NBA roundup: Nuggets’ loss results in 3-way tie atop West

By Thomson Reuters Apr 13, 2024 | 4:38 AM

Little-used reserve Devonte’ Graham hit the deciding jumper with 0.9 seconds left to cap a torrid comeback as the host San Antonio Spurs stunned the Denver Nuggets 121-120 on Friday.

The loss, which came in the next-to-last game of the regular season for both teams, dropped the Nuggets into a three-way tie for first place in the Western Conference with the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Victor Wembanyama finished with 34 points, 12 rebounds and five assists for the Spurs. He put up 17 points in less than three minutes during the third quarter, a span in which he had four 3-pointers and a three-point play.

Jamal Murray led Denver with 35 points, while Nikola Jokic added 22 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds. The Nuggets had a final chance after Graham’s go-ahead basket, but they could not inbound the ball within five seconds and turned it over.

Thunder 125, Bucks 107

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 23 points and Chet Holmgren added 22 to lead Oklahoma City past visiting Milwaukee for its fourth consecutive win.

Gilgeous-Alexander scored 14 in the first quarter alone as the Thunder put up 41 in the period.

The Bucks, who got 18 points apiece from Brook Lopez and Khris Middleton, fell into a tie with the New York Knicks for the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee holds the tiebreaker.

Timberwolves 109, Hawks 106

Rudy Gobert scored 25 points and grabbed 19 rebounds as Minnesota held off Atlanta in Minneapolis and pulled into a three-way tie atop the Western Conference.

Naz Reid added 19 points off the bench for Minnesota, which has one game to go in the regular season, as do the co-leaders Denver Nuggets and Oklahoma City Thunder. Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns scored 11 points and dished eight assists in his first game since March 4 due to a torn meniscus in his left knee.

Trae Young scored 19 points and distributed seven assists to lead Atlanta. Clint Capela recorded 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Celtics 131, Hornets 98

Payton Pritchard scored a career-high 31 points and had 11 assists to help Boston end a two-game losing streak by routing visiting Charlotte.

Neither team was near full strength. Boston (63-18) was without the top six players in its rotation, and the Hornets were without a few players as well. Tre Mann finished with 19 points and eight assists for Charlotte, and Nick Smith Jr. added 15.

Pritchard made 14 of his 22 field-goal attempts. He didn’t play in the fourth quarter. Luke Kornet added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics, who are locked into the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and will have home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.

Cavaliers 129, Pacers 120

Donovan Mitchell scored a team-high 33 points, helping Cleveland defeat visiting Indiana and clinch a playoff berth.

Jarrett Allen added 29 points and 13 rebounds for Cleveland. Darius Garland and Caris LeVert chipped in 16 apiece, while Evan Mobley scored 12.

Tyrese Haliburton and Pascal Siakam led eight players in double figures for Indiana with 19 points apiece. Haliburton also had a game-high 12 assists for the Pacers, who had their three-game winning streak snapped. Indiana is among three teams tied for fifth in the East.

Heat 125, Raptors 103

Nikola Jovic scored 22 points and Jaime Jaquez Jr. added 20 points and nine assists off the bench to help Miami defeat visiting Toronto.

Bam Adebayo scored 19 points as the Heat won for the sixth time in nine games. The Heat reside in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with one game remaining but still have a chance at a top-six playoff berth, as they are one game back of the Orlando Magic, Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers.

RJ Barrett scored 35 points on 13-of-18 shooting and collected 11 rebounds for the Raptors, who have lost three in a row.

Pelicans 114, Warriors 109

CJ McCollum capped a New Orleans barrage of 3-pointers by sinking his eighth of the game with 1:02 remaining in San Francisco, stalling a Golden State rally and propelling the Pelicans into a triumph in a matchup filled with playoff-position ramifications.

A second win in two nights in Northern California improved the chances of the Pelicans finishing in the coveted sixth spot in the Western Conference and clinching a playoff spot. McCollum paced the Pelicans with 28 points, 24 coming on 8-for-13 shooting from 3-point range. New Orleans made 20 threes as a team, outscoring the Warriors 60-39 from beyond the arc.

The Warriors took a giant step backward toward the 10th and final play-in spot. Stephen Curry shot 7-for-13 from long range as part of his game-high, 33-point night. Klay Thompson chipped in with 19 points, Andrew Wiggins 18 and Trayce Jackson-Davis 10 to go with 11 rebounds. Draymond Green recorded a 12-rebound, 11-assist double-double on a night when he went scoreless.

