Nuggets Jazz Basketball

Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic (44) celebrates after scoring 3-pointer against the Denver Nuggets during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, May 7, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Bojan Bogdanovic scored a career-high 48 points to rally the Utah Jazz past the Denver Nuggets 127-120 on Friday night.

Bogdanovic went 16 of 23 from the field — making a career-high eight 3-pointers — to lead the NBA-leading Jazz to their fourth straight victory. He also had eight rebounds.

Jordan Clarkson added 21 points and eight assists. Rudy Gobert had 14 points and nine rebounds, and Georges Niang chipped in 13 points - all in the second half.

Michael Porter, Jr. scored 31 points for Denver. Nikola Jokic added 24 points, 13 assists, and nine rebounds, Paul Millsap had 20 points and Austin Rivers 18.

Utah did not trail over the final 11:22 of the fourth quarter after Niang hit back-to-back shots to give the Jazz a 103-99 lead. Denver scored just one basket over a six-minute stretch and couldn't quite erase the resulting deficit.

SUNS 128, KNICKS 105

PHOENIX (AP) — Deandre Ayton scored 26 points, a feisty Chris Paul added 17 points and 11 assists and Phoenix beat New York to stay in the hunt for the top record in the NBA.

The Suns stunned the Knicks by taking a 90-88 lead into the fourth quarter after scoring four points in less than a second. Torrey Craig tipped in Devin Booker's miss with 0.8 seconds left and Cameron Payne stole the in-bounds pass and made a layup.

It was the Suns' first lead since the first quarter and they never relinquished it, scoring 38 points in the fourth while making 8 of 12 3-pointers.

It got tense midway through the fourth when Knicks forward Taj Gibson knocked Paul to the ground and was called for a flagrant foul. Paul got up angry and started jawing with Thibodeau before Suns coach Monty Williams came on the court and pulled the point guard away.

Julius Randle led New York with 24 points and 11 rebounds. R.J. Barrett had 23 points.

76ERS 109, PELICANS 107

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Joel Embiid had 37 points and 13 rebounds to the tune of "MVP! MVP!" chants and Philadelphia beat New Orleans to inch closer toward securing the top spot in the East.

The 76ers won their season-high seventh straight game and have a three-game lead over Brooklyn and Milwaukee in the Eastern Conference.

Embiid made two free throws with 1:39 left to bring the Sixers within one, then grabbed a defensive rebound on the other end to set up Tobias Harris' 3 with 1:10 left that made it 109-107. Philadelphia forced two turnovers to seal the victory.

Jaxson Hayes scored 19 points for the Pelicans, playing with Zion Williamson sidelined indefinitely by a fractured left finger.

TRAIL BLAZERS 106, LAKERS 101

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Damian Lillard had 38 points to lead Portland past Los Angeles for the tiebreaker over its Western Conference foe as the season winds to a close.

Lillard had five 3-pointers for the Blazers, who were back at home after going 5-1 on a six-game trip. They were welcomed back to Portland with fans allowed at the Moda Center for the first time this season.

Anthony Davis had 36 points and 12 rebounds for the Lakers. They were without LeBron James for the third straight game. Los Angeles has lost eight of its last 10 games.

Portland moved into sixth, a game up on Los Angeles, and also secured the tiebreaker.

BUCKS 141, ROCKETS 133

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Brook Lopez had 24 points and Khris Middleton scored 21 of his 23 in the second half to help Milwaukee beat short-handed Houston for its fifth consecutive victory.

The Bucks tied Brooklyn for second place in the Eastern Conference standings. The Bucks also have the tiebreaker advantage over Brooklyn because they won two of their their three regular-season meetings.

Jrue Holiday added 20 points, and Giannis Antetokounmpo had 17 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. KJ Martin had 26 points and seven assists — both career highs — as well as seven rebounds for the Rockets before fouling out.

MAVERICKS 110, CAVALIERS 90

DALLAS (AP) — Luka Doncic scored 24 points in 23 minutes and Dallas kept the prime spot in a tight race to avoid the Western Conference play-in tournament with a breezy victory over Cleveland.

Dallas guaranteed it would remain in fifth place in the West, a game ahead of either the Los Angeles Lakers or Portland with five games remaining.

Tim Hardaway Jr. added 20 points for the Mavericks, who didn't trail after going ahead 4-2 while the undermanned Cavaliers lost their ninth consecutive game, one short of their longest skid of the season. The teams play again Sunday in Cleveland.

The already injury-riddled Cavaliers had to play without Kevin Love, who was sidelined after banging knees with Portland's Enes Kanter two nights earlier in a 141-105 loss to the Trail Blazers. Collin Sexton scored 27 points for the Cavaliers.

BULLS 121, CELTICS 99

CHICAGO (AP) — Zach LaVine and Coby White each scored 25 points and Chicago overcame a big effort by Kemba Walker to beat Boston.

With their playoff hopes fading and fans at the United Center for the first time this season, the Bulls led by 21 in the third quarter and put this one away after Boston got within eight in the fourth, scoring 12 straight.

Chicago pulled within three games of Washington and 3 1/2 of Indiana for the final spots in the Eastern Conference play-in tournament with five to play.

Walker scored 33 points for Boston.

HEAT 121, TIMBERWOLVES 112

MIAMI (AP) — Tyler Herro returned after a six-game absence and scored 27 points, Jimmy Butler had 25 and Miami beat Minnesota to move back into the No. 6 spot in the Eastern Conference.

Goran Dragic added 23 points for Miami. Herro, who had been out with right foot soreness, was 10 of 13 from the field and 6 of 8 from 3-point range for Miami (36-31).

The win, combined with a loss at Chicago by Boston, allowed the Heat to pass the Celtics in the standings. Miami opens a two-game series in Boston on Sunday, the teams battling to avoid having to be part of the play-in tournament that awaits the teams finishing between No. 7 and No. 10 in each conference.

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 14 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter for Minnesota.

HORNETS 122, MAGIC 112

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Terry Rozier scored 28 points, LaMelo Ball added 27 points and Charlotte beat Orlando to inch closer to a spot in the play-in tournament.

The Hornets needed a win and a loss by Chicago to Boston to clinch a berth, but the Bulls beat the Celtics. Charlotte can clinch a spot in the play-in tournament with a victory Sunday over New Orleans.

Dwayne Bacon had a career-high 28 points for Orlando.

SPURS 113, KINGS 104

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Dejounte Murray scored 10 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and San Antonio beat Sacramento to end a five-game losing streak and strengthen their hold on the final playoff spot in the West.

DeMar DeRozan had 25 points, and Murray added seven assists and six rebounds. The Spurs were coming off back-to-back losses to Utah in a skid that knocked coach Gregg Popovich's team down to 10th place in the West — the final spot for the play-in tournament — before holding off a Kings team that won its last four.

Terence Davis scored 24 points for the Kings.