INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Pacers couldn’t shoot early and kept All-Star center Roy Hibbert on the bench for the final 30 minutes.
Jeff Teague scored 25 points and the Atlanta Hawks handed the Pacers a 107-88 loss Sunday.
Atlanta (34-42) improved its chances to keep the eighth and final playoff berth in the East. Its victory, coupled with New York’s loss at Miami, gave Atlanta a two-game lead on the Knicks (33-45).
Miami (53-23) leads the East by a game over the Pacers (53-25), who have lost four of five.
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Indiana scored a franchise-low 23 points in the first half and trailed by 32 points at the break. Coach Frank Vogel said he benched the 7-foot-2 Hibbert because “he looks to me to be worn down.”
Durant surpasses Jordan’s mark
PHOENIX – Kevin Durant scored 38 points for Oklahoma City in a 122-115 loss to the Phoenix Suns.
Ex-Sonic Durant has scored at least 25 points in 41 straight games, a record for the NBA three-point era that started in 1979. Michael Jordan had 40 straight games with at least 25 points for Chicago in 1986-87.
Wilt Chamberlain scored at least 25 in 80 straight games for the 1961-62 Philadelphia Warriors. Cincinnati’s Oscar Robertson had a 46-game run in 1963-64.
Not happy after the loss, Durant said of the streak: “I don’t really care about it. I can’t wait until it’s over.”
• LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points and 18 rebounds and Portland beat New Orleans 100-94, clinching its first playoff spot in three seasons.
• LeBron James scored 38 points as host Miami beat New York 102-91. J.R. Smith made a Knicks-record 10 three-pointers on an NBA-record 22 attempts from long range and scored 32 points.
• Klay Thompson, a former Washington State standout, scored 33 points as host Golden State routed Utah 130-102.
• James Harden scored 32 points in Houston’s 130-125 overtime victory over the visiting Denver Nuggets.
Denver’s Aaron Brooks, a graduate of Franklin High in Seattle who used to play for Houston, had 24 points and 15 assists.