WASHINGTON — John Wall produced 19 points and 15 assists, 37-year-old Paul Pierce hit two key late 3-pointers, and the Washington Wizards closed in on a first-round playoff sweep Friday night by beating the Toronto Raptors, 106-99.

Six Wizards scored in double figures, including Marcin Gortat, who had 24 points and 13 rebounds. Pierce’s 18 points were highlighted by one 3 that capped a 10-2 run with two minutes left, and another with 16.3 seconds remaining after Toronto got within three points.

After the second, Pierce turned to the stands with arms aloft, nodded and yelled, “That’s why I’m here!”

The Wizards lead the best-of-seven Eastern Conference series 3-0 and can end it Sunday, at home in Game 4.

No team has overcome a 3-0 deficit to win an NBA postseason series.

ROCKETS 130, MAVERICKS 128: James Harden scored a playoff career-high 42 points, Dwight Howard had his postseason best with 26 rebounds and Houston won at Dallas for a 3-0 lead in their first-round series.

Harden played a dominating role after deferring to Howard and role players in the first two wins, putting the Rockets on the verge of their first playoff series victory since Howard joined Harden two years ago.

The high-scoring game was Dallas’ first without effectively banished point guard Rajon Rondo, and Monta Ellis had a playoff career-high 34 points to match Dirk Nowitzki.


BULLS: Forward Nikola Mirotic’s bruised left knee is feeling better, though Coach Tom Thibodeau is unsure whether he’ll be available Saturday for Game 4 of the first-round playoff series at Milwaukee.

The Bulls can sweep the Bucks following a 113-106 victory Thursday night. Mirotic sat out after getting hurt during a scrum for a loose ball in Game 2 this week in Chicago. Mirotic also strained his quadriceps.

TRAIL BLAZERS: Guard Arron Afflalo is expected to play Saturday at home against Memphis in Game 3 of their playoff series.

Afflalo has been sidelined with a right shoulder strain that kept him out of the first two games.