MILWAUKEE – Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 30 points and Khris Middleton added 21 to send Milwaukee to a methodical 115-107 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday night, giving the Bucks 60 wins in a season for the first time since 1981.
The Bucks, who have clinched the best record in the Eastern Conference, led from the outset as the Hawks rested leading scorers John Collins and Trae Young.
Milwaukee led 85-72 entering the final period, but Atlanta pulled to 101-98 on a drive by DeAndre’ Bembry with 3:28 left. Middleton countered with consecutive 3-pointers and Antetokounmpo connected from beyond the arc to put Milwaukee up 110-98.
Alex Len had a career-high 33 points for Atlanta, including six 3-pointers.
Warriors 131, Clippers 104
OAKLAND, Calif. – Soaking in the franchise’s nostalgia of yesteryear, Stephen Curry scored 27 points and helped Golden State clinch the Western Conference’s top playoff seed with a win in its final regular-season game at Oracle Arena, beating Los Angeles for a fifth straight victory.
Kevin Durant added 16 points and seven assists, making six of seven field goals, as Warriors players opted to honor the past by sporting throwback white “We Believe” jerseys worn during the 2007 playoff run that snapped a 12-year postseason drought.
A banner commemorating 47 years at Oracle was unveiled afterward and it will move across the bay to hang inside new Chase Center in San Francisco where the Warriors will play next season.
Landry Shamet scored 17 points with five 3-pointers for a Clippers team still missing Patrick Beverley because of a right hip pointer. Los Angeles dropped into a seventh-place tie with San Antonio in the West by losing its third straight. Now, the Clippers play the Jazz in the regular-season finale Wednesday and with various scenarios very well could be returning to Oracle next weekend for Game 1 in the first round of the playoffs.
Draymond Green just missed a triple-double with 10 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in Golden State’s seventh win over the last eight games and fifth in a row at home.
Trail Blazers 115, Nuggets 108
PORTLAND, Ore. – Damian Lillard scored 30 points to lead Portland past a Denver team that rested its top three scorers after securing home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Al-Farouq Aminu added 23 points and 11 rebounds for Portland, which held onto fourth place in the Western Conference with two games remaining. The win snapped a six-game losing streak to the Nuggets.
Gary Harris had 18 points for Denver, which played without Nikola Jokic, Paul Millsap and Jamal Murray.
The Trail Blazers got back CJ McCollum, who was out for 10 games with a left knee injury. Coach Terry Stotts said before the game that his minutes would be restricted, but McColllum played 25 minutes and had nine points.
Champions of the Northwest Division, the Nuggets are assured at least the No. 3 seed in the West and can clinch the second seed with two more wins.
Rockets 149, Suns 113
HOUSTON – James Harden scored 30 points in just three quarters as Houston broke its NBA record by making 27 3-pointers in a win over Phoenix.
Eric Gordon led the 3-point brigade by tying a career high with eight, Harden added five, P.J. Tucker had four and Danuel House three.
Gary Clark tied the record with a little over three minutes to play and Houston missed the next four before Austin Rivers broke it with 1:09 remaining. The Rockets have made 26 twice this season with the last time coming Tuesday at Sacramento.
Jamal Crawford had 27 points off the bench for the Suns with rising stars Devin Booker and Kelly Oubre out for the season with injuries.
Nets 108, Pacers 96
INDIANAPOLIS – D’Angelo Russell scored 20 points and Joe Harris added 19, leading Brooklyn back into the NBA playoffs for the first time in four years.
The Nets moved into position to clinch when Miami lost in overtime at Toronto earlier in the day. It’s also the first time since 2014-15 the Nets have not posted a losing record.
Domantas Sabonis finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Pacers. Thaddeus Young scored 16 in a game coach Nate McMillan promised to closely monitor the minutes his players logged.
Lakers 113, Jazz 109
LOS ANGELES – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 32 points and short-handed Los Angeles snapped Utah’s seven-game winning streak.
The Lakers, beset by injuries all season, dressed only 10 players and played eight. Caldwell-Pope, one of five Lakers in double figures, scored 18 points during the fourth quarter as Los Angeles rallied for its second consecutive win. JaVale McGee added 22 points and Alex Caruso had 18 points and 11 assists.
It was a big loss for the playoff-bound Jazz, who fell two games behind Portland for the fourth seed in the Western Conference and home-court advantage in the first round. Rudy Gobert led Utah with 21 points and 10 rebounds, and Donovan Mitchell scored 19.
Pelicans 133, Kings 129
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Ian Clark scored 31 points with a career-best seven 3-pointers, Elfrid Payton had 12 of his 25 points in the final 3 1/2 minutes and New Orleans beat Sacramento.
Jahlil Okafor added 23 points and 14 rebounds to help the Pelicans stop a three-game skid while beating the Kings for the third time in four meetings this season.
