UNDATED (AP) – The Washington Wizards are closer to clinching the NBA’s Southeast Division title after earning a road win against the top team in the Eastern Conference.
John Wall and Bradley Beal combined for 64 points to push the Wizards past the Cavaliers, 127-115 in Cleveland. Wall scored 18 of his 37 points while Washington shot a blistering 82 percent in the first quarter. Beal added 27 points for the Wizards, who pulled away after clinging to a four-point lead early in the fourth quarter.
LeBron James had 24 points, 11 boards and eight assists for the Cavaliers.
The outcome gives the Wizards a 7 1/2-game division lead over Atlanta with nine games to play. The Cavs are just a half-game ahead of Boston in the battle for the No. 1 seed in the East.
In other NBA action:
– The Spurs topped the Knicks 106-98 in San Antonio as Kawhi Leonard scored 29 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 19 and 10 rebounds. The Spurs’ fourth straight win leaves them two games behind the Warriors for the league’s best record.
– Jamal Crawford scored 28 points and the Los Angeles Clippers wrapped up their sixth consecutive playoff berth by beating Utah, 108-95. Blake Griffin added 15 points for the Clippers, who led by just two before scoring the first eight points of the final period. The Jazz are just a half-game ahead of the Clippers for the No. 4 seed in the West and home-court advantage in the conference quarterfinals.
– Toronto has a five-game winning streak after DeMar DeRozan and Serge Ibaka scored 18 points apiece in a 94-86 decision over Dallas. The Raptors led by 16 in the first half after having to come back from 15-point deficits in their last two victories.
– CJ McCollum poured in 32 points and the Portland Trail Blazers climbed within a game of a Western Conference playoff slot by whipping Minnesota, 112-100. Damian Lillard added 21 points to the Blazers’ 10th win in 13 games.