INDIANAPOLIS – The Cleveland Cavaliers clinched the NBA’s best record and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs Monday night behind LeBron James’ 37 points in a 117-109 victory over the Indiana Pacers.

Getting the home-court edge was especially important because Cleveland has a 39-1 record at home, the best in the league.

Bull 91, Pistons 88

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Ben Gordon made a tiebreaking layup with 15 seconds left, and the Chicago Bulls beat Detroit 91-88 to lock the Pistons in the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference.

The loss means the Pistons (39-42) will face Cleveland in the first round of the playoffs. Chicago (41-40) leads Philadelphia by a half-game for sixth.

Raptors 97, Wizards 96

WASHINGTON – Chris Bosh made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 9.9 seconds left, and the Toronto Raptors rallied to beat the Washington Wizards 97-96.

Bosh had 25 points and 15 rebounds. Shawn Marion had 25 points and 15 rebounds.

Bucks 98, Magic 80

MILWAUKEE – Richard Jefferson scored 24 points as the Milwaukee Bucks beat an Orlando Magic team missing Dwight Howard and two other starters 98-80 – Orlando’s third straight loss to a subpar opponent.

Ramon Sessions added 19 points in the home finale for the Bucks.

Nuggets 118, Kings 98

DENVER – J.R. Smith’s career-high 45 points and franchise-best 11 3-pointers helped the Denver Nuggets clinch the Northwest Division title and home-court edge in a playoff series for the first time in 21 years with a 118-98 win over the Sacramento Kings.

The Nuggets (54-27) tied their franchise record for most wins since joining the NBA in 1976.

Rockets 86, Hornets 66

HOUSTON – Yao Ming scored 22 points, Luis Scola grabbed 15 rebounds and the Houston Rockets moved within one win of the Southwest Division title with an 86-66 victory over the New Orleans Hornets.

If the Rockets win their regular-season finale in Dallas on Wednesday, they’ll secure their first division championship since 1993-94.

But in the jumbled Western Conference, Houston could also slip to fifth place – and lose home-court advantage in the first round – with a loss to the Mavericks.


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