The Milwaukee Bucks blew an opportunity to whip up a bad opponent and keep pace with the New York Knicks and the Philadelphia 76ers in the East playoff race. The mighty Washington Wizards, now 16-46 on the season, took out the Bucks while the Sixers beat the Cleveland Cavaliers handily and the New York Knicks handled the New Jersey Nets.
The result is that Milwaukee trails the No. 8 seed by 2.5 games with just five left.
Jordan Crawford racked up 32 for the Wizards, as Milwaukee's defense caved and allowed Washington to shoot 55 percent from the floor. Crawford actually outscored his match-up, Monta Ellis, by one point on three fewer shot attempts (accounting for free throws).
The Sixers got strong efforts on offense and defense in their win over Cleveland. Jrue Holiday was the big scorer with 24, and Philly held Cleveland to 17 points in the critical third quarter.
In one of the Nets' final games in New Jersey, New York came in and squeezed out a 104-95 victory as Deron Williams did not play. Carmelo Anthony racked up 33 points, seven rebounds and four assists. J.R. Smith added 15 off the bench.
In other action ...
Grizzlies 103, Hornets 91: Memphis kept pace with the victorious L.A. Clippers with a revenge win over New Orleans. Rudy Gay had 26. D-League call-up Jerome Dyson led the Hornets with 24. He registered seven field goal attempts and 16 free throws.
Jazz 112, Blazers 91: Utah took advantage of the losses by Houston and Phoenix to beat Portland handily. Perhaps surprisingly, the guards did the heavy lifting, as Devin Harris and Wet Willy Hayward combined for 50.