WASHINGTON — The Washington Wizards are in the playoffs for the first time since 2008, clinching an Eastern Conference berth Wednesday night with a 118-92 win over the Boston Celtics.
Marcin Gortat scored 22 points to lead the Wizards, who gathered for a celebratory huddle at midcourt after the final whistle. John Wall, the 2010 No. 1 overall draft pick playing the first meaningful late-season games of his career, added 13 points and 10 assists.
The Wizards’ playoff position had been relatively secure for several weeks in the weakened East, but the formality of seeing the magic number reach zero was a milestone worth noting for a franchise whose win totals since their last postseason appearance have been 19, 26, 23, 20 and 29 — never finishing better than 24 games below .500. Washington sits in sixth place in the conference.
Bobcats 123, 76ers 93
PHILADELPHIA — Al Jefferson had 25 points and 10 rebounds to lead Charlotte over Philadelphia.
Gary Neal scored 15 points to help the Bobcats inch closer to a playoff berth.
The Bobcats (37-38) have the seventh-best record in the Eastern Conference. They entered 4½ games ahead of the ninth-place New York Knicks and needed four wins in the final eight games to clinch their first playoff berth since 2010. . One down, three to go.
Pacers 101, Pistons 94
INDIANAPOLIS — Paul George had 27 points and 13 rebounds, David West scored 15 points and Indiana snapped a three-game skid with a win over Detroit.
George hit a 3-pointer from 35-feet to give the Pacers a 94-90 lead with 3:19 remaining and Indiana never trailed the rest of the way.
Josh Smith had 24 points and five rebounds and Greg Monroe added 16 points for the Pistons, who have lost four of their last five games.
Knicks 110, Nets 81
NEW YORK — J.R. Smith had 24 points, eight rebounds and six assists, Carmelo Anthony added 23 points and 10 rebounds, and New York beat city rival Brooklyn to extend a late-season playoff push.
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 17 points a game after spraining his right ankle to help the Knicks win for the 12th time in 15 games, dominating a team that had the best record in the Eastern Conference since the new year. New York, which entered a game behind Atlanta for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East, won its third straight.
Raptors 107, Rockets 103
TORONTO — DeMar DeRozan scored 29 points, Jonas Valanciunas and Greivis Vasquez each had 15 and Toronto won its seventh straight home meeting with Houston.
Terrence Ross scored 14 points and John Salmons had 12 as the short-handed Raptors won for the fourth time in five games.
James Harden scored 26 points and Chandler Parsons had 20 for the Rockets, who lost their third straight after winning the previous five.
Cavaliers 119, Magic 98
ORLANDO, Fla. — Dion Waiters scored 26 points, Spencer Hawes and Tristan Thompson had 20 each, and Cleveland beat Orlando.
Kyrie Irving added 17 points, eight assists and six rebounds in his first game back after missing eight with strained left biceps. Jarrett Jack scored 13 points the Cavs, who have won five of their last six and are trying to catch Atlanta for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.
Bulls 105, Hawks 92
ATLANTA — D.J. Augustin scored 23 points and Chicago held off slumping Atlanta for a victory, bumping the Hawks out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with two weeks left in the season.
The Hawks lost for the 21st time in 27 games, this one dropping them slightly behind New York for the eighth playoff seed.
Heat 96, Bucks 77
MIAMI — LeBron James scored 17 points, Chris Bosh added 15 and Miami stayed atop the Eastern Conference with a win over Milwaukee.
Mario Chalmers added 14 for the Heat, who never trailed despite again being without Greg Oden, Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen.