THE Philadelphia 76ers dented Dallas Mavericks’ hopes of reaching the NBA play-offs with victory on Wednesday.
The Mavericks, conference finalists in 2022, took a 12-point lead in the first half but the 76ers came back to win 116-108, Joel Embiid scoring 25 points.
Dallas are 11th in the Western Conference with the top six going straight into the play-offs and seventh to 10th going into the play-ins.
Elsewhere, Phoenix Suns beat Minnesota Timberwolves on Kevin Durant’s return.
Making his home debut for the Suns after 10 games out with a sprained ankle, 13-time All-Star Durant scored 16 points, eight rebounds and four assists in 29 minutes in the 107-100 win, with Devin Booker scoring 29 points.
The Suns are fourth in the Western Conference while the Timberwolves sit seventh.
The Sacramento Kings are third and now guaranteed a play-off place – their first appearance for 17 years – after beating the Portland Trail Blazers 120-80.
It ends the longest run without an appearance in the post-season games in NBA history.
Jrue Holiday scored a career-high 51 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo made his fifth triple-double of the season to take the Milwaukee Bucks, the leaders of the Eastern Conference, to a 149-136 win over the Indiana Pacer
The New York Knicks’ 101-92 home win over Miami Heat was marred by an ankle injury to All-Star forward Julius Randle.
Randle, who sustained the injury in the second quarter, made one of two subsequent free throws before being removed.
Anthony Davis scored 38 points and 10 rebounds and LeBron James added 25 points to boost the visiting Los Angeles Lakers to a 121-110 win against the Chicago Bulls, which means they move level with New Orleans Pelicans for eighth place in the Western Conference.
Russell Westbrook scored 36 points made 10 assists as the Los Angeles Clippers ended the Memphis Grizzlies’ seven-game winning run, the Brooklyn Nets inflicted the Houston Rockets’ seventh straight loss, Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Detroit Pistons and Utah Jazz beat the San Antonio Spurs, Talen Horton-Tucker scoring 41 points.
The NBA regular season concludes on Sunday, 9 April. (BBC Sport)