Deron Williams made two free throws with 18 seconds left and New Orleans' Chris Paul missed two potential game-winning shots as Utah pulled closer in the race for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with a 105-104 victory Friday night at Oklahoma City.
"That keeps us alive. Otherwise, we're probably dead," Utah Coach Jerry Sloan said. "It's pretty simple. It's just like anybody. We'd like to stay alive a little longer."
Andrei Kirilenko blocked a driving layup by Paul in the final seconds, but Paul was able to get the rebound and call timeout with 1.8 seconds to set up his final shot.
He then took an inbounds pass from Kirk Snyder and leaned into Williams, but his right-handed attempt missed the rim. Kirilenko grabbed the ball as stunned Hornets players looked for a foul call.
"I just tried to stay in front of him and not foul," said Williams, who scored 17 points. "I just tried to put my hands up and hopefully they didn't call a foul."
Paul thought he was fouled.
"I felt like it, but it doesn't matter," Paul said. "They call it how they see it and that's their job."
Utah moved within a game of eighth-place Sacramento for the Western Conference's final playoff spot with three games left. New Orleans is two games back of Utah and three behind Sacramento.
Chicago 103, Washington 101 -- Ben Gordon made nine three-point baskets without a miss to tie the NBA record and scored 32 points to help the host Bulls take sole possession of eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
Gordon matched the record set by Latrell Sprewell for New York against the Clippers on Feb. 4, 2003. The Wizards lost their fifth in a row and fell into a three-way tie with Milwaukee and Indiana for fifth place, with the Bulls a game back and ninth-place Philadelphia two behind.
Milwaukee 97, New York 80 -- Michael Redd scored 18 of his 23 points in the first half, then the Bucks blew open the game in the third quarter and beat the Knicks at New York.
Knick Coach Larry Brown missed the game after he was hospitalized in Cleveland on Thursday night because of a stomach ailment. He returned to New York on Friday, but assistant coach Herb Williams led the team.
Indiana 89, Minnesota 77 -- Jermaine O'Neal had 29 points and 12 rebounds to help the Pacers draw closer to clinching a playoff berth with a victory at Indianapolis.
Miami 104, Philadelphia 85 -- Dwyane Wade had 25 points and eight assists and the host Heat secured the Eastern Conference's No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Golden State 110, Phoenix 102 -- Jason Richardson scored 27 points, Derek Fisher added 19 and the Warriors defeated the Suns at Oakland.
Toronto 108, Detroit 103 -- Mike James scored a career-high 39 points and helped the Raptors end a 10-game losing streak at Toronto.
New Jersey 79, Boston 74 -- Richard Jefferson made five free throws down the stretch and the Nets played stellar defense to defeat the Celtics at Boston.
Charlotte 116, Atlanta 110 -- Raymond Felton scored 27 points and the Bobcats won the season series from the host Hawks, 3-1.
Houston center Yao Ming had surgery to repair a broken bone in his left foot. Yao could be sidelined four to six months.... Atlanta's Josh Childress was suspended for two games without pay for throwing a forearm to the head of Chicago's Andres Nocioni, who was fined $5,000 for "unnecessary and excessive" contact with Childress.