Saturday, May 30, 2015   

(NBA) Nets clinch playoff spot
(04-02 12:17)

The Brooklyn Nets clinched a playoff spot by defeating the Houston Rockets to extend their home win streak, getting 32 points from Joe Johnson in a 105-96 win Tuesday in Brooklyn in a US National Basketball Association game.
Johnson shot 13-of-21 from the field and drained four-of-eight three pointers for the Nets, who set a franchise record with their 14th straight home win at the Barclays Center arena.
The Nets won 13 consecutive home games twice in the 2001-02 season.
Brooklyn improved to 40-33 on the season and wrapped up a berth in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Shaun Livingston tallied 17 points and six rebounds and Deron Williams added 12 points for the Nets, who have won three straight and seven of the last nine.
James Harden sunk all 16 of his shots from the free throw line and finished with 26 points for Houston, who have lost back-to-back games after winning five straight.
Omer Asik finished with 12 points and 23 rebounds in place of Dwight Howard, who sat out with a left ankle sprain.
Chandler Parsons had 16 points, eight rebounds and four helpers for Houston, who were not only missing Howard but also Patrick Beverley with a knee injury.
Howard should be back before the end of the season.
* t Los Angeles, Damian Lillard scored 34 points and LaMarcus Aldridge had 31 points and 15 rebounds as the Portland Trail Blazers overpowered the Lakers 124-112.
The Blazers' fourth straight victory, coupled with Houston's loss at Brooklyn, moved Portland within 1{ games of the Rockets for fourth place in the Western Conference and home-court advantage in the opening round of the playoffs. The Rockets have three games in hand.
Nick Young, the fifth and last player off the Los Angeles bench, made his first eight shots and finished 15 for 26 with a season-high 40 points. But it wasn't enough to prevent the Lakers' 10th defeat in 14 games. They slipped to 25-49 _ the most losses by the club since finishing 33-49 in 1993-94. The franchise hasn't lost 50 games in a season since 1974-75 (30-52).—AFP/AP

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