NBA round-up: New Orleans Pelicans edge closer to play-offs as Boston Celtics lose again

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The New Orleans Pelicans edged closer to securing an NBA play-off spot with a 135-123 win over the Sacramento Kings.

The Pelicans are sixth in the Western Conference, the final guaranteed play-off spot, with two games remaining.

CJ McCollum and Zion Williamson scored 31 points each, with McCollum also adding nine three-pointers and seven assists.

Elsewhere, Eastern Conference top seed the Boston Celtics lost to the New York Knicks for a second straight defeat.

Jalen Brunson scored 39 points, his fifth consecutive effort of more than 35 points, and was able to sit out the fourth quarter as the Knicks wrapped up a 118-109 win.

Josh Hart also starred with 16 points and 16 rebounds and Isaiah Hartenstein added 11 points, 13 rebounds and six assists.

The Chicago Bulls beat the Detroit Pistons to secure ninth place in the Eastern Conference and home-court advantage for their play-in game.

Struggling Pistons are bottom of the table with the 127-105 defeat their sixth in a row.

DeMar DeRozan scored 39 points with seven assists for the Bulls, who take on the Atlanta Hawks in next week’s play-in.

Steph Curry led the Golden State Warriors to a crucial 100-92 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Curry’s 22 points, eight assists and seven rebounds helped the Warriors to their third straight win as they sit ninth in the table, guaranteed of a play-in place.

The Utah Jazz ended their 13-game losing streak with a narrow 124-121 victory over the Houston Rockets.

Keyonte George scored 20 points and Brice Sensabaugh added 17 to inflict a sixth defeat in seven games on the Rockets, who are 11th in the table – one spot outside the play-in places.

The top six teams in each conference qualify for the play-offs while the teams in seventh to 10th place face play-in games for the final two spots.

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