NBA Daily Blog: Hawks beat the Clippers at home 109-102. Celtics beat the Heat at home 78-66. Jazz eliminate the Suns at home 100-88.

Joe Johnson passes thru the Clippers defense.
Photo ©NBA/
The Atlanta Hawks are inching closer to securing homecourt advantage with a victory over the Los Angeles Clippers at Philips Arena 109-102. The Hawks improve to 39-26 with a 1 game advantage over the Boston Celtics for homecourt advantage in their 1st round match-up. While the Clippers with the loss drop to 40-25 in a tie with the Memphis Grizzlies for the 4th seed out West. Also with the Clippers loss, the Los Angeles Lakers clinched the Pacific Division title for the 5th consecutive year.
The Hawks were led by Joe Johnson with 28 points and 7 rebounds. Jeff Teague added 21 points and 2 blocks. Josh Smith finished with a double-double 19 points and 10 rebounds with 5 assists. Marvin Williams scored 11 off the bench.
The Clippers were led by Blake Griffin with 36 points and 8 rebounds. Chris Paul added 34 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists and 2 steals. Caron Butler added 9 points and 7 rebounds.
 Marquis Daniels with the dunk.
Photo ©NBA/
The Boston Celtics without Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen who are resting for the coming playoffs came up with a victory in a low-scoring slugfest over the Miami Heat who played without their Big 3 of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh at the TD Garden 78-66. The Celtics improve to 38-27, a game behind the Atlanta Hawks for homecourt advantage in their first round match up. While the Heat drop to 46-19 and with the loss, the Chicago Bulls clinch the top seed in the Eastern Conference while the Heat will be placed second in the East.
The Celtics were led by Sasha Pavlovic with 16 points. Marquis Daniels off the bench added 13 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Paul Pierce, Brandon Bass and Avery Bradley each scored 8.
The Heat were led by Dexter Pittman with 12 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks. James Jones scored 11 off the bench. Udonis Haslem pulled down 13 rebounds. Mario Chalmers and Mike Miller each scored 8.
Paul Millsap lays it in.
 Photo ©NBA/
The Utah Jazz secure the final playoff berth in the Western Conference as they knock off the Phoenix Suns out of playoff contention with a win at the EnergySolutions Arena 100-88. The Jazz improve to 34-30, 1.5 game behind the 7th seeded Dallas Mavericks. While the Suns drop to 33-32 currently tied with the Houston Rockets for the 9th seed.
The Jazz were led by Paul Millsap with a double-double 26 points and 15 rebounds with 3 steals. Al Jefferson also finished with a double-double 18 points and 16 rebounds with 2 blocks. Devin Harris added 14 points and 2 steals. Derrick Favors off the bench also finished with a double-double 13 points and 11 rebounds with 5 blocks. Gordon Hayward added 11 points, 8 assists and 2 steals.
The Suns were led by Jared Dudley and Michael Redd who came off the bench with each scoring 15 points. Dudley also added 6 rebounds. Steve Nash finished with a double-double 14 points and 11 assists. Shannon Brown and Hakim Warrick each scored 12.
In Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma City Thunder defeat the Sacramento Kings at the Chesapeake Energy Arena 118-110. Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 32 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks. Daequan Cook off the bench added 19 points and 5 rebounds. Russell Westbrook added 13 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Derek Fisher and Thabo Sefolosha each scored 11. Kendrick Perkins added 10 points and 5 rebounds. DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 32 points, 7 rebounds and 2 steals. Jason Thompson added 22 points and 6 rebounds. Travis Outlaw added 20 points, 7 rebounds and 4 steals. Tyreke Evans scored 18. Rookie Isaiah Thomas added 11 points, 5 rebounds, 9 assists and 2 steals.
In Oakland, the New Orleans Hornets on Marco Belinelli’s clutch layup with 1.5 seconds in the 4th quarter pick up a road victory over the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena 83-81. Belinelli led the Hornets with 23 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. Carl Landry off the bench added 14 points and 6 rebounds. Rookie Gustavo Ayon added 13 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks. Greivis Vasquez added 11 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists. Al-Farouq Aminu pulled down 11 rebounds with 8 points. Rookie Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 16 points. Brandon Rush off the bench scored 15. Another rookie Jeremy Tyler added 13 points and 8 rebounds. A third rookie in Charles Jenkins finished with a double-double 10 points and 10 assists with 5 rebounds.
STANDINGS AS OF 4/25/12 (13:43 PHT)
1. Spurs (w) 48-16, 2. Thunder (nw) 47-18, 3. Lakers (x) 41-24, 4. Clippers (x) 40-25, 5. Grizzlies (x) 40-25, 6. Nuggets (x) 36-28, 7. Mavericks (x) 36-29, 8. Jazz (x) 35-30, 9. Suns (o) 33-32, 10. Rockets (o) 33-32, 11. Trail Blazers (o) 28-37, 12. Timberwolves (o) 26-39, 13. Warriors (o) 23-42, 14. Kings (o) 21-44, 15. Hornets (o) 21-44
1. Bulls (e) 48-16, 2. Heat (se) 46-19, 3. Pacers (x) 42-23, 4. Celtics (a) 38-27, 5. Hawks (x) 39-26, 6. Magic (x) 36-28, 7. Knicks (x) 34-30, 8. 76ers (x) 34-30, 9. Bucks (o) 31-33, 10. Pistons (o) 24-41, 11. Nets (o) 22-43, 12. Raptors (o) 22-43, 13. Cavaliers (o) 21-43, 14. Wizards (o) 18-46, 15. Bobcats (o) 7-57


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