Apr 11, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks center Dwight Howard (8) dunks against the Charlotte Hornets in the first half at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
(The Sports Xchange) – Highlights of Tuesday’s National Basketball Association games:
Hawks 103, Hornets 76
The Atlanta Hawks, behind center Dwight Howard’s 53rd double-double, secured fifth place in the Eastern Conference with a 103-76 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday.
Howard scored 19 points on 7-for-9 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds as the Hawks extended their winning streak to four games.
It was the first time in four tries that Atlanta defeated Charlotte, and the result guaranteed the Hawks would finish fifth and open the playoffs against the fourth-place Washington Wizards.
The Hawks also received 10 points and seven rebounds from Paul Millsap and 10 points from Ersan Ilyasova. Atlanta rested its regulars in the fourth quarter, but every active player scored.
Thunder 100, Timberwolves 98
Victor Oladipo scored 20 points, including the game-winning jumper with six seconds left, as Oklahoma City held off Minnesota.
Domantas Sabonis had 19 points as six players scored in double figures for the short-handed Thunder, who were without star guard Russell Westbrook as he missed his first game of the season to rest. Oklahoma City is the No. 6 seed in the West.
Kyle Singler tied a season high with 11 points, and Norris Cole had 12 points off the bench for the Thunder, who were also without Andre Roberson (rest), Taj Gibson (rest) and Doug McDermott (knee soreness).
Nuggets 109, Mavericks 91
Gary Harris scored 20 points to lead Denver over Dallas in a game that former Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo watched from the bench in a Mavericks uniform.
The Nuggets had four others score in double figures — Mason Plumlee (16), Malik Beasley (16), Juan Hernangomez (14) and Jamal Murray (10). Murray added 10 rebounds for Denver, which was eliminated from playoff contention Sunday.
Dallas was without Harrison Barnes, Wesley Matthews and Seth Curry, while the Nuggets didn’t suit up Danilo Gallinari, Emmanuel Mudiay, Kenneth Faried, Will Barton and Jameer Nelson.
Lakers 108, Pelicans 96
Metta World Peace scored 18 points and Los Angeles extended its winning streak to five games with a victory over short-handed New Orleans.
Jordan Clarkson and Brandon Ingram contributed 15 points apiece for the Lakers, who won five straight for the first time since the end of the 2012-13 regular season. David Nwaba added 14 points for Los Angeles.
The Pelicans played without DeMarcus Cousins (right Achilles tendinitis) and Anthony Davis (left knee soreness). Cheick Diallo came off the bench to score 19 points and grab 11 rebounds for the Pelicans, who lost their fifth consecutive contest. Alexis Ajinca and Jrue Holiday each chipped in 14 points.
Kings 129, Suns 104
Ty Lawson scored 22 points, handed out 12 assists and grabbed 11 rebounds in what may have been his final home game with Sacramento.
Rookie Buddy Hield led the Kings with a game-high 30 points, complementing Lawson’s first career triple-double, and Sacramento concluded the debut season in its new arena by beating Phoenix for the third time in four meetings.
Tyler Ulis scored 27 points for the Suns, and Marquese Chriss added 22.