The NBA decided to have an unusually busy Thursday night to try and compete with the NCAA Tournament, as a lot of ups & downs in playoff seeding happen all over. The Charlotte Hornets might actually finish in the top 4, the Chicago Bulls hang on to that 8th spot, the Utah Jazz get closer to it out West while the San Antonio Spurs stay close to the NBA champions by remaining perfect at home.
Toronto Raptors 101 Indiana Pacers 94: The Kyle Lowry – DeMar DeRozan machine combined to score 56 points while Paul George shot 7-of-24 from the field for the Pacers, slightly complicating things for them, while the Raptors keep the pressure on the Cavs.
Washington Wizards 99 Philadelphia 76ers 94: The Sixers are still stuck on nine wins, helping out the Wizards who find themselves now just 1.5 games behind the Bulls for 8th place in the East. Six different players scored in double figures for the Wizards, led by Marcus Thornton with 18 points off the bench. Both Marcin Gortat and John Wall added 16.
Charlotte Hornets 109 Miami Heat 106: A big win for the Hornets, who are now tied with the Heat and Celtics and the 4-5-6 seed intersection and are only 0.5 behind the Hawks at third. The Hornets came back from 15 points down, led by Kemba Walker and Al Jefferson who scored 21 points each, while Jeremy Lin came on to clinch the game from the free throw line. Luol Deng scored 22 for Miami, still waiting for Chris Bosh to return at some point.
Denver Nuggets 98 Atlanta Hawks 116: The Hawks win their fourth in a row and 7th in 8 games with eight players in double figures, led by Timmy Hardaway Jr. and his 21 points. It keeps them ahead of the chasing pack for the third spot in the East, currently having an 0.5 game advantage over the Hornets, Celtics and Heat.
Brooklyn Nets 102 Chicago Bulls 118: A super important win for the Bulls who continue to get a lot from Doug McDermott, leading them with 25 points off the bench, and also 22 from Jimmy Butler in his best game since coming back from his knee injury. It gives them a slight edge over the Pistons, holding on to 8th in the East.
Memphis Grizzlies 86 Milwaukee Bucks 96: The Bucks win for fun, the Grizzlies are sliding fast (lose four in a row, still 5.5 games above 9th in the West), but the game ending with John Henson blocking Matt Barnes, taunting him, getting ejected and then having Barnes chase him down the tunnel is one of the more surreal and fun moments of this NBA season.
Portland Trail Blazers 110 San Antonio Spurs 118: The Blazers continue their defensive struggles away from home, while the Spurs improve to 34-0 at the AT&T center this season. Both LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard scored 22 points and Tony Parker had one of his better games this season, finishing with 18 points and 16 assists.
Phoenix Suns 69 Utah Jazz 103: Embarrassing for the Suns while the Jazz move to one game behind the 8th spot in the West. Phoenix shot just 34.1% from the field, the Jazz had 14 steals and 5 blocked shots, led by 17 points from Trey Lyles.
Eastern Conference Standings
|13||New York Knicks||28||41||.406||21.0||69|
Western Conference Standings
|1||Golden State Warriors||61||6||.910||–||67|
|2||San Antonio Spurs||58||10||.853||3.5||68|
|3||Oklahoma City Thunder||46||22||.676||15.5||68|
|4||Los Angeles Clippers||43||24||.642||18.0||67|
|6||Portland Trail Blazers||35||34||.507||27.0||69|
|12||New Orleans Pelicans||25||42||.373||36.0||67|
|15||Los Angeles Lakers||14||54||.206||47.5||68|