Dwyane Wade was hurt, Chris Bosh was sick, the Miami Heat missed 15 consecutive 3-point attempts and allowed the Milwaukee Bucks to score 22 points off turnovers.
And the Heat won handily anyway.
So if this was a potential first-round Eastern Conference playoff preview, the Bucks probably didn’t enjoy much of what they saw on Tuesday night in Miami. LeBron James scored 28 points in 30 minutes, Udonis Haslem had his first double-double of the season and the Heat moved a step closer to wrapping up home-court advantage throughout the playoffs by topping the Bucks, 94-83.
The Heat tied a franchise single-season record by winning for the 61st time, getting there with five games remaining. Miami needs only one more win or one San Antonio loss to clinch the top overall seed for the entirety of the playoffs. The defending champions clinched the top seed in the East long ago, and will more than likely see the Bucks when the postseason starts in about a week and a half.
Norris Cole and Ray Allen each scored 11 for the Heat, and Haslem finished with 10 points and 15 rebounds. Wade missed his fifth straight game and seventh in the past nine while dealing with ankle and knee issues, and Bosh sat out his second straight contest, though this time it was flu-like symptoms that left him sidelined, not the sore knee that kept him out of Saturday’s game.
Knicks 120, Wizards 99 — New York romped to its first Atlantic Division title since 1994, getting 36 points from Carmelo Anthony and beating visiting Washington for its 13th straight victory.
Anthony put this one away with 21 points during the Knicks’ 37-point third quarter that gave them a 95-71 lead. The NBA’s scoring leader added eight rebounds and six assists.
Iman Shumpert added 18 points for the Knicks, who negated a height disadvantage by tying a franchise record with 20 3-pointers.
John Wall scored 33 points for the Wizards.
Nets 104, 76ers 83 — Brook Lopez scored 29 points and Reggie Evans added 17 points and 24 rebounds as host Brooklyn firmly held its ground in fourth place in the Eastern Conference playoff race with a victory over Philadelphia.
Nick Young had 18 points and Jrue Holiday scored 15 for the Philadelphia, which as lost two straight.
Rockets 101, Suns 98 — Jermaine O'Neal was called for goaltending on James Harden’s last-second 3-point shot giving Houston the win at home.
Harden scored 33 points and Omer Asik tied his career high with 22 rebounds for the Rockets, who clinched a playoff berth later when the Jazz lost to Oklahoma City.
On the final play, Harden dribbled down the clock and shot his 3 from the wing. It bounced high off the rim and O'Neal tipped it as it came down, just after the buzzer sounded.
Referees huddled on the court, then reviewed the play and ruled it the winning basket, setting off a wild celebration.
Thunder 90, Jazz 80 — Russell Westbrook scored 25 points, Kevin Durant added 21 and visiting Oklahoma City continued its push to claim the top overall seed in the Western Conference.
Meanwhile, Utah lost some momentum in its battle with the Lakers for the final playoff spot. Utah is now tied for eighth place with the Lakers, but the Jazz own the tiebreaker.
Lakers 104, Hornets 96 — Kobe Bryant fueled a desperate rally with 23 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter, and host Los Angeles beat New Orleans to keep its slim playoff hopes alive.
Pau Gasol had 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Dwight Howard added 19 points to help the Lakers tie Utah for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff berth.
Warriors 105, Timberwolves 89 — Klay Thompson scored 30 points, Stephen Curry added 24 points and 10 assists and host Golden State clinched a playoff berth by routing Minnesota.
Pacers 99, Cavaliers 94 — George Hill scored 27 points and David West added 15 to help host Indiana rally from a 20-point deficit for a win over Cleveland.
Grizzlies 94, Bobcats 75 — Mike Conley scored 20 points and Zach Randolph had 11 points and 13 rebounds as Memphis won its 13th straight at home and tied a single-season franchise record with its 31st home win.
Raptors 101, Bulls 98 — DeMar DeRozan scored 20 points, Rudy Gay added 19 and Toronto beat host Chicago.