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Wednesday April 25, 2012

Spurs clinch top spot

SAN ANTONIO: The San Antonio Spurs claimed the top seed in the Western Conference by routing the Portland Trail Blazers 124-89 on Monday behind 18 points each from Tim Duncan and Danny Green.

Tony Parker finished with 13 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Spurs who won their eighth consecutive game.

A total of 13 different San Antonio players scored points in Monday’s contest at the AT&T Centre arena.

San Antonio secured the top spot in the West and the team is tied with Chicago for the best record in the National Basketball Association.

Give it back: Philadelphia 76ers forward Elton Brand (centre) battles for a rebound with New Jersey Nets centre Johan Petro (left) and guard Anthony Morrow in their NBA game in Newark, New Jersey, on Monday. — Reuters

Wesley Matthews scored a game-high 24 points and J.J. Hickson finished with 14 for the Trail Blazers, who have lost six consecutive games.

San Antonio scored eight of the final 10 points in the third to lead 91-65 heading into the final quarter.

Portland cut the lead to 20, but the Spurs answered with a 12-0 run to take a dominating 103-71 lead with eight minutes remaining.

In Newark, the Philadelphia 76ers earned the final National Basketball Association playoff spot in the Eastern Conference on Monday and spoiled the Nets’ final game in New Jersey with a 105-87 win.

Thaddeus Young recorded 15 points in the second half to help the 76ers make the playoffs for the second consecutive year and eliminate the Milwaukee Bucks from the postseason race.

The win moved the 76ers into a tie with the New York Knicks for the seventh seed with two games left in the 2011-12 NBA regular season.

Jrue Holiday and Elton Brand finished with 15 points each and Andre Iguodala had 14 points and nine assists for Philadelphia.

MarShon Brooks scored 18 points to lead the Nets, who will move into a new arena in the New York suburb of Brooklyn next season.

Milwaukee entered the night with a slim chance of making the playoffs, but Philadelphia’s win officially eliminated the Bucks even though they beat Toronto 92-86 in a later game Monday.

Ersan Ilyasova scored 19 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. Monta Ellis added 17 points for the Bucks, who swept the three-game season series against the Raptors. — Agencies


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