored 15 points for Toronto, and Lou Williams had 13.
James Harden scored 31 for the Rockets, who had won four in a row. Houston has not won in Canada since March 2007.
In other games, Boston beat Charlotte 116-104 to move back into the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, Portland secured a playoff berth with a 109-86 win over Phoenix, and East-leading Atlanta maintained its rhythm heading into the playoffs with a 101-88 win over Milwaukee.
Boston’s Avery Bradley had 30 points and eight rebounds and Evan Turner scored 15 points as the Celtics won for the 10th time in the last 16 games.
The Celtics are now a few percentage points ahead of Brooklyn in the battle for the East’s final playoff spot.
Charlotte’s playoff hopes have dimmed after dropping four of its last five games.
In Portland, Oregon, Damian Lillard scored 19 points for the Blazers, who have won four straight to edge closer to their first Northwest Division title since 2008-09.
LaMarcus Aldridge added 17 points and seven rebounds, and Portland led by as many as 31 points. The Blazers rested their starters in the fourth quarter after building a 92-65 lead.
Atlanta has already clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference but is trying to maintain its playing edge while staying healthy for the final two weeks of the regular season.
DeMarre Carroll scored 23 points to help Atlanta improve to 56-18, one win away from tying the team record.
Elsewhere, Jordan Clarkson made the tiebreaking basket with 0.7 seconds left in overtime, lifting the Los Angeles Lakers past Philadelphia 113-111 in a matchup of two of the NBA’s worst teams.
Utah’s Gordon Hayward scored 22 points as the Jazz topped Minnesota 104-84.
(Top) Philadelphia 76ers’ Isaiah Canaan #0 tries to get a shot past Los Angeles Lakers’ Jabari Brown #15 during the second half of an NBA basketball game on Monday, March 30. (Above) Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley #11 drives against Sacramento Kings guard Nik Stauskas in the second half of an NBA basketball game on Monday.