Butler sparks Bulls past Hawks, Clippers down Lakers

Author: THE ASSOCIATED PRESSSun, 2017-04-02 03:00ID: 1491127037701197900CHICAGO: Jimmy Butler scored 33 points and hit two free throws with 2.1 seconds left to lift the Chicago Bulls to a 106-104 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday.Butler scored the Bulls’ final nine points. His free throws gave the Bulls a two-point lead and capped a 15-4 run.Tim Hardaway Jr. then missed a 3-pointer for Atlanta as time expired, giving the Bulls their third straight win. That put them in a tie with Miami and Indiana for the final two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. The sixth-place Hawks, who had won two straight after dropping seven in a row, trail Milwaukee by a game.Rajon Rondo had a season-high 25 points and added 11 rebounds. Denzel Valentine scored 13 points as the Bulls stopped a seven-game losing streak to Atlanta.Dennis Schroder led the Hawks with 29 points while Hardaway scored 20.Clippers 115 Lakers 104: In Los Angeles, Blake Griffin scored 36 points and Chris Paul added 29 as the Clippers beat the Lakers, giving coach Doc Rivers his 800th career victory.J.J. Redick added 19 points for the Clippers, who moved within a game of the idle Jazz for the No. 4 playoff seed in the West. The Clippers have won three in a row and seven of nine.The series between the Staples Center co-tenants has been dominated by the Clippers of late. They’ve won 18 of 20 since the start of the 2012-13 season.Rookie David Nwaba scored 19 points and Brandon Ingram had 10 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter for the Lakers. They have lost 18 of 20 since the All-Star break. D’Angelo Russell, the team’s leading scorer at 15.7 points, had two points on 1-of-9 shooting while missing six 3-point attempts.Trail Blazers 130 Suns 117: In Portland, Oregon, Damian Lillard scored 31 points as Portland continued its late-season push for the playoffs with a sixth straight victory, beating Phoenix.CJ McCollum added 29 points for Portland, which holds the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Blazers (38-38) led by as many as 25 points and got back to .500 for the first time since they were 12-12 on Dec. 9.Devin Booker had 31 for the Suns, who lost their 11th straight for the fifth-longest losing streak in franchise history. The Suns were just ahead of the Lakers at the bottom of the Western Conference.The Blazers were playing their first game without Jusuf Nurkic since announcing that he had a fractured right leg and will miss the rest of the regular season.Nets 112 Magic 111: In New York, Brook Lopez scored 30 points and Trevor Booker had a season-high 23 as Brooklyn beat Orlando.Sean Kilpatrick added 15 points for the Nets, who snapped a two-game losing streak. Brooklyn had a season-high 72 points in the paint.Elfrid Payton had 20 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds for his fifth triple-double of the season for Orlando, which has lost four straight games. Nikola Vucevic had 27 points and 11 rebounds while Aaron Gordon finished with 22 points and 15 boards.Brooklyn opened the fourth quarter on an 11-0 run to take a 100-89 lead and never looked back.Kings 123 Timberwolves: In Minnapolis, Buddy Hield tied a career high with 22 points, going 4 of 6 from 3-point range, as Sacramento got 66 points from its bench in a victory over Minnesota.Reserve point guard Ty Lawson had 21 points and 11 assists. Langston Galloway added 17 points and Aaron Afflalo scored 16 off the bench as the Kings recovered after losing by 28 points a night earlier at New Orleans against former Sacramento star DeMarcus Cousins.Playing its fifth game in seven nights, Sacramento shot a season-high 56.4 percent to win for the sixth time in 15 games since trading Cousins on Feb. 21.Andrew Wiggins scored 32 points for Minnesota, which had won five of its previous six homes games. A game after scoring a career-high 33 points, Ricky Rubio had 11 points on just 1-of-10 shooting, and added 13 assists.
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