Ray Allen scored 23 points, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade chilled at the end of the bench, and the Miami Heat’s B-squad gave the resting A-team the gift of home-court advantage throughout the playoffs Wednesday night in Washington, clinching the best record in the NBA with a 103-98 victory over the Wizards.
With James (right hamstring) and Wade (sprained ankle and bruised knee) looking like two guys sitting at a bus stop, and Chris Bosh at home with flu-like symptoms, plus Udonis Haslem getting the night off because of a sore right ankle, the what-was-left-over of the Heat committed 25 turnovers but still managed the win that assured they'll finish better than the Western Conference-leading San Antonio Spurs.
A.J. Price tied a career high with 23 points and John Wall had 17 points, 11 assists, and 9 rebounds for the Wizards, who had won nine straight at home.
James played in Tuesday night’s 94-83 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, but the Heat are playing it safe with the reigning league MVP.
‘‘Not a setback,’’ coach Erik Spoelstra said. ‘‘Want to make sure he feels right. He was a little bit tight yesterday after the game. That was probably to be expected. It was the same amount of tightness he had after Saturday night’s game, but we had two days off in between, so he was able to manage that.’’
Wade missed his sixth consecutive game. While he and James at least made the trip to Washington, Bosh stayed home and missed a third straight game because of flu-like symptoms.
Lakers 113, Trail Blazers 106 — Kobe Bryant scored a season-high 47 points and visiting Los Angeles pulled closer to a playoff berth with its victory over shorthanded Portland.
The Lakers moved a game up on the Utah Jazz for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Pau Gasol had 23 points, 7 rebounds, and 9 assists, while Dwight Howard added 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers. Bryant was 18 of 18 from the free throw line.
Clippers 111, Timberwolves 95 — Blake Griffin and Chris Paul led seven players in double figures with 19 points apiece, and Los Angeles beat Minnesota for its franchise-record 31st home win of the season.
Paul added 11 assists, and Willie Green had 15 points in breaking the old mark of 30 wins by the 1974-75 team, when it was known as the Buffalo Braves. The Clippers improved to 31-9 at home, three days after clinching their first Pacific Division title in franchise history.
Nuggets 96, Spurs 86— Wilson Chandler scored 29 points and Corey Brewer had 28 as Denver overcame a slow start to post its franchise-record 21st straight home win.
The Nuggets (54-24) also tied their franchise record for victories in an NBA season, with four games remaining, including two at home, where they improved to a league-best 36-3.
Pistons 111, Cavaliers 104 — Andre Drummond scored a career-high 29 points and visiting Detroit won a second straight game for the first time in two months.
Suns 102, Mavericks 91 — P.J. Tucker scored 17 points, including two key baskets in the closing minutes, and Phoenix pushed Dallas to the brink of playoff elimination for the first time since 2000.
Magic 113, Bucks 103 — Nik Vucevic had 30 points and 20 rebounds, Tobias Harris added 30 points and 19 rebounds, and host Orlando rallied for an overtime victory over Milwaukee.
Hawks 124, 76ers 101 — Josh Smith had 28 points and 12 rebounds, John Jenkins added 21 points and visiting Atlanta blitzed Philadelphia.
Kings 121, Hornets 110 — John Salmons had 22 points, and Jason Thompson and Marcus Thornton each added 20 to help host Sacramento snap a four-game losing streak with a victory over New Orleans.