The way the Golden State Warriors have played this season, it was a foregone conclusion that they would make the playoffs.
Chris Mullin and Tim Hardaway each scored 28 points Monday night to help the Warriors formally gain a playoff berth with a 124-106 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers at Oakland.
The Warriors' victory, their fourth in a row, pulled them to within 2 1/2 games of idle Portland in the Pacific Division.
Hardaway also had a season-high 17 assists.
Charles Barkley scored 37 points and had 16 rebounds, and Hersey Hawkins had 25 points for the 76ers, who lost their fourth consecutive game and seventh in a row on the road.
Billy Owens and Sarunas Marciulionis each added 20 points for the Warriors, who made 55% of their shots and ran through the 76er defense with a relentless transition game.
The 76ers closed an 18-point deficit to 66-63 in the third quarter, but the Warriors thwarted the comeback with 11-2 and 15-4 runs.
Utah 120, Milwaukee 100--Jeff Malone scored 30 points and Karl Malone had 27 at Salt Lake City as the Jazz handed the Bucks their 21st consecutive road loss.
The victory clinched a playoff berth for the Jazz and gave them a 5 1/2-game lead in the Midwest Division over San Antonio, which lost at New Jersey. Utah has 11 games to play and the Spurs 10.
The Jazz led, 54-53, at halftime before outscoring the Bucks, 17-5, in the first 6:16 of the third quarter to take a 71-58 lead. Jeff Malone scored six of his 12 third-quarter points during the run.
Dale Ellis scored 20 points in 29 minutes and Fred Roberts had 19 points for the Bucks, winless on the road since Jan. 2. John Stockton had 16 points and 13 assists for the Jazz, now an NBA-best 32-4 at home.
Charlotte 123, Orlando 112--Muggsy Bogues had 21 points, nine assists, five rebounds and four steals at Charlotte, N.C., as the Hornets won for the 12th time in 14 home games.
Bogues made nine of 11 shots and helped hold Orlando point guard Scott Skiles scoreless.
Dell Curry scored 22 points and Larry Johnson scored 21 points and had a career-high 10 assists for the Hornets.
Anthony Bowie scored 27 points and Nick Anderson added 23 for the Magic, which has lost four consecutive games and 13 of its last 16.
New Jersey 117, San Antonio 109--Terry Mills came off the bench late in the third quarter and led a 10-0 run that helped the Nets to victory at East Rutherford, N.J.
The Spurs have lost five consecutive games, four without center David Robinson, who underwent surgery Saturday to repair a torn ligament in his left hand.
Drazen Petrovic and Derrick Coleman each scored 20 points for the Nets. Mookie Blaylock had 18 points and 13 assists, Chris Dudley 16 points and Mills had 14 for New Jersey, which pulled to within 1 1/2 games of Miami in the race for the last Eastern Conference playoff spot.