Lakers 123, Grizzlies 120

LeBron James poured in 37 points and Anthony Davis added 36 as visiting Los Angeles held off pesky Memphis.

With the victory, Los Angeles jumped into the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference. Davis grabbed 14 rebounds to finish with a double-double. Rui Hachimura chipped in 14 points for Los Angeles, which snapped a two-game skid.

GG Jackson led Memphis with 31 points, while LaRavia and Scotty Pippen Jr. each finished with 28. Jordan Goodwin collected 23 points and 17 boards as the Grizzlies got outshot 51.9 percent to 45.3 percent from the field.

Bulls 129, Wizards 127

Javonte Green scored 24 points and Dalen Terry led a late surge as Chicago used a makeshift lineup to defeat host Washington.

Adama Sanogo contributed 22 points and 20 rebounds off the bench while Coby White and Jevon Carter added 20 points each as the Bulls fielded a lineup full of reserves. It was the second road win in as many nights for Chicago, after clinching the No. 9 seed in the Eastern Conference with a win in Detroit on Thursday.

Deni Avdija had 24 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists to pace Washington, which is on its way to its worst record in franchise history. Korey Kispert added 23 points for the Wizards.

Knicks 111, Nets 107

Jalen Brunson scored 30 points as hot New York overcame a 17-point, first-half deficit and hung on a victory over Brooklyn.

The result assures the Knicks of at least home-court advantage in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Knicks won their fourth straight game and overcame a 41-point showing by Brooklyn’s Cam Thomas. Josh Hart added 16 while OG Anunoby and Robinson added 15 apiece for the Knicks.

Thomas made 15 of 26 shots for Brooklyn, which shot 50 percent and played with only nine players due to injuries to Cameron Johnson, Dennis Smith Jr., Dorian Finney-Smith and Dennis Schroder. Watford logged 17 points and 13 rebounds and Lonnie Walker IV contributed 15 points for the Nets, who lost for the second time in three games.

76ers 125, Magic 113

Joel Embiid racked up 32 points and 13 rebounds to lead host Philadelphia to a win over Orlando.

Embiid also had seven assists for Philadelphia, which ran its winning streak to seven games. Tyrese Maxey added 28 points and Kelly Oubre Jr. supplied 21 to go along with nine boards.

Franz Wagner paced Orlando with 24 points. Paolo Banchero finished with 22 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists and Jalen Suggs netted 20 points as the Magic were outshot 47.7 percent to 45.3 percent from the field.

Jazz 110, Clippers 109

Reserve Kenneth Lofton Jr. set season highs with 27 points and eight assists and matched his season best with nine rebounds while leading Utah to a win at Los Angeles.

Keyonte George added 14 points to help lift the Jazz to their second consecutive win in as many nights after enduring a 13-game losing streak.

Bones Hyland missed a game-winning 3-point attempt in the final seconds but finished with a team-high 20 points for the Clippers. Los Angeles still clinched fourth place in the West thanks to Dallas’ loss.

Pistons 107, Mavericks 89

Marcus Sasser led a balanced attack with 24 points and visiting Detroit cruised past short-handed Dallas.

Evan Fournier led a productive four-man bench crew with 13 points as the Pistons snapped a six-game losing streak by having better depth than a Mavericks club resting star guards Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.

Jaden Hardy went for a game-high 25 points off the bench for Dallas, which didn’t play any of its starters more than 16 minutes.

Rockets 116, Trail Blazers 107

Jalen Green totaled 26 points and nine rebounds for Houston, which took control in the second quarter and went on to send host Portland to its 14th loss in its last 16 games.

Green made 10 of 20 shots after being limited to 19 minutes and three points in Houston’s three-point loss at Utah on Thursday. He helped the Rockets prevail for just the second time in eight games following an 11-game winning streak.

Rookie Scoot Henderson scored 30 points but sat for the final 8 1/2 minutes as Portland reached 60 losses for the fourth time in team history and the first time since 2005-06.

Suns 108, Kings 107

Jusuf Nurkic split two free throws with 8.7 seconds left and visiting Phoenix pressured Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox into a late turnover to seal a vital victory.

Kevin Durant scored 28 points, Devin Booker tallied 21 and Bradley Beal had 20 points and nine rebounds for the Suns, who remain one game behind the New Orleans Pelicans for the sixth and final automatic playoff berth in the Western Conference.

Domantas Sabonis had 25 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists for the Kings, who led by 16 points with just over seven minutes left in the third quarter but lost for the fifth time in the past six games.