BOSTON – Gilbert Arenas scored 38 points and Caron Butler added 26, leading the Washington Wizards to a 108-91 win over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night.
The Wizards moved a stop closer to qualifying for the playoffs for a second straight season. The last time Washington made the playoffs in consecutive seasons was when it had five straight berths in the 1980s, ending with the 1987-88 season.
Washington currently is fifth in the East, holds a five-game lead over ninth-place Philadelphia, and has eight games remaining.
Paul Pierce scored 29 points for the Celtics to surpass 2,000 points on the season for the fourth time of his career, tying Larry Bird’s franchise record.
Delonte West added 15 points and five assists and Tony Allen added 14 points off the bench for the Celtics, whose playoff hopes are fading.
Allen intercepted Arenas’ pass and zoomed down the floor for a dunk to give the Celtics their largest lead, 78-75, with 1:03 remaining in the third quarter.
But the Wizards went on a 16-2 run spanning the third and fourth quarters.
Antonio Daniels’ 3-point play with 2.4 seconds remaining in the third period put Washington up 79-78 and gave the Wizards the lead for good. Washington outscored Boston 29-13 in the fourth quarter.
Arenas went 14-of-22 and added eight assists and eight rebounds.
He scored 13 points in the fourth quarter to help Washington win the season series with Boston 3-1.
Magic 108, Bucks 105
ORLANDO, Fla. – Hedo Turkoglu had 24 points, including two key last-minute free throws and a steal, and the Orlando Magic eked out a 108-105 win over Milwaukee despite a dominating performance by guard T.J. Ford.
Ford finished with a career-high 34 points, 11 assists and six rebounds, while Bucks star Michael Redd had 25 points and six rebounds.
Knicks 96, Cavaliers 94
NEW YORK – Jamal Crawford scored a season-high 37 points, including the go-ahead jumper with 6.4 seconds left, and the New York Knicks withstood a huge fourth quarter from LeBron James to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 96-94 on Wednesday night.
The Knicks snapped their nine-game losing streak and ended Cleveland’s winning streak at nine.
Pacers 111, Raptors 103
INDIANAPOLIS – Peja Stojakovic and Stephen Jackson scored 25 points each, and Indiana held on to beat Toronto 111-103 Wednesday night.
Jermaine O’Neal scored 18 points and Anthony Johnson added 16 as the Pacers (36-38) snapped a five-game losing streak.
Hawks 101, Wolves 99
ATLANTA – Josh Childress delivered the game-winning basket as time expired to give Atlanta a 101-99 win over Minnesota.
Kings 97, Spurs 87
SAN ANTONIO – Mike Bibby scored 31 points and had eight assists, and the Sacramento Kings bolstered their playoff hopes with a 97-87 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night.
The Kings (39-37) have the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference over New Orleans.
Sacramento has six games remaining in the regular season and has won four of its last five games.
Hornets 114, Warriors 109
OKLAHOMA CITY – Chris Paul got his second triple-double in three games and set up Kirk Snyder’s go-ahead alley-oop dunk in overtime as the New Orleans Hornets beat the Golden State Warriors 114-109 Wednesday night, keeping pace in the playoff race.
Paul had 17 points, a career-high 16 assists and 10 rebounds, with marks in each category proving crucial down the stretch.
Paul got his final assist on a lob to Snyder with 41.6 seconds left in overtime. He then got his 10th rebound to complete the triple-double when Aaron Williams blocked Derek Fisher on the Warriors’ next possession.