In a night of clinching playoff spots and up/down movements, the Cleveland Cavaliers got home court advantage in the East for good, the Dallas Mavericks secured their postseason berth while the Houston Rockets replaced the Utah Jazz at least for a day or two and the Charlotte Hornets beating the Boston Celtics keeps things interesting in the 3-4-5-6 seed race.
Atlanta Hawks 94 Cleveland Cavaliers 109: The Cavs clinch the top spot in the East while things open up in terms of the third and fourth seeds. Kyrie Irving finally played well, scoring 35 points. LeBron James had another terrific games like recently, finishing with 34 points on 13-of-16 from the field with 6 rebounds and 6 assists.
Milwaukee Bucks 98 Orlando Magic 107: Two underachieving, young teams, facing each other in some entertaining garbage time. Six Magic players scored in double figures, including 22 from Ersan Ilyasova while Elfrid Payton had 11 points and 11 assists. Greg Monroe scored 23 points for the Bucks.
Charlotte Hornets 114 Boston Celtics 100: The Hornets stun the Celtics with a 39-13 second quarter, led by Jeremy Lin scoring 25 points, including 21 in the first half. The Celtics shot just 38.2% from the field.
Washington Wizards 120 Brooklyn Nets 111: The Wizards reach 40 wins in another garbage time win. Ramon Sessions scored 21 points and added 12 assists, helped by Marcus Thornton with 19 points.
Houston Rockets 129 Minnesota Timberwolves 105: The Rockets pull one out of the hat and find themselves in 8th once more, thanks to 34 points from James Harden and 21 from Trevor Ariza.
Chicago Bulls 121 New Orleans Pelicans 116: Jimmy Butler scored 23 points and added 11 assists while Nikola Mirotic finished with 20. Taj Gibson, Pau Gasol and Derrick Rose didn’t play in a game and win that came a bit too late for the Bulls.
Los Angeles Lakers 79 Oklahoma City Thunder 112: The Thunder didn’t give Bryant a comfortable farewell, with one more home game remaining for him. Kevin Durant scored 34 points while Russell Westbrook picked up his 18h triple double of the season, getting it in the first half already.
Dallas Mavericks 101 Utah Jazz 92: A huge disappointment for the Jazz, falling out of the playoff picture with one game remaining, while the Mavs clinch their spot. Deron Williams stepped up to score 23 points, helped by 22 and 11 rebounds from Dirk Nowitzki while Wesley Matthews finished with 20. Gordon Hayward scored 26 for Utah.
Sacramento Kings 105 Phoenix Suns 101: Seth Curry continues his strong finish to the season with 20 points, helped out by Kostas Koufos with 19. Devin Booker led the Suns scoring 22.
Eastern Conference Standings
|1||x– Cleveland Cavaliers||57||24||.704||–||81|
|2||x – Toronto Raptors||54||26||.675||2.5||80|
|3||x – Atlanta Hawks||48||33||.593||9.0||81|
|4||x – Miami Heat||47||33||.588||9.5||80|
|5||x – Boston Celtics||47||34||.580||10.0||81|
|6||x – Charlotte Hornets||47||34||.580||10.0||81|
|7||x – Indiana Pacers||43||37||.538||13.5||80|
|8||x – Detroit Pistons||43||37||.538||13.5||80|
|9||o – Chicago Bulls||41||40||.506||16.0||81|
|10||o – Washington Wizards||40||41||.494||17.0||81|
|11||o – Orlando Magic||35||46||.432||22.0||81|
|12||o – Milwaukee Bucks||33||48||.407||24.0||81|
|13||o – New York Knicks||32||49||.395||25.0||81|
|14||o – Brooklyn Nets||21||60||.259||36.0||81|
|15||o – Philadelphia 76ers||10||70||.125||46.5||80|
Western Conference Standings
|1||x – Golden State Warriors||72||9||.889||–||81|
|2||x – San Antonio Spurs||65||15||.813||6.5||80|
|3||x – Oklahoma City Thunder||55||26||.679||17.0||81|
|4||x – Los Angeles Clippers||52||28||.650||19.5||80|
|5||x – Portland Trail Blazers||43||38||.531||29.0||81|
|6||x – Memphis Grizzlies||42||38||.525||29.5||80|
|7||x – Dallas Mavericks||42||39||.519||30.0||81|
|10||o – Sacramento Kings||33||48||.407||39.0||81|
|11||o – Denver Nuggets||33||48||.407||39.0||81|
|12||o – New Orleans Pelicans||30||51||.370||42.0||81|
|13||o – Minnesota Timberwolves||28||53||.346||44.0||81|
|14||o – Phoenix Suns||22||59||.272||50.0||81|
|15||o – Los Angeles Lakers||16||65||.198||56.0||81|