TORONTO – Mike James scored 20 of his career-high 39 points in the fourth quarter to help the Toronto Raptors end a 10-game losing streak with a 108-103 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night.
James, who scored Toronto’s last 13 points, surpassed his previous career high of 38, set Nov. 16 against Philadelphia.
He went 18-for-18 from the line – making all 12 of his attempts in the fourth quarter.
Morris Peterson added 20 points for the Raptors, who won their first game since All-Star forward Chris Bosh suffered a season-ending thumb injury on March 26.
Heat 104, 76ers 85
MIAMI – The phrase is one Pat Riley has repeated often of late, and it was written again in the Miami Heat locker room on Friday night.
“Finish the task.”
His team did just that, with Dwyane Wade getting 25 points and eight assists to beat Philadelphia 76ers 104-85 and secure the Eastern Conference’s No. 2 playoff seed and home-court advantage for the first two postseason rounds.
Udonis Haslem scored a career-high 24 points and tied a season high with 14 rebounds for the Heat, who got contributions from all over the lineup.
Bobcats 116, Hawks 110
ATLANTA – The Charlotte Bobcats’ first two years haven’t been as rough as expected for most NBA expansion teams. For that, the Bobcats can thank the Atlanta Hawks.
Raymond Felton scored 27 points and Melvin Ely had 21 as the Bobcats beat the Hawks 116-110 on Friday night to win the season series, three games to one.
The win left last-place Charlotte only one game behind Atlanta in the Southeast Division. The victory boosted the Bobcats’ hopes of finishing ahead of the Hawks in the division for the second straight season.
Bucks 97, Knicks 80
NEW YORK – Larry Brown didn’t miss anything he hasn’t already seen plenty of times this season. Michael Redd scored 18 of his 23 points in the first half, then the Milwaukee Bucks blew open the game in the third quarter of a 97-80 victory over the New York Knicks on Friday night.
Brown missed his first game of the season after he was hospitalized in Cleveland on Thursday night with a stomach ailment.
Pacers 89, Wolves 77
INDIANAPOLIS – Jermaine O’Neal had 29 points and 12 rebounds to help the Indiana Pacers draw closer to clinching a playoff berth with an 89-77 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night.
It was O’Neal’s highest point total since his return from a torn left groin a month ago.
Stephen Jackson scored 17 points and Anthony Johnson added 12 for the Pacers.
Jazz 105, Hornets 104
OKLAHOMA CITY – Andrei Kirilenko had 25 points and nine rebounds and Deron Williams hit two free throws with 18 seconds left as the Utah Jazz beat the New Orleans Hornets 105-104 Friday night to pull closer in the race for the final playoff spot in the West.
Chris Paul had two chances to win the game for the Hornets but was unable to convert, and New Orleans suffered a brutal loss that put their playoff chances on life support.
Kirilenko blocked a driving layup by Paul in the final seconds, but Paul was able to get the rebound on the floor and call timeout with 1.8 seconds to set up his final shot.