Coby White and Nikola Vucevic recorded double-doubles to power the short-handed Chicago Bulls past the host Dallas Mavericks 115-112 on Friday.
The result ended the Mavericks’ hopes of reaching the Western Conference play-in tournament. Dallas came into the evening trailing the Oklahoma City Thunder by one game for the West’s final play-in spot yet played without Kyrie Irving, Tim Hardaway Jr., Christian Wood, Josh Green and Maxi Kleber.
Luka Doncic was limited to just 12:35 of action, all in the first half, during which he scored 13 points despite shooting 0-of-5 from 3-point range. Chicago, which had already clinched an Eastern Conference play-in spot, played without leading scorers DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine as well as Patrick Beverley.
White finished with 24 points, a game-high 11 assists and seven rebounds to pick up the slack in the come-from-behind win. Vucevic also did his part, shooting 7 of 11 from the floor en route to 20 points, and he grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.
Warriors 119, Kings 97
Klay Thompson scored a game-high 29 points and visiting Golden State moved within one win of claiming a Western Conference playoff spot with a romp over unmotivated Sacramento.
The Warriors overcame 24 turnovers and a 98-78 discrepancy in field-goal attempts to move a half-game ahead of the idle Los Angeles Clippers in their duel for the fifth playoff position in the West. The Kings, who sat out Domantas Sabonis, De’Aaron Fox, Kevin Huerter and Malik Monk, got 15 points each from Trey Lyles and Chimezie Metu.
The Clippers hold the tiebreaker advantage over the Warriors and would finish fifth with wins Saturday over the Portland Trail Blazers and Sunday at Phoenix, or with one win coupled with a Warriors loss in their regular-season finale Sunday at Portland. The Los Angeles Lakers and the New Orleans Pelicans are both one game back of the Warriors, a half-game back of the Clippers.
Lakers 121, Suns 107
D’Angelo Russell made six 3-pointers while scoring 24 points and Austin Reaves added 22 points to help host Los Angeles notch a crucial victory over short-handed Phoenix.
Malik Beasley tallied 21 points off the bench and LeBron James added 16 points as the Lakers assured themselves of finishing no lower than eighth in the Western Conference. Anthony Davis contributed 14 points, 21 rebounds and three blocked shots for Los Angeles, which has won eight of its past 10 games.
Torrey Craig recorded 18 points, six rebounds and four blocked shots and Jock Landale added 17 points and 10 rebounds for Phoenix, which already was locked into the No. 4 seed in the West. The Lakers and the New Orleans Pelicans share the same record and hold play-in positions in the West, just outside of the sixth and final automatic playoff spot.
76ers 136, Hawks 131 (OT)
Visiting Philadelphia, which opted to rest all five starters, got 24 points apiece from Jalen McDaniels and Georges Niang and defeated Atlanta in overtime.
Despite the loss, Atlanta secured the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference’s play-in tournament when the Boston Celtics defeated the Toronto Raptors.
Atlanta was led by Trae Young with 27 points and a career-high 20 assists. Dejounte Murray and John Collins both scored 19 points.
Philadelphia already had locked up the No. 3 spot, and it now knows its first-round playoff opponent, the sixth-seeded Brooklyn Nets. Philadelphia also got 22 points from Danuel House Jr., 19 points from Springer and 15 points and a career-high 16 assists from Shake Milton.
Pelicans 113, Knicks 105
Trey Murphy III had a second consecutive 30-point game for the first time in his career, finishing with 31, and host New Orleans defeated New York.
Murphy scored 31 two nights after scoring 30 in a victory against Memphis, and the Pelicans won for the ninth time in 11 games. They are guaranteed at least the No. 9 seed in the Western Conference going into their finale at Minnesota on Sunday. CJ McCollum added 23 points, Brandon Ingram scored 18 and Herbert Jones Jr. had 15.
RJ Barrett returned from a two-game absence due to illness and scored 28 points to lead the Knicks, who are locked into the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Nets 101, Magic 84
Mikal Bridges scored 22 points as Brooklyn secured the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs with a victory over Orlando in New York.
The Nets clinched their fifth straight postseason berth by winning for the sixth time in eight games to surpass last season’s victory total. Brooklyn is locked into a first-round matchup with the third-seeded 76ers. Cameron Johnson added 18 points, Nic Claxton collected 14 points and 15 rebounds and Seth Curry contributed 13 points.
Orlando, which was in contention for a play-in spot over the past month following a 5-20 start, played its second game since being eliminated Tuesday. The Magic sat rookie Paolo Banchero (back tightness), Wendell Carter Jr. (sore left hip) and Moritz Wagner (sprained right ankle).
Grizzlies 137, Bucks 114
Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 36 points to lead seven Memphis players in double figures as the Grizzlies clinched the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs with a win at Milwaukee.
Luke Kennard had 19 points, Desmond Bane added 16 and John Konchar scored 13 for Memphis, which took control during a 28-2 run in the third quarter. Ja Morant tallied 12 points and eight assists.
The Bucks rested all of their starters after wrapping up the top seed in the NBA playoffs earlier this week. Lindell Wigginton recorded career highs with 25 points and 11 assists, and Jae Crowder scored 24.
Celtics 121, Raptors 102
Sam Hauser scored a career-best 26 points and undermanned Boston defeated visiting Toronto.
Jayson Tatum added 21 points and did not play in the second half for the Celtics, with the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference already clinched. Jaylen Brown (finger laceration), Marcus Smart (neck) and Malcolm Brogdon (back) did not play for Boston.
The loss meant that the Raptors will finish ninth in the East and will play the 10th-place Chicago Bulls in the first play-in game Wednesday. Pascal Siakam scored 19 points, Precious Achiuwa added 16 points, and Fred VanVleet had 12 points and eight assists.
Rockets 112, Hornets 109
Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green scored 26 points apiece and visiting Houston held off Charlotte in a matchup of two teams near the bottom of the NBA standings.
Kenyon Martin Jr. and Alperen Sengun both posted 14 points and Jabari Smith Jr. had 13 points for Houston, which broke a six-game road losing streak and won for only the seventh time this season on the road. Sengun grabbed 21 rebounds.
Svi Mykhailiuk finished with 25 points for the Hornets, Theo Maledon notched 22 points, Bryce McGowens had 16 points, Mark Williams provided 12 points and 13 rebounds, and JT Thor and reserve Kai Jones added 10 points apiece.
Wizards 114, Heat 108
Daniel Gafford collected 22 points and eight rebounds to lift host Washington to a victory over Miami.
Gafford made his first nine shots from the floor for the Wizards, who snapped a four-game losing skid and locked the Heat into seventh place in the Eastern Conference and a spot in the play-in tournament.
Corey Kispert scored 19 points and rookie Johnny Davis added 16 to help Washington overcome the absences of Bradley Beal (left knee soreness), Kristaps Porzingis (non-COVID illness), Kyle Kuzma (right ankle sprain), Monte Morris (right ankle soreness) and Deni Avdija (left elbow bursitis). Miami’s Victor Oladipo sank seven 3-pointers to highlight his 30-point performance off the bench.
Pistons 122, Pacers 115
Jaden Ivey had 29 points and nine assists and visiting Detroit snapped an 11-game losing streak by defeating Indiana.
Killian Hayes supplied 28 points, six assists and four steals for the Pistons, while Cory Joseph contributed 18 points and five assists. Detroit won for just the second time in 24 games, with both victories coming against the Pacers.
Buddy Hield led the Pacers with 22 points and Bennedict Mathurin tossed in 16. Indiana has lost seven of its past eight contests.
–Field Level Media