Basketball: Raptors keep pace with Cavaliers

Kyle Lowry dribbles the ball against the Orlando Magic. Photo / Getty Images
Kyle Lowry dribbles the ball against the Orlando Magic. Photo / Getty Images

The Toronto Raptors kept pace with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the race for the top seed in the Eastern Conference, defeating the Orlando Magic 105-100 on Monday at Air Canada Centre.

With the victory Toronto (48-21) moved to a game back of the Cavaliers (49-20).

Seven players scored in double figures to help the Utah Jazz beat the Milwaukee Bucks 94-85, enabling the Jazz to keep pace with the Dallas Mavericks for the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference.

With the Mavericks having pulled out a 132-120 overtime victory over Portland earlier Monday, the Jazz needed to beat the Bucks to stay one game back of Dallas with 12 games to play.

When the Philadelphia 76ers were going through their historically horrendous 1972-73 season, which produced just nine wins, the team was thought to be the league's spa.

They were the team other teams wanted to play to get better.

The 2015-16 team, which also has produced just nine wins, has taken the spa thing a step further. They lost 120-105 to the Boston Celtics on Monday.

Despite learning before the game that All-Star forward Anthony Davis would have season-ending knee surgery, the short-handed New Orleans Pelicans placed six of their eight dressed players in double figures, led by Jrue Holiday with 22, and defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 109-105 at the New Orleans Arena.

Holiday hit two free throws with 24.8 seconds left to give the Pelicans a 106-103 lead.

J.J. Redick cut it to 106-105 with a reverse layup at 15.3 seconds, but Luke Babbitt made two free throws to make it 108-105 with 14.5 seconds left.

Dirk Nowitzki scored a historic 40 points and the Dallas Mavericks snapped a five-game home losing streak by outlasting the Portland Trail Blazers 132-120 in overtime at American Airlines Center.

The Mavericks (35-35) also made it back to .500 by winning for the first time on their court since March 1 and clinched the season series against Portland (36-35).

In a matchup of two teams out of the playoff picture and facing looming offseason questions, the Sacramento Kings rode a 24-point, 20-rebound night by DeMarcus Cousins to an 88-80 win over the depleted New York Knicks for a rare road victory.

Cousins, the NBA's fourth-leading scorer, scored seven fourth-quarter points to help put the game away. Rudy Gay added 17 points, forward Omri Casspi returned after missing a game with a sore left ankle to chip in 15 points off the bench, and guard Darren Collison contributed 13 points, six assists and three steals for Sacramento (27-42).

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