Celtics cruise past Hornets

BOSTON (AP) — Payton Prichard scored a career-high 31 points and the Boston Celtics rolled to a 131-98 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night.

Pritchard added 11 assists for his second double-double this season and helped the Celtics avoid losing three consecutive games for the first time this season.

Luke Kornet finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Sam Hauser and Neemias Queta both also had 16 points for Boston, which led by as many as 33.

The Celtics’ top six rotation players – Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Jrue Holiday, Derrick White, Kristaps Porzingis and Al Horford – all sat out with nagging ailments in what was essentially a rest night for them. Boston has already locked up the top seed in the Eastern Conference and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.

Tre Mann led the Hornets with 19 points and eight assists. Nick Smith Jr. added 15 points.

76ERS 125, MAGIC 113

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Joel Embiid had 32 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists after an apparent injury scare in the first half and Philadelphia beat Orlando.

Tyrese Maxey scored 28 points and Kelly Oubre Jr. added 21 as Philadelphia (46-36) won its seventh straight game and moved into a tie with Orlando for the sixth seed in the East. The Sixers and Magic are a half-game behind Indiana for the No. 5 seed. The Pacers played Cleveland on Friday night.

Franz Wagner scored 24 points, Paolo Banchero had 22 and Jalen Suggs 20 for Orlando (46-35), which has lost three straight game. The Matic can claim the Southeast Division with a victory over Milwaukee on Sunday.


WASHINGTON (AP) — Rookie Adama Sanogo had 22 points and 20 rebounds to shatter his career highs and help short-handed Chicago beat Washington.

Chicago coach Billy Donovan gave starters DeMar DeRozan, Nikola Vucevic and Alex Caruso the night off after clinching the ninth seed in the Eastern Conference on Thursday night with a victory in Detroit.

Javonte Green added 24 points, Jevon Carter had 20 points and 12 assists and Torrey Craig finished with 11 points and 15 rebounds. The Bulls won two straight for the first time in nearly a month.

Corey Kispert scored 12 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter for Washington in its home finale. Deni Avdija had 23 points and 12 rebounds. The Wizards have lost five straight.

Patrick Baldwin Jr. added 19 points and 12 rebounds, rookie Tristan Vukcivic scored a career-best 19 points, and Jared Butler had 15 points and 10 assists for the Wizards.

KNICKS 111, NETS 107

NEW YORK (AP) — Jalen Brunson had 30 points and 11 assists after a slow start, OG Anunoby scored all of his 15 points in the third quarter and New York beat Brooklyn, clinching home-court advantage in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Josh Hart added 16 points and Mitchell Robinson also had 15 for the Knicks, who guaranteed themselves a top-four finish in the East and remained in the hunt for the No. 2 seed. They entered play a game behind Milwaukee for second in the East. The Bucks were playing at Oklahoma City later Friday without Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard.

Cam Thomas finished with 41 points. Trenton Watford added 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Nets, who had won six of nine.


CLEVELAND (AP) — Donovan Mitchell scored 33 points, Jarrett Allen had 29 points and 13 rebounds and Cleveland clinched a playoff berth with a victory over Indiana.

Indiana pulled to 120-118 with 2:04 remaining on Pascal Siakam’s drive, but Darius Garland answered with a 3-pointer over Siakam. The Cavaliers scored the final six points, capped by an Isaac Okoro three-point play that ended with him somersaulting.

Tyrese Haliburton had 19 points and 12 assists, Siakam scored 19 points and Myles Turner had 17 points for the Pacers, who can still qualify for the playoffs with a win or a Philadelphia loss on Sunday. Indiana had won three straight.

Garland and Caris LeVert each finished with 16 points, and Max Strus had seven points and nine assists. Allen made 13 of 14 shots for Cleveland, which earned its first back-to-back playoff appearances since making four straight NBA Finals from 2015-2018.


MIAMI (AP) — Nikola Jovic scored 22 points, Jaime Jaquez Jr. had 20 points and nine assists, and Miami kept hope alive of escaping the play-in tournament by topping Toronto.

Bam Adebayo scored 19 points, Tyler Herro scored 18, and Jimmy Butler and Kevin Love each scored 14 for the Heat (45-36). Miami still could get out of the play-in with a win in a rematch against the Raptors on Sunday and some help.

RJ Barrett had 35 points and a season-high 11 rebounds for the Raptors, who lost for the 18th time in their last 20 games. Immanuel Quickley scored 15 points, Bruce Brown scored 14 and Kelly Olynyk grabbed 11 rebounds for Toronto.

The Associated Press