Harrison Barnes scored 29 points for Sacramento in its final home game. De’Aaron Fox added 24 points and 11 assists, while Marvin Bagley had 19 points and 14 rebounds.
New Orleans prevented the Kings from celebrating their first 40-win season at home since 2005-06. Sacramento (39-42) can still reach 40 wins by beating Portland on the road Wednesday.
Thunder 132, Timberwolves 126
MINNEAPOLIS – Russell Westbrook had 27 points, 10 rebounds and 15 assists to help Oklahoma City remain a half-game ahead of San Antonio for seventh place in the Western Conference.
Paul George also scored 27 points and Dennis Schroder had 14 of his 21 in the fourth quarter for the Thunder.
Karl-Anthony Towns led Minnesota with 35 points, while Andrew Wiggins scored 24 and Dario Saric added 23. Tyus Jones scored 10 points and tied his career high with 13 assists.
Spurs 112, Cavaliers 90
CLEVELAND – LaMarcus Aldridge had 18 points and 13 rebounds as San Antonio extended Cleveland’s losing streak to nine games.
The Spurs recently clinched a postseason spot for a NBA record-tying 22nd year in a row, but they don’t yet know who they’ll play in the first round. San Antonio came into the day in eighth place, which would mean an early matchup with defending champion Golden State. However, the Spurs can still move ahead of Oklahoma City and the Los Angeles Clippers as they own tiebreakers with both teams.
DeMar DeRozan and Patty Mills added 14 points apiece for the balanced Spurs, who turned back every Cleveland challenge in the second half. Mills made three 3-pointers in a two-minute span early in the fourth quarter to end any chances of the Cavs rallying.
Rookie Collin Sexton and Brandon Knight scored 16 each for Cleveland, and the Cavs celebrated the upcoming retirement of forward Channing Frye throughout the game.
Raptors 117, Heat 109, OT
TORONTO – Pascal Siakam had 23 points and 10 rebounds, Kawhi Leonard scored 22 points and Toronto further dented Miami’s fading playoff hopes.
Norman Powell matched his season high with 23 points, Danny Green scored seven of his 21 points in overtime and OG Anunoby had 12 as Toronto won its fourth straight over the Heat.
Dwyane Wade scored 21 points and James Johnson had 18 for the Heat, who have lost a season-high four straight.
Hornets 104, Pistons 91
DETROIT – Kemba Walker scored 20 of his 31 points in the first half to help Charlotte build a big lead and cling to its chances of rallying for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Walker had 11 points in the first quarter and nine in the second, lifting the Hornets to a 60-42 lead. He also had plenty of help as reserve Frank Kaminski scored a season-high 24 points and Jeremy Lamb had 17 points off the bench as the Hornets won their third straight.
Ish Smith scored 20 points to lead Detroit, which has lost four straight to possibly plummet from being a sixth-seeded team to missing the postseason for a third consecutive year and the ninth time in a decade. Blake Griffin had 16 points on 5-of-18 shooting, Andre Drummond had 15 points and 23 rebounds and Wayne Ellington scored 14 points.
Magic 116, Celtics 108
BOSTON – Terrence Ross had 26 points, Nikola Vucevic added 25 points and 12 rebounds and Orlando clinched its first playoff berth in seven years.
Evan Fournier added 24 points for Orlando, which last made the postseason during the 2011-12 season. The Magic also got their first regular-season sweep over Boston since 1996-97.
Even with the loss, the Celtics clinched at least the fourth seed and home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs when Brooklyn beat Indiana.
Kyrie Irving had 23 points for Boston. Al Horford finished with 18 points and Gordon Hayward added 16 off the bench.
Mavericks 129, Grizzlies 127, OT
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Salah Mejri scored a career-high 19 points, including the tying basket in regulation and the first seven points of overtime to lead Dallas.
Mejri, who had nine rebounds and four blocks, was 7 of 12 from the floor and made a pair of 3-pointers. Trey Burke led the Mavericks with 24 points, 14 in the fourth quarter and overtime. Justin Jackson and Dorian Finney-Smith added 16 points apiece, and Finney-Smith grabbed 12 rebounds.
Delon Wright had his second consecutive triple-double with 20 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists for the Grizzlies. Justin Holiday paced Memphis with a career-high 30 points.
Knicks 113, Wizards 110
NEW YORK – Mario Hezonja scored a career-high 30 points and made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 44 seconds left, and New York beat Washington at home for the first time in six years.
Luke Kornet added 17 points and Kevin Knox had 16 for the Knicks, who would have tied the franchise record with a 65th loss had they not rallied from a 10-point deficit after three quarters.
They had lost nine straight at Madison Square Garden to the Wizards since their last victory on April 9, 2013, but Hezonja brought New York back with some big plays in the final period.
Jeff Green had 19 points and Thomas Bryant scored 17 for the Wizards, who need to beat Boston on Tuesday in their final game to avoid a 50-loss season.
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